Heather Riccobono, owner and creator of Café Navarre, was born into a family tradition of outstanding cuisine and hospitality. She learned the business from her father, Vincent Riccobono, a third generation Restauranteur. As a rite of passage, Heather and her siblings worked a number of jobs through high school and college at the family restaurants: Riccobono’s Peppermill in Metairie and Panola St. Café, Uptown, in New Orleans. Post college, she was a bartender and manager at various local establishments.
Among the first residents back in Lakeview after hurricane Katrina, Heather was ready to make her mark on the restaurant scene when Weaver’s Po Boy’s on Navarre Ave. went up for sale. She purchased the gutted property, and with a nod to the original, her partner Erik Pfefferle and his brother Keith did the renovation that made it her own.
With the Pfefferle’s excellent renovation, and Heather Riccobono’s menu of her favorite things, Café Navarre opened for lunch in September of 2007, serving Panini’s, Cuban sandwiches, and salads, and featuring Po Boys such as slow cooked Debris roast beef, and Bar B Que shrimp, house made from family recipes.
Breakfast was added in December of 2008, featuring Benedict’s and Omelettes. A covered patio for outdoor dining was added in November of 2009, a liquor license in December 2010, and thin crust Artisan style Pizza in October of 2011.
With Café Navarre, Heather Riccobono’s vision of a casual environment where neighbors and friends can come in for a delicious meal and leave feeling full and happy, like family, has been realized.