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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Brennan’s name will stay the same!

Brennan’s restaurant is coming back with a new owner. But it’s staying in the family.

Ralph Brennan bought the Brennan name at a federal auction Wednesday morning for $3 million. He said the iconic pink restaurant at 417 Royal Street will reopen in September.

Brennan’s had been a staple in the French Quarter for nearly 60 years until family in-fighting caused previous owner Pip Brennan to be evicted in June 2013.

Pip’s cousin, Ralph, bought the building and had planned on opening it with the name or not.

It was a big move to take down a small sign on Royal Street.

The historic gold plated name is now gone from the legendary Brennan’s restaurant location, taken down Monday.

Neighbor Brandi Boyd saw the empty space where Brennan’s gold sign once was, “This is my grandmother’s favorite restaurant. Makes me feel like my grandmother would be terribly sad.”

Three months has passed since Brennan’s closed after the current ownership under Pip Brennan was evicted.

His attorney Vic Welsh tells WGNO, the plan is to one day re-open Brennan`s somewhere else.

Welsh says ongoing litigation prevents knowing “when” and “where” the original Brennan`s will re-open.

A source close to WGNO also says brother Ralph Brennan plans to open a new restaurant in the same building on Royal St.

“I think the sad thing is the family doesn`t realize that we all see them as Brennan`s,” says Boyd.  “So this affects everybody`s name.”

What are they doing to the famous pink building in the French Quarter?  Are they really scraping off the name?

The Brennan family battles over the namesake restaurant and the building lease.  Could it mean no more breakfast at Brennan’s?

With the iconic gold letters outside of Brennan’s now gone, what does it mean for the future of the Royal Street restaurant?

News with a Twist’s Kenny Lopez gets local reaction.

Former Brennan’s employees looking forward to their final paycheck were told there will be no final paycheck.

Cut loose one week ago, Katherine Coon says Friday was supposed to be the final payday, “We were informed by accounting today that there will be no more paychecks. We are all looking for jobs. We all needed that last pay check. It’s time for rent to be paid.”

What Coon says  upsets these out of work restaurant professionals most,  it was their money, “These are our tips. They hold them for two weeks and then pay us. It is not wages.”

She says one co-worker “did” get in touch with the owner, “Spoke to Blake Brennan himself and was told I am sorry for you and your employees. There is nothing I can do.”

WGNO reached out to the Brennan family who says they have no comment at this time, other than the entire family will meet on Saturday to hammer out a plan.

Out a job and now out a paycheck, Coon says she and other former employees better find work fast or they could be out on the streets.

Reporter- “You’d rather work here?”

Coon –  “Absolutely. Yes. Yes. Yes. That’s a unanimous yes. We’d much rather work here. Where we are used to and everybody is family.”

Coon says most workers have sympathy and support for the “current” management at Brennan`s.

They just feel it`s reasonable to ask for a pay check they`ve already earned.


Historic Brennan’s Restaurant closed

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – A New Orleans culinary institution abruptly closed its doors this morning: the iconic Brennan’s Restaurant on Royal Street was locked shut by the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Department, disappointing would-be dinners and stunning employees.

For 67 years, Brennan’s has stood as a dining landmark in the heart of the French Quarter. As of Friday morning, the restaurant is closed and its future is up in the air.

No breakfast today at Brennan’s, and none of its famous invention Bananas Foster for dessert.

Employees who showed up at the restaurant Friday morning received their paychecks, but they weren’t allowed to go inside.

Brennan’s future has been murky for months now. The Brennan family has been squabbling over who will run the flagship restaurant of the internationally known Brennan family brand and reputation.

“We are in the legal system fighting the fight and hopefully on Monday we’ll have some more news on what direction we’re headed,” Blake Brennan said in a news conference outside the restaurant Friday morning.

The building at 417 Royal Street has been listed on the Sheriff’s Auction of foreclosed properties recently, signaling trouble was afoot.

“The previous owners and shareholders, Ted Brennan and Bridget Brennan Tyrrell kind of ran the business into the ground and my family have affected, through the legal system, taking over Brennan’s again on June 10,” Brennan told reporters. “I am an acting officer and director of the corporation since that date and we’re fighting the fight to save this wonderful historical building and business for the city.”

So Brennan’s is closed for the weekend, at least. Brennan says he hopes to have it back up and running by Monday.