Craft cocktails, deep-fried strawberries and a poetry-reciting bartender.
That is a sampling of what customers will find at the newly opened PaPa's Place. The craft cocktail bar and family-friendly restaurant opened this week by the family who owns House of JuJu restaurant.
Julie and Scott Glenn opened House of JuJu in 2014 at 453 Pollasky Ave. inside the breezeway of the Dewitt building. The restaurant exploded in popularity and moved into a space twice as big last winter in the newly constructed three-story building at Pollasky and Bullard avenues.
The family held on to the lease for their original space and opened PaPa's Place in it. PaPa is Scott Glenn. That's what his grandkids call him, a counterpart to JuJu, what the grandkids call Julie.
But PaPa's Place is nothing like House of JuJu.
Take the cocktails, for starters. There are old-fashioned ones, like a Ramos gin fizz.
There are creative ones that poetry-loving bartender Josh Harris has created.
The Pasternak, for example, is a drink inspired by Boris Pasternak's poem "Margarita." Only this margarita uses vodka instead of tequila and a violet liqueur, referencing the line in the poem that reads "more violet than Margarita's tight-pressed lips."
It's not unusual for Harris to recite poetry while working at the bar.
He also makes many of the ingredients that go into the cocktails, including his own ginger beer, triple sec, strawberry and thyme-infused vodka, and candied orange peels used as cocktail garnishes.
PaPa's food is nothing like JuJu's, either.
"It's a totally different menu," said Julie Glenn. "Definitely more Southern-based."
The restaurant was inspired by a culinary tour of New Orleans the couple took a year and a half ago. The menu features a creative selection of fried appetizers ranging from sweet and spicy sweet potato waffle fries to deep-fried mac 'n cheese balls topped with bacon.
Entrees include Cajun shrimp, braised pork belly and "po'babies" (like a po'boy but smaller and available in shrimp, chicken or pork belly).
"Our goal is to have the best fish and chips around," she said.
And those deep-fried strawberries? They're cut in half, rolled in tempura batter and served with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate.
PaPa's Place will have live jazz and blues Thursdays through Saturdays. The patio was extended to hold four more tables and a piano sits in the corner of the restaurant.
The business is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and closed on Sundays and Mondays.