Café Sbisa Devotes October To Hurricane Aid In Puerto Rico
NEW ORLEANS – Café Sbisa announced 100 percent of the proceeds from dinner and Sunday jazz brunch service in the month of October will be donated to Cajun Airlift (CAL), an organization comprised of local and out-of-state pilots who are actively transporting and delivering supplies to victims of Hurricane Maria.
CAL was developed during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, where more than 50 pilots came together to deliver 25,000 pounds of supplies to several cities in Texas.
Today, the group is working with other area nonprofits, including Baton Rouge Emergency Aid Coalition, Physician Relief Network and Medical Disaster Response Network, to collect and transport medical supplies and everyday essentials to Puerto Rico. Additionally, CAL has created Operation Boricua Airlift, which consists of intra-island operations involving small aircraft that will be transporting critical supplies, people and equipment between cities across Puerto Rico.
As the iconic French Quarter restaurant celebrates its one-year anniversary since reopening last October, executive chef/co-owner Alfred Singleton and co-owner Craig Napoli have mixed emotions of gratitude and empathy.
“As I continue to watch what the victims of Hurricane Maria are going through, I’m immediately brought back to the days and weeks following Katrina,” said Singleton. “Our city was virtually destroyed – particularly the Lower Ninth Ward, the area I grew up in – but we were fortunate enough to have other caring communities to lean on and that helped us get back on our feet. Now it’s my turn to help others and this is the best way I know how.”
After Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, Napoli found it impossible to immediately reopen Sbisa’s doors due to structural damage and lack of personnel to effectively maintain the restaurant’s integrity that had taken over a decade to built. Rather than sacrifice his reputation, he said opted to keep the doors closed. The ability to reopen one year ago gave Napoli a sense of pride like no other, and a reminder that community support and resiliency can conquer all – which is why he wants to now pay it forward to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Locals and tourists have quickly put Café Sbisa back on the dining map since reopening in October 2016, the co-owners said. The notorious building directly across the street from the French Market combined with the passion behind Chef Singleton’s French-Creole fare make every dining experience memorable and unique.
“We’re extremely appreciative of the support we’ve received during the last 12 months,” said Napoli. “We hope our customers will choose October to introduce Café Sbisa to their families, friends and colleagues so that as a community, we can dine with a purpose. Our seafood comes in fresh from my dock down in Hopedale, so if you’ve been wanting to try Alfred’s Trout Eugene or Oysters Sbisa, now’s the time.”
“The generosity of Cafe Sbisa comes at a crucial time where people, everyday essentials and most importantly, medical supplies and personnel, need to be transported to Puerto Rico and even more importantly, within Puerto Rico,” Chanse Watson, co-founder of Cajun Airlift, said. “Funding will help to cover fuel and other aircraft expenses so our pilots are able to continue donating their time and efforts to those struggling in the most devastated areas.”
Café Sbisa is open for dinner Wednesday – Sunday from 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., and serves a jazz brunch on Sunday mornings from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Oysters Sbisa, flash-fried and served over Herbsaint creamed spinach, topped with Tabasco hollandaise, chopped bacon and parmesan cheese.