Studio BKA Restores Ruby Slipper Café in New OrleansWill Speros • January 12, 2018
Locally based Studio BKA Architects & Consultants has completed its restoration of the Ruby Slipper Café and Headquarters in New Orleans. The 4,900-square-foot restaurant has been reimagined within the former Carpenters & Joiners Union Building.
A new neon sign on the building’s Broad Street-facing exterior welcomes customers into the retro-inspired restaurant. The eatery has been retrofitted to accommodate an elevator to service the two modern commercial kitchens. The 105-seat dining room is clad with an acoustic wood plank ceiling to inject soft textures, sound-diffusing technology, and maximize the height of the room, which formerly served as offices. The second floor has been enlarged to support the Ruby Slippers headquarters with a conference room, four private offices, workstations, a commissary kitchen, and a break room. In addition to the bar’s 20 seats, alternative dining is available seasonally in the patio, which neighbors a play area for children.
Original wall and floor tiling dress the restrooms, while other preserved elements include external brickwork and interior plaster walls. Original steel windows were restored and repointed along the aluminum storefront entry doors.