NEW ORLEANS – In a move that returns entrepreneur Robert Thompson to his southern roots, the food and beverage veteran’s newly established New Orleans hospitality firm, Angevin & Co., has completed the purchase of the historic boutique hotel, The Frenchmen Hotel (417 Frenchmen St., New Orleans, LA 70116). The Frenchmen is the first investment of many planned for Thompson and his team as the Mississippi native joins the burgeoning New Orleans hospitality industry.
Working in the restaurant and hospitality industry since he was 16 years old, Thompson has owned and operated food and beverage establishments for more than 25 years and earned four “Best New Restaurant” awards for various concepts. Most recently, Thompson founded and built the highly-regarded, 20-unit “eatertainment” concept, Punch Bowl Social. His visionary approach landed the venture on Fast Company’s Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World list and earned him individual praise as a 2017 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
For both personal and professional reasons, Thompson moved to New Orleans in early 2021. Professionally, Thompson chose New Orleans because of its unrivaled hospitality industry and his ambition to be part of it, in particular during the city’s post-pandemic resurgence. Personally, over his more than 40 visits to the city, Thompson fell in love with the idea of living and joining the business community in New Orleans. The move not only returns him to his southern roots, but living where his hospitality business is headquartered will afford him more time with his wife and young sons.
“New Orleans is an ultra-special place for me, steeped in history and culture, and Frenchmen Street is an iconic representation of what makes the city unlike anywhere else in the world. It’s a privilege to serve as a steward of The Frenchmen Hotel and invest in its renovation and restoration in a neighborhood that means so much to locals and visitors, alike,” said Thompson, founder and CEO of Angevin & Co. “The property’s new design will pay homage to its history while building an aesthetic that ensures its place in the fabric of New Orleans’ ever-evolving story – a story that’s about what hospitality means in Nola, and one that can’t be complete without a heavy part innovation shaken with the history.”
The Frenchmen was constructed on the legendary Frenchmen Street in 1860, and the historic integrity of the building will be preserved while undergoing a top-to-bottom renovation that reimagines the property. Thompson and the Angevin & Co. team will:
- Make colorful updates to all 27 rooms with vintage rugs, inviting color schemes, and a nod to 1860s French art and Montmartre spirit.
- Revitalize the two bar spaces, leaning into Thompson’s deep knowledge of food and beverage service to curate a menu and environment that complement Frenchmen Street institutions while providing a modestly elevated craft beverage experience.
- Refresh the pool and outdoor spaces with whimsical greenery in the courtyards as well as fresh colors in a mid-century aesthetic throughout the patio area.
The renovation approach will be holistic, leveraging Thompson’s restaurant expertise alongside his life-long passion for the history of design to establish a connection between the hotel and the guest experience at its two bars.