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La Casita consistently acquainted like an adapted name for the tiny Mexican restaurant on Julia Street. In borders not abundant bigger than a taco truck, this “little house” arranged them in with a accidental cantina card and a accepted blessed hour until it closed aftermost spring.

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Now, the restaurateur behind La Casita has opened El Patio Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Garden (845 Carondelet St., 504-302-1600) in the aforementioned neighborhood, and its name seems to fit as well.

The centerpiece of El Patio is a continued patio lined with cactus, lounge appliance and brick beneath strings of lights.

El Patio opened over the weekend, aloof two blocks abroad from La Casita’s above home. It is exponentially larger, with allowance for about 200 beyond its dining allowance and patio.

The new restaurant additionally aims for a added animated cuisine. On the El Patio menu, you can still get tacos and dips, though the focus is flush entrees and a much-expanded ambit of baby plates.

“It bankrupt my affection to abutting La Casita, but actuality we can do things we never could over there,” said John Michael Wade, architect of La Casita and freeholder of El Patio.

Still, some vestiges from La Casita are axial to El Patio, and that starts with the blessed hour. It brings the aforementioned deals as La Casita, circadian from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and it additionally repeats after-hours with a additional copy from 10 p.m. to midnight.

In 2016, Wade opened a second, abundant larger La Casita across town, and this Uptown restaurant (8900 Oak St., 504-826-9913) charcoal unchanged. In May, aback the original Julia Street area closed, Wade said he planned to reopen abroad in the neighborhood.

The area he begin has opened new possibilities for the menu. The kitchen is led by Justin Bruhl, who adapted ahead at Maypop and Compère Lapin.

Tequila and adhesive go into the borsch for aflame mussels. Broiled pork abdomen is argent abutting to masa dumplings (chocohoyotes) abounding with trotters. Toasted chili granola finishes the annihilate and blah salad. On the taco list, the accepted al pastor pork is abutting by broiled octopus, lamb barbacoa and absurd augment tacos. For dessert, churros are the architecture blocks for horchata ice chrism sandwiches.

El Patio serves the aforementioned card throughout the restaurant. But while the dining allowance is abounding service, on the patio, barter adjustment at the bar. It’s a added accidental architecture aimed at all-around groups, area bodies may bead in or abandon on their own checks.

The new El Patio is on the block of the Warehouse District now amidst by new architecture and redevelopment projects. The abode was already alleged Indulge Island Grill, an odd amalgam of basin club/conference center/pirate-themed alehouse (the basin has aback been abounding in).

The additional attic actuality has a feast allowance and covered terrace for clandestine dinners, aggregation blessed hours and added functions, which should be accessible in January.

The cream is up for Lucy‘s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant (701 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-523-8995), and this accurate cool will acreage the New Orleans-based bank bar in the Caribbean and Axial America.

The ancestor aggregation of the acclaimed watering aperture and restaurant in the Warehouse District is accretion in Costa Rica and Aruba.

The Costa Rica area opened Dec. 15 in Playa Brasilito, a bank boondocks on Costa Rica’s arctic Pacific coast. The Aruba restaurant is accepted to accessible in February in that island’s basic of Oranjestad.

It’s the latest in a alternation of big changes for a acquaintance New Orleans name that has a new buyer with big ambitions for the Lucy’s brand.

The restaurant has aback 2016 been operated by Kirkendoll Management, a bounded aggregation that got its alpha in band clubs and has added afresh developed a restaurant division. In a account release, aggregation architect John Kirkendoll explained the Lucy’s amplification beyond as allotment of a action “to alter from the oversaturated, ultracompetitive U.S. bazaar to all-embracing locations area Lucy’s cast will bell with customers.”

At atomic one added area in the Caribbean is slated to accessible in 2018, and a adumbrative of Kirkendoll Management said the company’s aim is to accomplish Lucy’s “an internationally accustomed brand.”

That brand’s origins were added modest. Lucy’s was one of the touchstones of the Warehouse District aback the once-gritty adjacency was alteration into a hub of apartments and condos, restaurants and bars. Lucy’s history goes aback to New York, area the aboriginal adaptation opened in 1985. Aback its founders confused to New Orleans, they brought Lucy’s with them and opened in 1992 at 701 Tchoupitoulas St.

Known for its bank berth affair and close drinks as bright as a apricot reef, this bounded Lucy’s has continued fatigued a audience of city denizens, visiting conventioneers, post-shift waiters from added restaurants and, on bold days, throngs of Saints fans.

The restaurant has approved beforehand expansions, admitting locations in Austin, Texas and Baton Rouge after closed.

The New Orleans area seemed in peril afresh as disputes amid the founders and their business ally led to a abrupt name change. By March 2016, however, Kirkendoll bought into the business and by the summer completed a above check of the property.

Last year, Kirkendoll opened a new Lucy’s in Key West. The aforementioned ancestor aggregation runs a French alehouse abstraction alleged Bonhomie in Austin.

Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.

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