|By Gary Esgwick, Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Sep. 5, 2005 - NEW ORLEANS -- Executive chef Lezone Randolph stands on the street outside of Brennan's, one of the most famous restaurants in the French Quarter.
"Nothing is going to change the culture of the French Quarter," said Randolph, who has worked at the Creole-style restaurant for 41 years. "Everybody here is waiting for the word to go. ... People count on us and this community."
Randolph, along with co-owner Jimmy Brennan and others, rode out Hurricane Katrina in the three-story restaurant. The building received little damage, the worst being a magnolia tree in the courtyard that had broken off near its roots. The restaurant lost more than $100,000 in food supplies, but the wine cellar was undamaged.
"When things get back to normal, we are prepared to restock. I'll work around the clock to make sure we're ready to go," Randolph said.
The French Quarter, one of the oldest neighborhoods in New Orleans, seemed to survive the hurricane with minimum damage. Most restaurants received little, if any, water damage. At Brennan's, several tables are set as if the staff is expecting customers.
Other famous spots:
--St Louis Cemetery No. 1 was flooded with about 3 feet of water, but the plots and structures weren't damaged.
--Restaurant Cafe du Monde survived, as well as the Praline Connection.
--Jackson Square is untouched, though many trees were down.
--Harrah's New Orleans casino is boarded up.
--On Bourbon Street, the clubs Hurricane City, Barely Legal and the Fat Catz Bar, survived.
--The worst hit were the Superdome and the convention center, the sites for numerous conventions and sporting events.
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