Young and Hungry

Landlord Trying to Evict TruOrleans on H Street NE

The landlord of TruOrleans is moving ahead with a lawsuit seeking to evict the Cajun Creole restaurant at 4th and H streets NE.

In a complaint filed in the Landlord and Tenant branch of the D.C. Superior Court on April 2, landlord Darryl Pounds, of POUNDS real estate firm, says the restaurant failed to pay $40,773 in rent, taxes, late fees, and more between Sept. 2011 and March 2013.

Reached back in May, Pounds (of Washington Pigskins fame) told Y&H he was still trying to work out a resolution to avoid eviction. But now, the landlord is proceeding with the lawsuit. He declined to comment further on the record. A hearing is set for Sept. 18, according to court records.

That's not TruOrleans' only legal trouble. Since the beginning of 2012, the restaurant has been sued by three different vendors, including a food supplier, a utility construction company, and a concrete contractor, for unpaid bills. Meanwhile, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration has cited TruOrleans with 18 violations since its opening in 2011, including 10 this year. The violations include multiple noise complaints, operating beyond approved hours, and not having an Alcoholic Beverage Control manager on duty. On July 20, ABRA notes that there was a "large fight between employees and patrons resulting in injuries and arrests."

TruOrleans' owners, including James "Tru" Redding and Brad Howard, have not responded to multiple requests for comment over the last several months and could not immediately be reached this morning.

Check out the landlord's complaint and ABRA's investigative history below:

UPDATE: ABRA's case report of the July altercation that resulted in injuries and arrests reveals more details about what went down. According to witness statements and surveillance video, the dispute began over an unpaid bill and escalated into pushing and punches thrown between staff and patrons that included throwing food and a TruOrleans employee hitting a patron with a broom. A patron sustained minor injuries and three employees of TruOrleans were arrested. Read the full report at the bottom.

Photo by Jessica Sidman

  • joan

    good riddance! douche bar!

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  • Tay

    Yes, good riddance. Food was nasty anyway!

  • Eric

    yeah, I had alot of hope for this place when it opened but it turned out to be an unfortunate addition to the area.

  • Capitolization

    To be fair, the only thing their food is good for is throwing.

  • Seth

    I wonder if the fight was about their underhanded practice of sneaking gratuity onto the bill, even for parties of 2, in the hope of getting double tips.

  • suicide_blond

    They need to go...i had high hopes in the beginning but you could tell from the start that management was....clueless....

  • Corky

    I went once and never came back. The drinks were good and strong but they served me the greasiest fried oysters I have ever seen in my life. They looked like they were fried in left over grease or motor oil. Disgusting. They should be sued by the City of New Orleans for defamation.

  • john doe

    this place is awful. get out out of there.

  • monkeyrotica

    You'd figure charging $18 for a plate of beans and rice, they'd be able to pay the rent.

  • rich

    I been and wouldn't go again ....bad service bad service.... looks like Restaurant Impossible is needed... good bye shyte hole

  • Steve

    That hell hole can't be shut down soon enough.

  • foley

    So you guys are saying I should check it out? And try the beans and rice?

  • noodlez


  • Mrs. D

    I went once fairly early on in their tenure. At that point, the food was still pretty decent. Knowing that they were new, I asked for the manager to let them know about a few points that could be improved. I was positive and constructive and the manager basically yelled at me and accused me of trying to get free food. Uh, I ate it all and never said word one about a refund, just tried to provide the feedback to improve. Went back once more a few months later hoping that they shaped up, and the service was terrible and food even worse. Shame, the building reno was beautiful.

  • Mr.Remember

    It became a "black" bar scene too soon and too fast

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  • CommonDenominator

    ^^^ We all know white Americans only like to be immersed with people color if they can feel like they are there to save the natives (or if they are on sports teams.) White people love\ black people in the 10 – 15% range preferably with natural hair. Just kidding, sorta. I appreciate Mr. Remember’s candor.

  • Truthsayer

    Mr. Remember gave the complaints' motive. Shame that the "black bar scene" can't move past H & 14th.

