— By Sarah Schanke —
Designer replicates Tujague’s iconic Mardi Gras flair down to the last detail.
Tujague’s, an iconic French Quarter fixture of the New Orleans cultural landscape, has been serving culinary delights to customers for more than 160 years. To stay viable, the owners of the beloved establishment made the difficult decision to relocate the restaurant four blocks upriver. The nation’s third-oldest restaurant now occupies three floors with balconies overlooking the Big Easy steamboats cruising the city’s Mississippi River harbor each day.
“A favorite of both locals and tourists since it first opened in 1856, Tujague’s presented us with the formidable task of recreating the restaurant’s long, colorful history and vibe in a new location,” says Jacquelyn Lindsey, the owner and lead designer at JL Studio Designs, an “edgy, out of the box” New Orleans design firm known for its custom renovations. “This included restoring the restaurant’s Cajun ambiance in a new setting that not only comfortably embraced regulars, but also attracted younger customers desiring a five-star Creole dining experience.”
With double the dining and kitchen space, JL began the process by recreating Tujague’s renowned antique standup bar and filling the building’s entire three-story interior with the former site’s vintage photos, memorabilia, artwork, chandeliers, newspaper clippings and miniature liquor bottle collection. They also designed the green walls to look heavily aged with a custom faux finish, while adding an assortment of gold, ornate mirrors and sconces to provide an extra layer of ambiance and visual flair.
Lindsey explains the meticulous specification of the restaurant’s historic color palette. “We created a very vibrant New Orleans look and feel with a wide assortment of bright and bouncy colors that represent the city’s festive culture,” she says. “Each tier has its own personality. While the first floor’s white and walnut-stained wall paneling is more traditional, the third is filled with lots of gold and metallics. The brass footrail from the old location was “even brought over to provide the same antique feel to the new bar.
“And then, there’s the second floor, which was designed with a sparkling array of purples, greens and gold accents to mimic the excitement of Mardi Gras,” the designer continues. “This color arrangement extended from the Iris room’s 10-foot custom mural, down the hallway’s green and purple wallpaper and all the way into the floor’s two restrooms.”
Described as “traditional New Orleans meets modern flair,” the “Mardi Gras-inspired women’s and men’s restrooms” included gold fixtures and a purple, green and motif accented by full-height restroom partitions.
“Used to produce six stalls and two urinal screens, the partitions were the perfect complement for this project,” says Mary Kay Cowen, president of Waldo Brothers, Inc., a leading provider of Division 10 products to the Southern Louisiana marketplace since 1939. “They replaced the previous facility’s dated metal partitions with these beautiful emerald green stalls and their raised paneling, which fit seamlessly into the restaurant’s look and feel.”
Made of durable HDPE for commercial and institutional environments, the restroom partitions were developed to add an enhanced level of comfort and privacy as well as elegance, warmth and charm to virtually any enclosed or private room. This reduces sightlines with a continuous edge-mounted hinge and greatly improves aesthetics with a design that does not use face-mounted hinges like traditional bathroom partition systems.
With a new world view of health and safety, the partitions are also naturally germ-resistant and easy to clean. Unlike metal partitions which are subject to rust and harbor germs, they offer superior resistance to impact, graffiti, corrosion, mildew, bacteria and moisture.
Cowen adds: “Nearly everyone these days is looking to increase the comfort and safety of their restrooms with floor to ceiling designs that decrease sightlines. [The partitions] do just that with a style and elegance that proudly project Tujague’s look and feel.”
Available with 17 innovative door designs, seven panel designs and 28 rich colors and multiple textures, Aria has also become recognized for its ability to distinctly elevate standard restroom interiors with captivating, beautiful designs and simple sophistication.
“What an amazing success,” says Lindsey. “The grand reopening could not have gone better. Everyone from Tujague’s loyal customers to its first-time guests loved the experience. Needless to say, the food was spectacular and everyone was mesmerized with every aspect of the restaurant’s new design. The wow factor was everywhere. Some guests even took selfies in the restrooms as a backdrop. Now that’s a design compliment.”
— Sarah Schanke is marketing communications manager with Scranton Products. With more than 30 years of experience, Scranton Products is the industry leader in plastic bathroom partitions and lockers, which are constructed from premium-grade solid plastic and can withstand impact, corrosion, graffiti and mildew. Visit www.scrantonproducts.com.