Café Reconcile to Reopen Dining Room on June 22 for Lunch Service

NEW ORLEANS – Café Reconcile will reopen for lunch service beginning Monday, June 22 with limited dining room seating and enhanced health and safety measures to comply with the city the state phase two guidelines for reopening. Reconcile said it is also following industry best practices to keep its dining room clean and safe for staff and customers.

“We are excited to welcome back our Reconcile regulars and greet new diners with a comforting, Reconcile-style lunch that not only feeds the soul, but fuels Reconcile’s work to support our Alumni who are in crisis,” said Gerald Duhon, executive director of Reconcile New Orleans. “The pandemic has left hundreds of Reconcile Alumni unemployed, frightened, and unsure of what the future holds,” he added.

Reservations for seating in the dining room are encouraged. To reserve a table, call (504) 568-1157. Dine-in service and curbside takeout are available from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Limited seating is also available in Reconcile’s Hancock Whitney Courtyard.

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The reopening menu will feature daily specials and Reconcile favorites including fried or grilled catfish, catfish poboys, a half chicken plate (fried or jerk), and fried turkey necks. Specials on the menu change daily with favorites such as smoked sausage red beans and rice (Monday) and smothered chicken and rice (Tuesday). Sides of mac and cheese, sweet potato crumble and collard greens are also available. Plus, bananas foster bread pudding for dessert Diners will also enjoy a new daily menu item, the BLFGT — bacon, lettuce and fried green tomatoes on toasted jalapeño cornbread served with flat fries.

Find Reconcile’s complete menu online at www.cafereconcile.org.

While Café Reconcile’s daily café operations and signature workforce training program for young people ages 16-24 have been on hold since mid-March, Reconcile has focused on outreach to Alumni, who span the organization’s 20-year history, to assess their needs, help them navigate the crisis, and fill a void left by a devastated local hospitality industry.

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For the last three months, Reconcile has distributed thousands of Meals of Hope and provided more than 300 individual client assistance grants to help Alumni access immediate needs like groceries, utilities, and medication.  Moreover, Reconcile has connected more than 200 Alumni to critical resources like unemployment benefits, mental health counseling, and SNAP applications.

“Reconcile has served as a safety net for our Alumni, many who were, prior to the pandemic, working more than one job, supporting their families, fulfilling personal goals, and experiencing success within the hospitality industry,” said Kathy Litchfield, Reconcile program director. “Our job now is to help our Alumni chart promising new pathways to future employment opportunities.”

Today, Reconcile’s program team is adapting to new ways to train and support Alumni who are preparing for a job market that is predicted to be slow to return to pre-pandemic employment levels. A series of weekly, online workshops help Alumni build on the core life skills they learned as Interns with sessions on budgeting, mindfulness, and risk taking, among other topics. The Reconcile program team is also helping Alumni identify transferable jobs skills for industries outside of the hospitality industry, successfully update resumes, apply for jobs, and preparing for success within a new work environment.

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“Reopening the café dining room to guests is an important next step for Café Reconcile,” said Duhon. “Whether dining with us or ordering takeout, every meal served supports our work and affirms our purpose — to help our Alumni realize their potential.”

To make a reservation to for dining room lunch seating, call (504) 568-1157. To  learn more about Café Reconcile, view the reopening and takeout menu, place an online takeout order, and more, visit www.cafereconcile.org.

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