Cabaret royalty Mike Schmid is venturing into the restaurant biz. The owner of the Halifamous Reflections Cabaret, (5184 Sackville Street) and his partner Kathy Hatfield, are opening Louisiana Bayou Cajun Grill & Little New Orleans Bar at 5171 Salter Street (a location that's seen a long string of openings and closings, most recently Kababji Lebanese Cuisine).The plan, which has been in the works for some time, was inspired by Schmid's Florida vacations, and the good food that goes along with them.
With a French Quarter vibe, Louisiana Creole and Cajun eats—like catfish, gumbo, gator, jambalaya, po' boy sandwiches and more— and live music, Schmid hopes the Bayou will offer a place for both the lunch and later dinner crowds. A Louisiana Music Festival is one of the plans he has in mind for the space.
"I don't want to compete with Reflections for entertainment, but I do want to feed my Reflections crowd," says Schmid, adding that he finds nightlife options for the 30-plus in town are lacking. "I think the space has had its challenges, but I've been in the cabaret business for 15 or 16 years. I think if you manage it well, it can work."
And an October 15 opening date for his latest venture isn't the only news from Schmid. Reflections has just officially been approved to move into the former TAO location, coincidentally across the street from the soon-to-be Bayou at 5187 Salter Street. He says that big switch will likely happen in January.