NEW ORLEANS — Award-winning chef and former John Besh partner Alon Shaya has plans to open two new restaurants, one in New Orleans and one in Denver.
Saba, which means grandfather in Hebrew, will open in Uptown New Orleans this spring and offer a taste of the culinary landscape of Shaya’s Israeli heritage, according to a news release from Shaya’s newly launched Pomegranate Hospitality company.
Shaya, a James Beard award-winning chef and former partner of his namesake Shaya, made the announcement amid a legal battle with celebrity chef and former Besh Restaurant Group owner John Besh.
Besh and Shaya had been partners since opening Domenica together, then later opening Shaya’s namesake restaurant in Uptown in 2014.
Shaya said he was fired in September 2017 for speaking on-the-record for a Times-Picayune expose on a culture of sexual harassment for women who worked at Besh-owned restaurants.
Besh has since resigned as head of BRG, and Shaya has since filed a lawsuit to bar Besh Restaurant Group from using Shaya’s name.
“All of us at Pomegranate Hospitality are beyond excited to get the doors open at Saba in New Orleans. This restaurant will serve as our community center, where we can engage with our beloved team members, our hungry guests, and continue to support the causes that make our community stronger,” says Alon.
Shaya’s new company will also be opening Safta in Denver in late spring, according to the news release. The restaurant will also serve Israeli cuisine. Safta means grandmother in Hebrew.
“My wife Emily and I love traveling to Colorado, enjoying the outdoors and the beautiful mountains … Though Pomegranate Hospitality’s home base remains in New Orleans, Emily and I ask ourselves, where do we want to spend more time over the years?” Shaya said.