Culinary Heavy Hitters to Open Members-Only NOLA Cocktail Lounge
Proceeds will go to helping people affected by natural disasters in the Gulf
Some of the biggest names in culinary have announced their collaboration on a membership-based cocktail experience and lounge that will open in New Orleans in early 2023.
Chef Nina Compton has gathered a dream team of chefs including Michelle Bernstein (Miami’s Cafe La Trova), Rodney Scott (Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston), Stephanie Izard (Girl and the Goat in Chicago), Tiffani Faison (Sweet Cheeks Q in Boston), and Marc Forgione (Restaurant Marc Forgione in New York City) to open ShaSha Lounge Social Aid + Pleasure Club.
Compton, who owns Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro in New Orleans with her husband/partner Larry Miller, will open this New Orleans club, offering memberships through the purchase of NFTs. A portion of all membership and lounge sales will be reserved to help support future disaster relief in the Gulf region.
Currently, Floridians in the coastal Gulf cities of Sanibel and Fort Myers are trying to put their lives back together after Hurricane Ian ravaged the area. Hurricanes have also affected Gulf cities like New Orleans, Biloxi, and Brownsville — sometimes catastrophically. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused $126 billion in damages and took over 1,800 lives.
In a release, Compton — who lives in New Orleans, a city that has been ravaged by the effects of hurricanes — said that the idea came from the need to give back to the city that has been so good to her. “When thinking about our next concept in New Orleans, Larry and I needed to make sure whatever we created gave back to the city we love, which is one of the many reasons we are so excited about ShaSha.”
Compton reached out to her friends in the culinary industry to collaborate on the project with the idea that each chef will work quarterly on new cocktails, participate in live and virtual events, and individually program the club for one week each year.
Michelle Bernstein, a fellow James Beard winner who owns Cafe la Trova in Miami said she jumped at the chance to work on the project. “As a resident of South Florida, I have experienced firsthand the devastation of natural disasters, so when Nina and Larry called and asked me to be a part of ShaSha, I didn’t think twice,” said Bernstein. “As chefs and hospitality professionals, our superpowers are creating destinations and experiences that people lose themselves in, so being able to develop the ShaSha concept and have it support the community at large just feels great. I hope someday I can bring it to Miami.”
The lounge, set to open in 2023, will include a bar, lounge, and spaces for tastings, cocktail classes, and events. In addition, Compton will create a menu of light bites for ShaSha. And, since it’s New Orleans, there will be live musical performances.
At this time, the location and information membership has not yet been announced, but Broken Palate will share additional information as it becomes available.