Last Semolina Restaurant to Close its Doors

NEW ORLEANS – The owners of Semolina restaurant said that on Friday, June 26 they will close the last existing location – located in the back of Clearview Mall – of the once-mighty regional chain. 

Owned by Hans Limburg, Gary Darling and Greg Reggio – collectively known as “the Taste Buds” – Semolina has been a fixture on the New Orleans dining scene after the first location opened in 1991 in Covington. At the height of its success, there were 25 Semolina locations scattered around Louisiana and other southern states.

“Like many other restaurants, the losses caused by the pandemic have become too difficult to overcome,” said Greg Reggio, co-founder of Semolina. “While sad right now, this is not a goodbye but a see you later. Semolina has been wonderful to us and helped fulfill the dream of the Taste Buds coming together. We are so grateful for the support of our local patrons over the past years. This is not the end of the concept; we are now going to be able to invest our energy and financial resources into re-imagining Semolina for the next 30 years. We are currently in an active real estate search, as well as developing and molding the concept into an interesting contemporary form. We look forward to what the future holds for our guests and our staff.”

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Semolina was a big hit thanks to its fun concept: big, colorful plates filled with pasta dishes that blended ingredients and flavors from around the world. Macaroni and cheesecake, double cheeseburger pasta, chicken enchilada pasta and shrimp Roban were favorites.

The Taste Buds are hopeful that all Semolina employees will choose to transfer to their other restaurant: Zea Rotisserie and Bar, which has five locations in the area. Employees who choose to continue their journey in hospitality outside of the company will be offered resume and interview coaching, personal introductions, letters of recommendation and all owed benefits.

“At Taste Buds, we value taking care of our employees and go to great lengths to do what is right for them,” said Reggio. “As such, it is important to make this transition as seamless as possible. Our Semolina team has been especially hard-working and positive, and we’re honored to continue working with them.”

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