In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast and uprooted Red Square proprietor Francis Verret, along with scores of Louisiana families, from his home.
Verret’s been a resident of the Capital Region for nearly a decade now, having been the proprietor of Red Square for the past nine years. And, last night, he announced another change: the popular downtown Albany venue on Broadway is changing its name to the Parish Public House.
“It has always been the plan to open our kitchen and expand the business beyond just our live music events,” says Verret. “That plan has finally come to fruition with the launch of Parish Public House, which combines the quality, original live music events that Red Square has been known for with a Cajun-inspired restaurant and bar.”
On July 24, at 8 p.m. Parish Public House will host its own grand opening, presenting live music from Eric Lindell & Co.
Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, Verret eventually settled down and purchased the Red Square in 2006. As the years progressed, he said, so did the vision of transforming the live music club into a Cajun-themed restaurant and bar; serving up tried-and-true Cajun specialties and Louisiana’s favorite cocktails. The menu promises a wide range of dishes, from a simple Po Boy to a richly flavored Étouffée, Jambalaya and Gumbo.
Verret explains that the new name is also inspired by his old home. A parish is the Louisiana equivalent to New York’s county.
“We’re going to build our own little Louisiana parish right here in downtown Albany,” says Verret, adding that the new place will feature “the food, community, spirit, and, well – spirits – that embody the Cajun culture that is celebrated around the world.”
Eric Lindell first appeared at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2005, a fact that missed by Verret. He said, Lindell makes the perfect complement to kicking off the Louisiana-themed venue.
Located at 388 Broadway, Parish Public House will be open for lunch and dinner service from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. weekdays and 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday, with later bar hours. Live music will continue at the venue most Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and an event menu will be available during shows.
Feature photo of Jeff Bujak performing at the Red Square last July.