Another Ruby Slipper Cafe (139 S. Cortez St., 504-309-5531; 200 Magazine St., 504-525-9355; 2001 Burgundy St., 504-525-9355; www.therubyslippercafe.net) is in the works at 1005 Canal St., where co-owner Erich Weishaupt says he plans to begin serving the restaurant's breakfast, lunch and brunch menus before the end of the year.
This Canal Street expansion will mark the fourth location for the Ruby Slipper, which Weishaupt and wife Jennifer started in 2008 by converting what had been a rundown corner store into a Mid-City hot spot. They opened a CBD location in 2010 and late last year opened their third Ruby Slipper inside a renovated historic bank building in the Faubourg Marigny.
"We didn't intend to grow this fast; we're about two years ahead of what
we thought we'd do, but the opportunity was right," Weishaupt says. "So much is happening on this stretch of Canal, we thought we should get ourselves established there."
All of the Ruby Slipper locations serve similar menus of diner-style breakfast and lunch dishes punched up with local seafood, fresh produce and creative specials. Weishaupt says the Canal Street location will function as a commissary kitchen producing some of the baked goods, sauces and other staples used across the four restaurants.
The new restaurant space is five blocks from the Ruby Slipper location on Camp Street. But Weishaupt believes a second location will draw people staying at different hotels and perhaps alleviate some pressure from the busy Magazine Street restaurant at peak hours.
The Canal Street building has been home to a string of short-lived restaurants, but its history goes back much farther. This address was part of the national McCrory's department store chain, and in 1960 a group of civil rights activists staged a sit-in at the store's segregated lunch counter. They were arrested, and their case eventually went before the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned the convictions against them.
Weishaupt says remodeling work for the restaurant will accentuate the building's Art Deco features, terrazzo floor and some structural elements they're now uncovering from past renovations.