Ruby Slipper's New Mid-City Location to Open Friday

Restaurant and headquarters relocates to renovated Carpenters & Joiners Union Building
Provided/Studio BKA Architects & Consultants
Acoustic wood plank ceiling was added to the dining room of the renovated building to create a sound-diffusing environment while maximizing the room height.

NEW ORLEANS – Studio BKA Architects & Consultants announces the opening of its latest commercial project the Ruby Slipper Café and Headquarters located in Mid-City.

The local architecture firm was brought in by the owners, Jennifer and Erich Weishaupt, to restore and re-imagine the former Carpenters & Joiners Union Building along the Broad Street Corridor between Banks & Palmyra Streets.

The 4,900-square-foot restaurant will seat 97 customers inside the historic union building, along with an outdoor patio for seasonal seating. The bar seats 20 indoors and operates to serve outdoor diners and patrons waiting for tables.  An open space was reserved next to the exterior dining area to serve as a play area for children.

The building was retrofitted to include an elevator to service the two modern commercial kitchens. Acoustic wood plank ceiling was added to the dining room to create a soft textural and sound-diffusing environment while maximizing the room height, as the space was formerly home to offices. Many of the interior light fixtures and new neon sign hanging on the Broad Street side were designed to give the restaurant a retro vibe.

The second floor will serve as the expanding Ruby Slipper’s company headquarters, with a conference room, four private offices, open office workstations, a commissary kitchen, break room and bathrooms. The bathrooms retained all original tile work on floors and walls. The original trim work was restored and stained.

Ben Allen, of Studio BKA, oversaw the transformation. The design team, which included PACE Group, LLC, Twinshores Landscaping, and Salas O’Brien, extensively utilized permeable paving technology, as well as engineered natural methods such as bioswales, to meet and exceed the new City of New Orleans’ requirements for managing stormwater run-off and lessen the impact on the city’s drainage infrastructure.

“This project has been an incredible blend of historic preservation, modern techniques and innovative design in all areas of the development,” said Ben Allen, AIA. “We are honored to work with this talented team of innovators to create a space that is fresh and inviting, while at the same time staying true to its roots and the Broad Street Corridor.”

The National Park Service guided the preservation scheme of many of the building’s historic elements as required to benefit from historic redevelopment tax credits, including cleaning and preserving the original exterior brick façade, interior plaster walls, and retaining an open plan office area that once served as the Carpenter’s Union Meeting Hall. Original steel window sashes were restored and repainted, as were the aluminum storefront entry doors off Broad Street.

The Ruby Slipper’s new Mid-City location is located at 315 N. Broad Street and will open to the public with regular business hours on Friday, December 22. A grand opening is tentatively scheduled for January 11, 2018. 

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