Renovation Report: Harrison Cove at Lakeview

By: Lance Traweek, Managing Editor September 8, 2022 Comments Offon Renovation Report: Harrison Cove at Lakeview

Project description: Harrison Cove’s exterior storefront was demolished to encompass the existing porch area as inside dining. A new interior with finishes and a new exterior skin on the restaurant space were installed to improve the customer dining experience.

Address: 801 Harrison Ave., New Orleans

Owner: Harrison Fresh Market LLC

Architect: Trapolin Peer

Contractor: Ryan Gootee General Contractors LLC

Space: 3,000-square-foot interior, 600-square-foot outside patio

Cost: Less than $1 million

Start date: May 2022

Completion date: August 2022

Harrison Cove, adjacent to Lakeview Grocery, has received a facelift in an effort to enhance the family-friendly dining experience for customers.

Harrison Cove’s exterior storefront was demolished to encompass the existing porch area as inside dining. A new interior with finishes and a new exterior skin on the restaurant space were installed.

Ryan Gootee General Contractors renovated the space to expand the dining locations available to patrons.

Harrison Cove supplies fresh, home-style prepared foods available hot for breakfast, lunch and dinner, accompanied by a full salad, soup and healthy alternative breakfast bar.

Marc Robért III, vice president and general manager of Lakeview Grocery and Robért Fresh Market, said the intent was to make a family-friendly environment with many self-service options. They’ve expanded alcohol options and installed an arcade.

Lakeview Grocery is part of the Robért Fresh Market six-store portfolio and opened shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Marc Robert II and Darlene Robért, his father and mother, founded Robért Fresh Market in 1994. There are four other stores in New Orleans and one in Baton Rouge.

Prior to the storm, it operated as a grocery store by the name of Lakeview Fine Foods. The Robérts took over the lease and designed it with the intent to be different than Robért Fresh Market because of the close proximity of another store, Robért said. He said they wanted to have a “modernized throwback to the ‘50s feel.”

The retro buildout in 2010 included a seating area with an outdoor kitchen at the time. He said it was meant to supplement the food being served inside the grocery store but it lacked the inside space necessary.

“The outside space, while it was comfortable, it really didn’t meet our needs,” he said. He said prior to the latest renovation, the space was utilized but not to its fullest ability.

While it attracted people for lunch, he said it lacked the restaurant touch to bring in a dinner crowd. The space carries its own address separate from the grocery store and has its own alcohol license, something Robért hopes to capitalize on. “We had never utilized that to its potential,” he said.

The grocery store has an existing self-service, hot foods and salad bar. The department employs a staff of 30 to produces fresh foods on-site.

Harrison Cove, which is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, provides a dining environment for those using the self-serve bars. Fresh pizza and sushi is available to cater to children and parents’ diverse tastes, he said. The arcade room was installed for children and an expanded wine menu is now available for adults.

The exterior of the store was painted an alabaster white. New windows were installed and complimented with updated landscaping.

“I think we gave it a nice facelift that is in keeping with the Harrison corridor and all of the beautiful businesses that are up and down Harrison Avenue,” Robért said. “We tried to gear it to be family friendly.”

Kevin Sprehe, project executive at Ryan Gootee General Contractors, said the main challenge of the renovation was being under construction next to an existing and active grocery store.

“There’s a lot of coordination that has to happen to make sure patrons coming in remain safe,” Sprehe said. Sprehe said the renovation itself included structural steel work and underground plumbing that included the relocation of a bathroom.

“It’s fun working on a job like this,” Sprehe said. “We have a good, longstanding relationship with the Robérts and when they reached out to us to do this, it was easy to say, ‘Yes.’”

Sprehe said that a smaller project like this, which doesn’t exceed $1 million, is still a challenge but it’s great to work with easy, yet decisive owners. Sprehe added that it “brings a lot of pleasure to what we do in seeing something created like this.”

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