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Get This Look: Justine

By: Maggie Ward

Justine was born out of a dream of Justin and Mia Devillier, the husband-wife team behind the French Quarter jewel box housed in the historic May & Ellis building on Chartres Street. They wanted to create a place that captures the shared celebratory approach that Parisians and New Orleanians revel in when it comes to food and dining out.

Exterior of Justine in New Orleans

The Devilliers worked closely with design group Farouki Farouki to conceptualize the 200-seat grand hall, which pays homage to classic French styling complemented by an irreverent sense of Big Easy joie de vivre. It is filled with a collection of imported artifacts culled from trips to French salvage yards, including a 20-foot zinc bar and a hand-painted tin marquee that once hung at a Parisian butcher shop and now graces the wall above Justine’s open kitchen.

Interior of Justine in New Orleans, with a modern mural on the far wall.

As the NoLa-based design studio behind many award-winning spaces such as MayPop and Saffron puts it, “The interior design paints a picture of the culturally interconnected histories of Paris and New Orleans but with a modern brush.”

The space is broken up into a series of rooms inviting you deeper into a vieux carré constellation of bold colors and neon accents. Enter through the open-air cafe room with a distinctly Parisian sidewalk feel where a series of wheat paste street collages adorn the walls.

Venture on to the bar room where guests linger over drinks in plush banquettes surrounded by diamond-patterned smoke glass mirrors and brass accents, followed by the kitchen room where patrons can take in James Beard Award-winning chef Devillier and team in action from communal tables and raised, round booths.

The intimate rear dining room features a topographic mural by local artist Ellen Macomber celebrating New Orleans’ tricentennial. Finally, the restaurant is anchored by an outdoor dining space featuring a custom absinthe decanter-inspired fountain, lush plantings, and a textured candlelit weathered masonry wall that feels like stepping back in time—to a Parisian subterranean club or a New Orleans speakeasy: It’s anyone’s guess.

Channeling Justine’s Style

Soft glowing sconces within Justine

Soft Glowing Sconces

Evoking the City of Light requires expertly curated illumination. These Aerin linear soft glowing sconces radiate an art nouveau aesthetic of brasserie origins. $1,229, aerin.com

Brasserie style chairs

Brasserie-Style Banquettes and Chairs

Cozy seating encourages guests to linger over onion soup and steak frites. Williams-Sonoma provides accessible options to complete the ambiance in bentwood cane cafe chairs and curved leather banquettes to create a lounge à la carte. Bentwood chairs, $395; leather banquette, $3,199; williams-sonoma.com

Brasserie style banquettes from within Justine
customized neon sign from Justine, spelling: Bar de Montagne

Custom Neon Sign

Farouki Farouki collaborated with graphic design studio the Made Shop on the environmental graphic design—from surrealist street collages and portraits of Hemingway and Degas to a custom neon script of the eatery namesake above the doorway. Subvert expectations by designing your own custom sign for a pop of whimsy. Prices vary, yellowpop.com

Ellen Macomber Mural from Justine

Ellen Macomber Mural

Two notable murals adorn the walls of Justine, each by local artist Ellen Macomber—one celebrating New Orleans’ tricentennial, the other tying in Parisian artwork. Add character to your space with an Ellen Macomber piece depicting New Orleans’ topography. $500, ellenmacomber.com

Smokey glass mirrors from Justine

Smoke Glass Mirrors

A smoke glass mirror encapsulates an old-world feel right out of Paris’ storied Brasserie Bofinger. It also serves to open up a space while providing a vintage look. $459, grandinroad.com

Watermark bistro brass table

Brass Tables

Another staple element in a classic brasserie—and inside the bolder Justine—is brass accents from drink rails to custom light fixtures by local artisan E. Kraemer. This watermark bistro table provides a modern interpretation for your own version of a sidewalk cafe. $329, cb2.com

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