Cochon Butcher Makes the Meat Market Experience Last All Day
As more customers want that personal, Old World meat market experience from their neighborhood butcher shop, it makes sense to also offer a menu of sandwiches, charcuterie and sausages from the meat case, along with a few tables so guests can sit and stay awhile. Well, stay all day actually, when it comes to Cochon Butcher in New Orleans.
"Some days that 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. time can be our biggest push,” says Donald Link, who opened Cochon Butcher as a butcher shop and all-day café next to his restaurant Cochon in 2009. “It’s kind of hard making money just selling meat,” he admits. “There’s so much competition with grocery stores, and we make all of the meats like prosciutto, capicola, mortadella, andouille, salami, etc., so to me it makes perfect sense to sell it, not just wholesale or retail, but make some food with it. I don’t think we would’ve survived without it.”
And it’s clear the formula works, as diners fill the tables at Cochon Butcher (open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. most days) for the muffuletta, pastrami with sauerkraut, pork belly with mint and cucumber on white bread, and Gambino with house meats and herb vinaigrette on ciabatta, all served with house pickles. For lighter, midday noshing, sliders like sweet and spicy brisket and duck pastrami hold customers over until dinner.
“I don’t think everyone eats on the same schedule,” notes Link, who keeps Cochon open all day as well. “It’s something I wanted all of our restaurants to have—the ability to walk in anytime and get a glass of wine or some charcuterie. It’s just another way to let the customers choose their dining experience.”