Reinventing Southern Hospitality

In BRAD JONES & ALLISON GRAS, Home and Entertaining by Lola Magazine

Before 2020, most of us had a sense of what the word hospitality meant. And if you said Southern hospitality, most people knew that you were implying something more.

If you walked into a restaurant or bar known for its Southern hospitality, you were greeted with welcoming, smiling faces. The staff welcoming you back, if you had been there before, knows your preferences. Your favorite table or seat is waiting in its usual spot. The chef comes out to greet you and ask how your family is. If it is your first time, it doesn’t feel like it. You feel at home. You could sit with your friends and share plates of food and bottles of wine. It was easy to make new friends with the tables around you. Often, you could create a sense of community at your favorite restaurant.

In 2020, that all changed. COVID-19 forced us all to change the definition of hospitality. We all had to mask up, put on gloves, and sterilize everything. We went into isolation. We separated tables. Removed bar seating. We ordered our food in boxes and bags for anonymous delivery to our doorstep or open trunk of the car. We did all of this out of our sense of hospitality.

How do we make our neighbors and guests feel more comfortable? How do we make them feel more welcome? How can we show them that we care for them like family? These were questions we asked ourselves during the pandemic. Our answer was to keep them safe until we could all be together again. So, we focused our energy on refining our service standards and cooking for small, private, in-home dinners. This allowed us a window into what our guests really love and gave us the ability to really connect with each private dinner guest.

It was during 2020 and COVID-19 we decided to create something that invokes a true sense of Southern hospitality once we could all be together again and something that tied in our private, in-home dinner experiences. We missed being able to be present in the community and share our food with you on a scale everyone could enjoy. What started as a question of what does Southern hospitality mean to us became Cypress by the Revenir and a plan to bring it to Shreveport.

Cypress by the Revenir is our answer to what we would want in a restaurant that creates a sense of Southern hospitality. Cypress is a primarily tapas-style restaurant, but we are also creating a place for the community to come together. What does that mean? It means you can come in share multiple small plates with friends and family and try several items at once. The multiple plate style brings people together and creates a conversation around the table.

The restaurant will feature a completely open kitchen with a wood-fired oven and wood-fired grill. There is nothing better than sitting back and watching slow burning embers or the smell of smoldering pecan and oak coals. We also want to be able to interact with guests and truly welcome you into our space. Often, the ones creating your food are hidden behind a wall or door and unable to interact with guests. Every element in the design of the restaurant is meant to evoke our sense of hospitality. Whether it is the massive twenty-seat wrap-around bar, private chef’s table for a more intimate experience, or the bar lounge area with luxurious booth seating, we are aiming to make you feel comfortable.

Our menu is also designed to show you the best of Southern hospitality. We are aiming to provide several classic Southern dishes, with our own unique spins and interpretations. For example, one of our favorites are the Louisiana jumbo lump crab cakes. We take Louisiana jumbo lump crab to form our crab cakes, which we make completely gluten free. We build the dish with Crystal hot sauce aioli, a green tomato chutney, and crispy okra chips. It reminds you of something you might make at home, but with a few twists.

We also feel that a truly hospitable restaurant offers exquisite libations alongside their food menu. With that, we have collaborated with Death & Company, known for creating award -winning craft cocktail bars, to help us create an amazing craft cocktail program. We are also creating a unique and extensive wine list with wines you can’t find anywhere else in Shreveport.

Shreveport is an amazing place to live, with a vibrant community of people trying to bring their versions of Southern hospitality to light following the restrictions and hardships of the pandemic.

We are excited to be a small part of the people trying to make Shreveport better. Our hope is that you will join us this Fall when we anticipate opening the doors for the first time and welcome you all into the restaurant and you feel at home with us.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Cypress by the Revenir is a Southern-inspired tapas restaurant featuring farm-to-table menu items, craft cocktails, and an extensive wine list.

They are owned and operated by the same team bringing you The Revenir and Every Man A King Distillery downtown.

Opening in the former Bistro Byronz location 6104 Line Avenue, they have an anticipated opening late Fall of this year.

You can find more information about Cypress by the Revenir on Facebook or Instagram @Cypressbytherevenir or on their website www.therevenir.com