  • CommonDenominator

    TruthSayer - I won't go that far, there are legitimate complaints about this place. I went with a group of five (two with Louisiana roots) and they were not pleased with the food. I went when they first opened and their deep fryer was not working, really no beignets, not a good start. I think they went too ‘themey’ rather than focusing on the food / service first. That said race somehow penetrates every discussion. Pick a new bar in DC (14th, H, U, etc) – let the clientele be majority black two weekends (Thurs – Sat) in a row, no more white customers. You could probably ‘shake down’ bar owners by threatening to show up with a lot of black customers.

  • couillon

    As a south Louisiana native, I wanted to like this place gave it one shot. I tried the gumbo, which is a Louisiana/New Orleans staple and could find no roux or taste. It was very typical of an establishment trying to live off the reputation of New Orleans cuisine but never delivering on that promise.

  • Corky

    Although race plays a role in too many things in DC, this place just sucks as a restaurant. I never heard anyone say anything good about the food or service there. People I know from Nola who ate there were appalled at the food that purported to be creole or cajun. Clearly, they are making their money off of the bar, not food. When restaurants start becoming more of a nightclub than a place to dine, this is when trouble starts. Nobody wants to have an establishment in their neighborhood, Black or White, that is a nuisance and certainly not one with fights spilling out into the street.

  • Rebel

    A friend of mine was hired as a chef recently & his 1st check bounced. How are these people still in business? It's disappointing because I've always wanted to try the place but I see that will never happen now.

  • Tad Cautious

    RIP... greatest restaurant I have ever been to.

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  • Truth

    The reason this is a black bar is because the owner hangs out with all black people. Google his name. Ever hear of the notorious Stadium Strip Club and the nefarious crowd it attracts?

    If so add 2 + 2. Equals 0. Exactly what this character brings to improve the quality of life and business in the district

  • Getittogetherpeople

    To Mr. Remember and other racist...
    There are a lot of problems with Tru Orleans which good management and good ownership can fix. Also, a genuine chef from Nawlins wouldn't hurt one bit. I watched them struggle for what it's worth but they have been attacked on every sided.

    Not good on the tax part but also some white people move into a black neighborhood and just want everything their way. It's still a black neighborhood crowded with bars and businesses. The racial comments like, "too back too soon," was very wrong and only a racist can say. If you really want to move into a black neighborhood, then mingle and mix with the natives and bring your friends to mix with the natives but as always you cluster up and form your little clubs and groups then have your own bars and places of exclusion and not inclusion. I also see where the police hang out only black bars like it's a ticking time bomb but the truth remains its not. Have you solved the killing at DC9 yet? We all should work together to preserve the diversity that has come to H Street and Atlas District or Cap. Hill (whatever you wish to call it). I lived there across the street of 4th and I before you had the grand Giant grocery store or those fancy condos (once a bakery) and now Tru Orleans is getting a bum rap. Can't we all just get it right and get along?!!!!

  • ROB


  • Resident

    Uh, you know that Tru Orleans has been there for like two years right?

  • Travis Coleman

    Of course you'd get a few entitled white people on this site making racist comments ... Seeing that all over DC blacks are pushed out of neighborhoods or ignored completely. I've hung with Tru the owner and his is a pretty decent guy. From the get go his restaurant was attacked from all sides, it didnt have a shot from the start. Yuppies move places, improve numbers and try to take what isn't there's ... Sounds like history repeating itself, as a coin I can name plenty of shit holes in DC but if you have the correct backing your fine ... Like that guy said " it was too black too soon " smh fucking yuppies

  • Landlord Rights 2 Evict

    Often a Landlord will try to evict a tenant from his property. ... The tenant then has at least two weeks in which to pay the rent before the landlord can issue formal.
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  • faksRcool

    getittogtherpeople, are you referring to the overdose near DC9? the one where some dude on drugs threw a brick, then had a heart attack while being subdued, and died in police custody, leading to the police chief to make claims BEFORE the investigation?? yeah, that was solved.

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