Tru Orleans Starting to Look Good on H St, NE

You can really see the vision of Tru Orleans coming together at 400 H St, NE (for those with long memories, in the former Studio 400 Live Music Hall). We first heard about the space in Jan. and while they had hoped to be open by now it looks like they are now aiming for a June opening (though those do look like stop work orders in the window so stay tuned for an exact opening date.)

What do you think of the building itself – do you dig that New Orleans style up top? To me, it looks very very promising. Here’s what it looked like in January:

42 Comment

  • Definitely a good representation of the worst part of New Orleans – cheesy Bourbon Street.

    • Whatevs – sweet roof deck. Looks cool.

      Plus, beyond “caricature Bourbon St.” how would an non-native of that region even understand the building to be an N.O. style place just by looking at it? Slap a paddle wheel on the back? Probably not any better, eh?

      • My advice would be to stay away from cliches. This includes the paddlewheeler AND the wrought iron balcony.

        Stick to authentic food and a nice atmosphere. The side show is not necessary. Makes it cheesy.

        • I for one will welcome the chance to enjoy authentic food and a nice atmosphere. Hopefully with an Abita in hand. On a roof deck. Overlooking H St. Ringed in pretty cool looking wrought iron as opposed to aluminum pipe or something else godawful.

          If that makes me cheesy, I don’t want to be otherwise.

        • what is wrong with wrought iron balconies?

        • Really? What parts of Nola have you been in that didn’t have any wrought iron? Metairie doesn’t count.

  • it’s looking cool to me.
    but i like cheesy

  • Emmaleigh504

    bleck. ugly!

    • Pop’s pic here isn’t flattering, but from the other pics I’ve seen (especially from the inside of the balcony) it looks much better.

    • dont hate just cause you dont have the drive and desire to do anything but complain about a place that isn’t even open yet!

  • Pretty cheesy. What is with the name – Tru Orleans? Is there some significance other than it sounds like New Orleans?

  • What do you expect them to do, focus on some aspect of New Orleans culture that anyone outside Louisiana is clueless about? It looks like fun and it will be a better place without all you complainers hanging out there.

    • We’re just giving honest opinions, like we were asked to do. Wouldn’t be very interesting or productive if only positive feedback was requested.

      It’s definitely a *huge* improvement from what was there before. Looks like a nice building, but if the mood/decor inside is going to be what everybody’s cliche idea of New Orleans is, then I will definitely never go there.

      It’s akin to an Italian restaurant with fake plaster columns all over the place and a cheesy painting of a gondola or the Coliseum on the wall. Not for me.

      • You wouldn’t go even if the food is great? Some of the best Italian restaurants I’ve ever eaten at have a very high deco cheese factor.

        • It would have to be really great food. There are too many other great places to eat that don’t make me cringe.

          To be clear: I actually don’t mind the wrought iron balcony too much. It’s the promise of more cliche to come that makes me a little leery. Waiters dressed in purple green and gold? A loop of “Mardi Gras Mambo” on the radio? Paper mache alligators and crawfish adorning the walls?

          I’d be happy to be proven wrong, but that’s the route most New Orleans-themed places take.

          I guess I’ll wait and see.

      • You have to be the most negative person from New Orleans I’ve ever met. Not really, of course, as people from Louisiana can complain like none other sometimes 🙂

        Never fully understood the hate for Bourbon. Obviously it’s cheesy or whatever in certain parts. But not all of it, and the residential areas in the quarter near the Marigny (before it starts on the other side of Esplanade Ave) are some of my favorite in the city. And that’s coming from someone who’s lived in the quarter, uptown (all over) and owns a house in Mid-City.

        Even the most bougie New Orleanian gets a kick out of Bourbon once in a while!

        Anyway, excited for this place to open, as well as the success of Bayou Bakery, the longer success of Acadiana, etc.

      • it seems to me that if it were up to you all the architecture and food in DC would look and taste the same. atleast someone is trying to bring a different idea or motif from another part of the country so that people can enjoy the different qualities and meaning of food and atmosphere!

  • haters gonna hate, but nothing cheesy about wrought iron. Looks good to me — love the brick and awnings. And that is a nice outdoor space.

  • Love the rooftop and love the wrought iron and brick! Nothing about it looks cheesy to me, i just hope the food, drink, and service are well done!

  • They’re doing a great job on this building. If you see it in person, it looks great and adds character to this stretch of H Street. Hope the stop work orders are cleared up.

  • if anything is cheesy it’s the doors and the windows.

  • Since when are wrought iron and brick cheesy? I’m not getting the hate on this place. I think it looks great.

    The name is kinda cheesy, but not that bad.

  • Are they going to be using the sidewalk as well?

    Thats a ton of sidewalk space. If so, this place if it has halfway decent food will do well. The wait alone for almost any restaurants on H is always <1 hour.

  • Speaking of sidewalks, I hope they try to get an exemption from DC’s open container laws, so that block can really be like New Orleans.

  • can’t wait til they open so I can O.D. on cheese!

  • This place is much improved with the awnings!

  • Nobody’s really talking about the food. I mean, it’s a restaurant and YES atmosphere is important, but…I don’t want to sit on a balcony whether it’s cheesy or not and eat garbage.

    What’s the menu look like?

  • it still looks kinda crappy passed by it the other day

  • That is a West facing deck. The sun is going to be hellacious up there for diners.

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