When the beautifully crafted iron sign outside of Mimi’s in Marigny collapsed in the fall of 2020, longtime fans of the neighborhood dive feared its permanent loss – all the more so when a new bar and restaurant, Anna’s, opened this month. Now Marigny drinkers and guests can look forward to Mimi’s return this fall in the familiar neighborhood that once housed the Feelings Cafe.
Mimi’s in the Marigny founding partner Mimi Dykes announced on Facebook On Sunday June 27th, she will be the first to open a new version of Mimi’s just blocks away at 2600 Chartres Street reported by NOLA.com. The address most recently housed the Raw Bar and the Cru restaurant of chef Marlon Alexander. Cru replaces Feelings Cafe, a long-running restaurant that originally opened in 1980 and changed hands several times over the years before finally closing in 2018. Like old Mimi’s, the building on Chartres Street is two stories; Dykes told NOLA.com that she is now working on the new layout (including the position of the pool table, an integral part of Mimi’s atmosphere).
The kitchen at the new Mimi’s will be headed by a new chef, Matthew Köpper, who has been running Pop-up ever since L’Enfant Terrible for several years including Molly’s work in the French Quarter market. Mimi’s was known for an upscale bar menu with Spanish and Mediterranean-inspired small plates; Köpfler, who incorporates many products from local producers into his dishes, wants to follow a similar concept.
The former Mimi’s, which Dykes co-founded in 2003, closed last year at the height of the pandemic after bars had been sidelined for months. A number of New Orleans’ most popular dive bars closed around the same time, including the nearby Lost Love Lounge and French Quarter icon Johnny White, while others were given new ownership or were for sale, such as Uptown Dive Miss Mae and longtime gays in French Quarter Quarter Bar the Golden Lantern.
While Mimi’s was closed, Dykes parted ways with their former business associates, sold their stake in the bar, but retained the rights to the name. Their former partners brought a new group to the LeBlanc + Smith team (Barrel Proof, Sylvain, Cavan) and began developing a new bar called Mimi, which prompted Dykes to file a lawsuit. LeBlanc dropped the name after learning of the lawsuit. as reported by NOLA.com, and opened Anna’s at 2601 Royal Street in mid-June 2021.
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