The Longway Tavern seemed like a breath of fresh air when it opened in 2018. The Leblanc And Smith project was located in the heart of the French Quarter where you seem to only come across storied institutions that you’ve visited many times before or tourist-oriented establishments that don’t have anything exciting to offer a local. The contemporary, exquisitely-renovated gastropub drew in those who had become weary of the Quarter as well as tourists who were looking for something different than the usual.
With the closure of Dick & Jenny’s came Mister Mao, owned and operated by wife and husband team Chef Sophina Uong and William “Wildcat” Greenwell. The veteran culinary and cocktail whizzes are no strangers to the upscale restaurant scene; you’ve probably sampled their stuff at Rockrose (Uong) or the Elysian Bar (Greenwell). But for the last couple of months, they tested out the flavors that would eventually be featured at Mister Mao on the small scale, popping up around town at places including Zony Mash Brewery. Now that Mister Mao has entered the scene as a full-on brick-and-mortar, Chef Uong, bar genius Greenwell, and the whole staff have a place to let their imaginations and skills flourish.