Antoine’s, the city’s oldest restaurant, marks a major milestone this year with its 175th anniversary. Through the course of 2015, the restaurant will host events and promotions tied to its long history and deep well of tradition, including special dishes resurrected from its recipe archive and an event paying tribute to the 1947 novel “Dinner at Antoine’s.Share
While celebrating its past, however, Antoine’s is also using the anniversary to introduce changes to the restaurant’s menu and marketing that are aimed squarely at the future and at its own survival.
Though hardly sweeping on their own, the changes are aligned with an ongoing campaign to make Antoine’s more accessible to more potential customers. It’s an effort that management views as essential for a huge and historic restaurant that embodies the traditional mode of old-line French Creole dining to compete in the rapidly-changing modern culinary scene.
“The most critical issue, the only thing that will keep us open in the next generation, is if we keep Antoine’s relevant to that next generation,” said Rick Blount, president and CEO of the restaurant started by his great, great grandfather Antoine Alciatore in 1840. “If my daughter’s friends don’t think Antoine’s is cool, then it won’t matter what else I do here. It won’t matter if nobody cares. So my goal is to make Antoine’s fun and relevant for the next generation.” (Read more.)