Walter Mencken 2 p.m., Aug. 22
Babbo's Bar & Grille, Uptown: Back from the brink?
Some talk about insurance has customers hoping fire-damaged Babbo’s may reopen after all
I’d been hoping that things may be starting up again by now…
But Babbo’s Bar and Grille looks as dead as it did last September after a fire and sprinklers ruined the newly moved restaurant.
This place, at 4130 Park Boulevard in Uptown, had previously been most famous as the New Orleans-style eatery Gulf Coast Grill.
Babbo’s had been firmly ensconced a half mile away at 1731 University Avenue as Babbo Grande.
That’s where Carmen, the lifelong carpenter known to his friends and family as “Big Daddy” – “Babbo Grande” - took over from what had been the Deli-France crêperie.
He put art in, doubled the space, graced the restaurant with beautiful wood carving and a tropical back patio, and turned it into a Sicilian-style café that customers could drop in to maybe three times a day. You could always get breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, coffee, whatever. That sort of place.
Then a flood ruined it. But when Gulf Coast grill vacated this 4130 Park Boulevard location, Babbo’s moved in and came alive again. Their customers followed, including a loyal LGBT crowd.
Who wouldn’t? They brought their $5.55 breakfast and lunch deals with them.
But boy, how many hits? Last September, a fire broke out in the kitchen. Ever since, the place has been closed.
When I ask neighbors, they say they think this time it’ll be for keeps. And the front certainly looks untouched and scuzzy.
But January 19th, a message appeared on Facebook: “Dear friends, Thank you for all the love and support during this time. New information coming soon! Xo Lynn.”
And March 21st: “Happy Thursday all! I’ve been waiting for good news to share but we have yet to have a resolution with insurance!!”
Is this any part of the issue?
Whatever, at least there’s movement.
Maybe Babbo’s will be back after all.
Seems a lot of folks are holding their breaths.
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