2 Johns Additions
Pandemic can‚Äôt prevent improvements to local restaurant
2 Johns Steak and Seafood is 11 years old ‚Äď and growing.
While so many restaurants ‚Äď locally and nationally ‚Äď have closed because of the COVID-19 impact, the fine-dining Bossier City restaurant is an outlier. Three new construction projects started just weeks before the pandemic ‚Äď a courtyard, patio and wine cellar ‚Äď are either finished or soon will be finished.
‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs happened is, every year, our base keeps growing,‚ÄĚ said owner John Montelepre. ‚ÄúWe just don‚Äôt have enough seats. We turn business away every Friday and Saturday when it‚Äôs not football season. A lot of nights you come in here, and you can‚Äôt get in the bar. We just felt like it was time for us to add a few more seats. We‚Äôre going to have 300 seats in Bossier City. I never thought I would have a 300-seat restaurant in Bossier City, but I do.‚ÄĚ
A visit to the courtyard, which is now open, is like a visit to New Orleans. That‚Äôs just what Montelepre, a New Orleans native, wanted.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs very, very NOLA-like,‚ÄĚ Montelepre said. ‚ÄúI think it‚Äôs more NOLA than NOLA is. It turned out a lot better than what we thought.‚ÄĚ
You can enjoy a cocktail, dine and smoke if you like ‚Äď while taking in the soothing sounds of water cascading down a three-tiered fountain. There‚Äôs also jazz music playing, courtesy of the restaurant‚Äôs new sound system. Your seating choices include tables or an L-shaped sofa.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got a wrought-iron fence that outlines the whole courtyard,‚ÄĚ Montelepre said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got those tall boxwoods that outline the fence. They‚Äôre probably five feet tall now. They‚Äôll grow to 10 feet and bush out so you won‚Äôt see the railroad track. It (courtyard) will be completely closed off. We have some fans on the wall, and lots of flowers out there.‚ÄĚ
Despite the shirt-soaking summer heat and humidity, Montelepre says the courtyard provides a pleasant atmosphere.
‚ÄúAbout seven o‚Äôclock, it‚Äôs not hot out there. There always seems to be a breeze. I think it‚Äôs a combination of listening to the fountain, you‚Äôve got the jazz behind you. You‚Äôre just kind of chillin‚Äô,‚ÄĚ he adds.
To help you ‚Äúchill,‚ÄĚ one of the restaurant‚Äôs mixologists (there are three) came up with the 2 Johns Hurricane.
‚ÄúThis hurricane is off the chart,‚ÄĚ Montelepre said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs has a frozen Granada ‚Äď a bunch of different liqueurs that we freeze overnight, so you have kind of like a snow cone in that hurricane. It‚Äôs in a hurricane glass. It‚Äôs just a great drink.‚ÄĚ
Opening Aug. 28, this new seating area will hold 65 people ‚Äď 45 more than the old patio. And you won‚Äôt have to worry about the weather.
‚ÄúThe patio we have now is enclosed, but has windows,‚ÄĚ Montelepre said.
‚ÄúI had custom-made windows that can open up when it‚Äôs nice in the fall and the spring, and I‚Äôve got air-conditioning and heat so that I can use it every night.‚ÄĚ
While you dine on white tablecloths, sit in wooden chairs with custom-made cushions, and glance at the three big-screen televisions (one 75-inch and two 50-inch), you can listen to live music performed in the bar. (Montelepre is proud of the fact he has had live music every night since 2 Johns opened.)
‚ÄúSo, when you walk into the restaurant, and the bar is full like it is most nights, you won‚Äôt mind going to the patio because we will probably be piping in the live music out there,‚ÄĚ Montelepre said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre also tossing around the idea of having different types of music genre out there ‚Ä¶ so you would have two different types of music genre to choose from, which I think would be kind of unique for this market.‚ÄĚ
Even though it‚Äôs not a place to sit down and have a drink or a meal, wine lovers will still be the beneficiary of this new construction, which is where the patio used to be.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre adding a bunch of Burgundys and a bunch of Bordeauxs,‚ÄĚ Montelepre said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got a really nice list now, but we‚Äôre really going to have a nice list.‚ÄĚ
The new cellar will also give Montelepre a little more room at home.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve got wine everywhere,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve got 30 cases at my house. Everywhere you look, I‚Äôve got wine. We‚Äôve got about 2,500 bottles right now. I will have the capability to hold about 4,000 bottles, so it will give us room to grow.‚ÄĚ
To learn more about 2 Johns, you may visit www.2johnsrestaurant.com.