Site undergoes renovations for new restaurant
“While there is no joy in removing the name Brennan’s Restaurant from the exterior of the building, doing so is unavoidable under the circumstances and is a logical and necessary step toward giving this venerable location new life and an opportunity to serve the dining public in a way they have come to expect of the Brennan family.” Ralph Brennan
Brennan’s on Royal Street? Ain’t dere no more.
Months after buying the building that has housed Brennan’s restaurant since the 1950s, the property’s new owners this week removed the sign bearing the eatery’s name.
The gold, script font that spelled out “Brennan’s” and beneath it “417 Rue Royale” has been pulled from the wall of the familiar pink building. The sign’s outline is still visible on the building’s façade.
The site is undergoing a renovation in preparation for its reopening as a new restaurant, said Ralph Brennan, who is part of the investment group that bought the building in May.
“While there is no joy in removing the name Brennan’s Restaurant from the exterior of the building, doing so is unavoidable under the circumstances and is a logical and necessary step toward giving this venerable location new life and an opportunity to serve the dining public in a way they have come to expect of the Brennan family,” Ralph Brennan said in a statement.
Ralph Brennan’s Leggo/4, which also includes businessman Terry White, purchased the property in a foreclosure auction for $6.85 million. The restaurant company has been mired in debt.
Brennan, a restaurant owner and cousin of Brennan’s restaurant owner Pip Brennan, previously had no role in the Royal Street restaurant.
Leggo/4 evicted Brennan’s restaurant from the site in late June.
The new owners are in the process of revamping the property’s electrical, plumbing and heating and air conditioning systems, a spokesman for the investment group said. Large Dumpsters lined the outside of the building Tuesday.
A spokesman for the Leggo/4 said the site will reopen as a restaurant, but said a timeline was not available.
The renovation comes as the former owners are still hoping a federal judge will return the establishment to them.
In a lawsuit filed in June, Pip Brennan alleges that the foreclosure sale that led to his restaurant’s eviction was “defective as a matter of law” and should be nullified. Leggo/4 has asked that the suit be dismissed. U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan has not yet ruled on the matter.
Brennan’s was seized June 27 after the restaurant’s owners and the new owners of the building failed to come to a lease agreement.
The restaurant was shut down in between the breakfast and lunch shifts.
Many of the restaurant’s 100 employees didn’t learn that it had been shut down until they showed up for work the next morning.
Pip Brennan’s suit asks the court to demand that Leggo/4, White and Ralph Brennan pay him an amount equal to the value of the Royal Street property and/or to return the building to Brennan’s Inc.
Pip Brennan said the sale should be voided because he, as the rightful owner of the business, didn’t have an opportunity to oppose the sale.
Pip Brennan won rights to the restaurant in June following a dispute with his brother, Ted Brennan, who had previously controlled the property and company.
Their father, Owen Brennan, founded the restaurant in 1946 at Bourbon and Bienville streets. It moved to Royal Street in 1956.
The brothers are shareholders in the operation.
Pip Brennan said in the suit that his brother colluded with Leggo/4 to allow the building to fall into foreclosure.
“I have no comment at this time,” Pip Brennan said in a statement issued Tuesday. “We don’t own the building.”