Delmonico Restaurant was 102 years old when Emeril Lagasse purchased it with the intent to present his interpretation of traditional New Orleans cuisine in an updated New Orleans landmark. The restaurant had undergone numerous makeovers in its long history yet the kitchen was functionally obsolete and the building did not meet today’s life safety code or ADA requirements. The architectural challenge was preserving the character of this landmark institution while bringing the building into the 21st century.
The entire interior was gutted while the general configuration of rooms was maintained despite some alterations required to meet code. New stairs were built based on the original design. The second floor was connected to the existing rear building to provide a second means of egress. The kitchen was enlarged and a mezzanine was added for storage and mechanical purposes. The bar was enlarged with the addition of a bay window that had been removed in earlier modifications. To capture a view of an unused courtyard, the rear wall was removed in a large windowless dining room. The original restaurant signage was also maintained and restored.