In the early ’90s, a French family in Manhattan purchased a restaurant called Beggar’s Steakhouse.
In 1998, chef-owner Georges Gaudin had the idea of turning the former factory into a restaurant and, when the family wanted to move into a bigger space, he bought the land.
When the restaurant opened, it became one of the first NYC steakhouse to be named after a family member.
The restaurant has long been known as a family spot.
“It’s the family dining room,” chef-founder Jean-Louis Leblanc told the New York Times.
“There’s a whole family atmosphere.”
Gaudins family has owned the restaurant for almost 40 years.
But as the restaurant evolved, so did the dining room.
And Gaudis son, Philippe, now a chef in New York, was the man responsible for changing the dining space to one that was more spacious and modern.
Leblan says his father’s style of cooking influenced the chef-to-be: “He wanted to use the space more in a modern way.
There was a lot of attention to detail and he wanted to create a space where he could create something fresh and interesting.
So he did it with a big wall and a big kitchen.”
Today, the restaurant has a more traditional look, but it still feels very much like the restaurant Gaudissons father had a hand in creating.
When Gaudisson first moved into the space in 1997, he decided to give the space a little more personality.
He designed the wall and the restaurant’s tables, and he installed a fireplace that was originally from the family’s previous home.
It was a gesture to the restaurant that it’s a place that you can actually see, the owner says.
“The way the dining table is shaped and the fireplace is a very subtle way of creating the sense of space,” Leblanch says.
Now, it feels like the dining area is the space Gaudsons father designed, and it also feels like it belongs to Philippe, Leblanche says.
And in a way, it’s the dining hall, LeBlanc says.
The steakhouse is not just a place where you can get a steak.
It’s a space that’s open to the outside world, which means it’s not only the place where people go to eat but it’s also the place that makes their dining experience feel intimate.
For Leblans son, it was a great decision.
“He’s always been a huge fan of his family,” LeBlanche says, adding that he thinks Gaudon’s legacy will always be seen as “his love of food.”
The restaurant, which sits on an area of the restaurant complex that’s been home to the company’s steakhouse since its opening in 1997 and is now home to a new, upscale steakhouse called Le Bonheur, also has a long history of serving great food and wine.
“I think the steakhouse has always been an important part of what we do,” Le Blanc says, pointing to the restaurants he has been a part of, including the Steak and Poutine in the past.
“So for me, it is very personal for me to be the person that brings the food here and makes it a place people come to enjoy.”
The new Le Bonhreur steakhouse, which will open on March 4, is a nod to the chef’s past.
Le Bonholer was originally going to open in 2016, but the company decided to open up the space to Le Blanc.
“We are very happy to have him as part of our family,” Gaudignon says.
But it’s Gaudons son, as a chef, that will be responsible for the dining experience, Le Blanc says.
That will be an honor for Philippe.
He plans to serve up an array of different dishes and have them compliment each other.
He also hopes to create an atmosphere that’s intimate and a place you can feel comfortable in and feel that you’re actually with your family.
“You feel at home and you feel like you are in the family, you feel at peace,” he says.
Le Blanc also plans to give Gaudison’s family a taste of his cooking, and that’s something that will definitely appeal to his son.
“To have him sit at my table and talk to me and have a conversation with me about food and wines and what he wants to do, that’s a very special experience for me,” Philippe says.
With that, Le Boncheurs father leaves for France to celebrate his 60th birthday, and Philippe will be joining the family in New Orleans.
Le Blanch says Philippe will also be returning to the area of Beggars Steak House, which has become a staple of his business.