NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Kimpton Hotel Fontenot, located in the heart of New Orleans’ Central Business District, announces today the anticipated January 2023 completion of a property expansion into the historic building next door located at 521 Tchoupitoulas Street. The new addition to the boutique hotel will include 33 new guestrooms and suites, over 12,000 square feet of meeting and events space, and King, a three-meal French brasserie with outdoor patio dining. When it opens, Kimpton Hotel Fontenot will be further positioned as a destination for both visitors to the city and locals alike, adding to the hotel’s celebration of New Orleans arts and culture and its stellar reputation for memorable culinary and cocktail experiences and overall revelry.
“We’re ecstatic to unveil the final phase of the Fontenot and welcome our New Orleans friends and visitors,” says Jesseca Malecki, general manager of Kimpton Hotel Fontenot. “Our expansion makes it possible to bring even more guests into the hub of our city – whether they are simply looking for leisure, a new dining experience or a beautiful space to host an event.”
Located on the ground level with an entrance on Tchoupitoulas Street, King will be rooted in the style of the traditional neighborhood brasseries of France, while intertwining Mediterranean flare and the rich culinary traditions of New Orleans. The dining experience at the restaurant will be upscale casual with a comfortable, lively and welcoming atmosphere, serving breakfast/brunch, lunch and dinner. In addition to the ample interior space, there will be outside seating for 16 as well on Tchoupitoulas Street in front of the restaurant and hotel, bringing the total seating for the restaurant to 123. King will round out the Fontenot’s existing restaurant and bar concepts: Peacock Room, the award-winning vibrant cocktail bar at the heart of the hotel; and Gospel Coffee & Boozy Treats, the neighborhood cafe and frozen treats shop with a boozy twist.
Designed by MARKZEFF, who worked on the existing hotel and the expansion, King will feature warm lighting with lofty, detailed ceilings in an airy space employing elegant and striking colors and fine touches down to the floor mosaic. King will be helmed by the Fontenot’s newly announced executive chef, Samuel Peery.
“With King, our culinary program will be a jewel in the crown of one of the country’s great food cities,” says Chef Peery. “We hope our neighbors and tourists will come check out the Central Business District’s newest neighborhood brasserie, have a drink and bite on our patio and stay a while.”
The adaptive reuse expansion will also introduce a historic element to the property. The original structure was built in 1844 by prominent architect James Gallier – known for Gallier Hall, the former New Orleans city hall, and the Pontalba Buildings, the iconic townhouses on Jackson Square in the French Quarter – as warehouse space, but has since undergone multiple restorations. Luckily, many design remnants of the historic structure still remain. The team at MARKZEFF has worked to integrate elements like the original brick walls and ceiling timber beams into the updated design.
The spaces where history intersects with the modern are expertly embodied in the new building’s meeting and events spaces, where wide plank white oak wood and reclaimed timber planks from the original building were used along the walls and in the large custom boardroom table. Located on the second floor, above King, the flexible event spaces will be perfect for weddings, corporate meetings, and everything in between. One of these new spaces will be the beautiful 5,500-square-foot Canray Ballroom, named after the musician the hotel is inspired by, Canray Fontenot. In addition to the space inside the building, a second-floor outdoor patio will offer even more options for events, both functional and celebratory.
Since opening in 2021, the Fontenot has focused on embodying the Crescent City’s rich arts culture and musical legacy in many ways, from the musical instruments in the lobby artwork to a partnership with local nonprofit Roots of Music to the ongoing musical residencies in Peacock Room. Thursdays with Da Lovebirds, led by contemporary jazz singer and “the songbird of New Orleans,” Robin Barnes, will continue through the rest of the year. And as always, once guests staying in one of the hotel’s currently available 202 rooms are ready for rest, they will find a clean and modern aesthetic accentuated by soft colors, bright and airy spaces, offering a serene refuge in the heart of the city.