New restaurant slated to open in old Tingles Cafe building on Tuesday, July 5

The old Tingles Cafe at 27 Broadway St. is getting a face-lift: A new restaurant opens on Tuesday, July 5. The new eatery, Zoe Rose, will feature a fast, affordable and accessible menu for lunch, dinner and brunch, says owner Derrick Todd.

A recent transplant from New Orleans, Todd brings with him 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry and has hired chef Lauren Beall, a Johnson and Wales graduate, to execute the menu, still very much a work in progress. The two were deep in menu development when Xpress visited them on Tuesday, June 20 — just two weeks before the planned July 5 opening.

“I don’t want to be a meat-and-three, I don’t want to be a steakhouse, I don’t want to say I’m farm-to-table, but I don’t want to say I’m not. Because if I can, I will,” says Todd.

Though Todd remains quite cryptic about his concept at the moment, he says that he intends to keep prices reasonable. “Price points dictate what you can and can’t do,” he says. “It will be good, honest food — and a great value for the dollar. I would definitely not classify it as upscale, but I would definitely call it high-quality. Without a doubt, we are going to bring some serious integrity to it, if I’m going to have anything to do with it.”

Todd has painted the interior walls of the Broadway building in rich colors, added a counter-height wall that adds some separation between the dining room and the bar area, and hung some lights over the bar, adding some intimacy. He’s also preparing to install booths, bringing a comfortable feeling to the once large, high-ceilinged room.

Jack and Lesley Groetsch, the former owners of Tingles Café, are no longer involved with the restaurant. They remain the owners of Sazerac, which is located directly next door — the two businesses will share a walk-in cooler.


Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

12 thoughts on “New restaurant slated to open in old Tingles Cafe building on Tuesday, July 5

  1. tatuaje

    The new eatery will be opened by Derrick Todd, who moved from New Orleans late last year after closing New City Grille, which he says never recovered after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.

    Interesting. According to the BBB, the New City Grille opened in 2006, one year after Katrina.

    How could a restaurant recover from a storm it never suffered through?

    Why would Mr. Todd misrepresent his past?

    Also, according to a forum found here:

    Mr. Todd closed down his restaurant in NOLA last year w/ virtually no warning and stiffed many people who had bought gift certificates.

    I’ve heard there’s more to the story, but it seems like the use of the word ‘integrity’ may be a bit ironic.

    Nope, I won’t be patronizing this establishment.

  2. It was grim in NOLA after Katrina, employees were very difficult to come by. All the restaurants I went to like Brennan’s, Mr. B’s, College Inn, R & O were operating at about half of their usual efficiency, up to a year or so ago.

    I’m willing to cut a little slack due to the extremely difficult times NOLA has been through. You had to have been there to grasp the enormity of the devastation.

  3. tatuaje

    Yeah, Davyne, I know.

    I started going there that winter to help out and have been there multiple times a year, every year, since.

    I saw the destruction. I’ve tried to participate in the rebirth.

    Amazing establishments like Mimi’s, Elizabeth’s, Christian’s, Bullet’s, The Saint, Cosmic Charlie’s, and others have had hard times. Some didn’t make it.

    I’m simply concerned by misrepresentations when I see them, whether by large corporations or by independent unknowns.

    And, when coupled with allegations of a disregard for ethics, they tend to make me sit up and take notice.

  4. Ok…so you are well aware. Going back to help rebuild you do know the extent.

    When you see old time well known establishments still struggling, you really grasp how deep the impact was. I didn’t think anything could touch the Brennan group…but Katrina /oil spill has.

    I’m willing to give some benefit of doubt here.

  5. Fact Checker

    From New Orleans City Business:

    “About a year ago, the New City Grille took over the space originally was occupied by Noble Bistro, a sushi restaurant too upscale for the market. It was a significant step up from pervious incarnations of the New City concept, which began as a cafeteria- like Central Business District lunchroom about 10 years ago. The hurricane shuffled that deck, and once Todd looked over the cards — including a flooded Old Metairie home — it was time to do something different.

    The retooled New City Grille is reminiscent of Flagons, the seminal wine bar and bistro of the early 1980s where I met Todd.”

  6. MWallace

    I’ve read this article twice, and I still don’t know what this place will be. Now I’ve read it 3 times, and it sounds like it will be Tingles. I liked Tingles. Sorry to see it go.
    Im an old local, and from way back to the Market Place, to Cafe on the Square, to Salsas, Jack of the Wood, Bouchon, Early Girl, Rezzaz, Table, and the list goes on, downtown Asheville embraces the owners who have a passion for their craft and food, and reflects the personality of the owner. And someone with a passion knows exactly what they want to do.
    Good luck Derrick, whoever you are, but this story leaves me confused.

  7. Thicken

    from Fact Checkers article, incidentally posted well after Katrina.

    “In conversations I’ve had with Derrick Todd over the 25 or so years I’ve known him, he always made it clear to me that running the best restaurant on Earth was not one of his goals.

    Good, yes. But he doesn’t think you need to challenge customer palates. In his series of cafes bearing the New City name (four over the years, I think), he’s lobbing soft pitches to them.

    Derrick actually disdains the more rarefied practices of restaurant cooking and service. He once told me, ‘When you get down to it, it’s all the same chicken, beef, pork, fish, oysters and vegetables. It doesn’t take that much to make them taste good.'”

    Sounds yummy.

  8. dpewen

    I wish him the best … I knew that Jack and Lesley were over extended!

  9. Illuminatti_01

    Spoke with a firiend who owns restaurants in Uptown New Orleans and Old Metairie….the location of the restaurant was bad. New City Grill got good reviews.

    Looks like a combination of hard times in the City, plus location .

  10. lance

    Mr. Todd has yet to learn what a small town we have here. The word on the street is not kind regarding this takeover.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.