Renowned Bartender Chris Hannah Leaving French 75 To Resurrect A New Orleans Classic

The famed bartender is stepping away to open Jewel of the South.

by Alex Galbraith
July 24, 2018

Chris Hannah, the mastermind behind French 75’s James Beard Award-winning bar program, is stepping away from the stretch of pine he helped to elevate in order to open his own high-end French Quarter restaurant.

According to NeatPour, Hannah is ducking out to bring back a renowned 19th century New Orleans restaurant called Jewel of the South. Hannah’s partner in the endeavor Nick Dietrich claims that Jewel was the first restaurant in the city to serve gumbo. But that’s far from its only lasting legacy.  The restaurant’s legendary bartender Joseph Santini is credited throughout the spirits world for introducing citrus juice into cocktail recipes.

“There is no city in the world more important to the history of the cocktail than New Orleans,” Dietrich told the website. “The Jewel is feverishly focused on preserving that history and our team will dedicate itself daily to maintaining the lofty standards set over many generations before us.”

Hannah seemed grateful for the opportunity to build French 75 up into the city’s gold standard for old-world cocktails and said he plans to bring that same spirit to his latest venture.

“Together, we turned this beautiful rectangle on Bienville Street into a world renowned bar. I’ve been fortunate to shake and stir alongside some of the industry’s greatest talents and the Arnaud’s team will always be family to me,” Hannah told Neat Pour. “Now, I look forward to continuing to express my love of this magical city and its culture through a restaurant designed as a celebration of the town.”

Jewel is scheduled to open this fall at 1026 St. Louis St. The space will feature three separate dining areas across a 2200 square foot Creole cottage. The menu and decor intends to pay homage to New Orleans’ culinary history.

Jewel of the South is Dietrich and Hannah’s second outing together. They recently opened the Cuban outpost Manolito in the French Quarter, intending it as a tribute to Havana’s world-famous El Floridita.

He has a distinct voice that you will come to know more as you follow VL NOLA. He has shown himself to be an intrepid entertainment and culture writer, who always knows about the best events, happenings and performers before anybody else. Now, he’s going to tell you all about them here at Very Local NOLA.

More Local Stories

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

What’s On the Menu?: Farm-to-table

The farm-to-table movement brings locally grown foods to your plate. Not only will enjoying farm-to-table meals allow you to indulge in fresh, nutritional, seasonal dishes, but farm-to-table dining helps the environment and supports the local economy.  Check out these delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina on the latest episode of What’s On the Menu?. …

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer events must-do list

Check out our roundup below for the can’t-miss events happening in the city over the next few months.

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Tarpon Springs

In historic Ybor City, different cultures bring out the best in one another. Enjoy an authentic Cuban sandwich or dine at a restaurant now on its fifth generation of ownership. After chicken yoga (yes, that’s a thing!), treat yourself to a hand-rolled cigar.

Dorchester doughnuts that pack a paczki

These traditional Polish pastries are the real deal.

Cheap Date Orlando: Unicorns Dragons & Desserts

Two Orlando couples shop vintage, search for the perfect slice, visit a post-apocalyptic saloon, and take the stage on blind dates in Orlando.

What’s on the Menu: Global Flavors in Greenville

Farm to table is easy when you own the farm! Sun Belly Cafe, Oak Hill Farm & Cafe, Farm Fresh Fast, and The Anchorage Restaurant invite us into their kitchens and show us how farming and sustainability influence their menus.

Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee

On this episode of Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee, we’ll explore what happened to Jerica Banks, her children, and how it impacted their community.

Exploring the history of Pittsburgh’s Chinatown

At one time, there was even an informal Chinatown mayor to act as a community liaison.

black owned brunch spots new orleans 14 parishes

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

Queen Trini Lisa’s Ascension to New Orleans’ Caribbean Soul Food Throne

Lisa Nelson didn’t plan on being a chef. She didn’t anticipate becoming a queen either, but true to the most beloved of royalty, the people made her one.

A grab-and-go food guide to the MSY New Orleans terminal

Time. Most of us don’t have a lot of that. Even less so when we’re rushing to make a flight. There are still plenty of tasty options for the less leisurely travelers among us, though it helps to know where to find them.

Chef Dee Lavigne expands the only Black-owned cooking school in New Orleans

Deelightful Roux School of Cooking is the only African American-owned cooking school taught by a New Orleans native, and her class is a guide to New Orleans’ food culture.