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Camellia Grill in the French Quarter to reopen in mid-December 

  Downtown diners will be able to get chili cheese fries, roast beef po-boys dripping with gravy, giant omelets with hash browns and vanilla "freezes" when the French Quarter Camellia Grill (540 Chartres St.) reopens. Owner and restaurateur Hicham Khodr closed the French Quarter location this fall for renovations but says the diner should be open and operating under its original name by Dec. 13 or 14.

  Khodr purchased the flagship Riverbend diner (626 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-309-2679) in 2006. The restaurant had been open since 1946 but closed for two years after Hurricane Katrina before then-owner Michael Schwartz sold the business to Khodr. He opened the Chartres Street location under the same name in 2010 but was forced to change the name to The Grill in 2013 following a court order that ruled Khodr had violated the terms of a licensing agreement with the previous owner. In July, a federal judge ruled that Khodr was the rightful owner of the name and wasn't committing trademark infringement by using both the restaurant's name and flowering camellia logo. No changes were made to the Riverbend landmark, which remains open.

  Khodr says the menu will be the same as the Riverbend location and renovations maintain the same look as the original, but with new furnishings and appliances.

  "I feel great about it," Khodr said of the opening. "I know people have been waiting for it to return to the French Quarter."

  Camellia Grill will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. or midnight on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends.


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