Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Health food restaurateurs John & Katie Koellen retiring and closing a city institution, Earthereal Restaurant & Bakery

"Shreveport-Bossier loses a unique restaurant this week with the closure of Earthereal Restaurant & Bakery, a health food store on Line Avenue where a wonderful married couple - John and Katie Koellen - handled everything from taking the orders to preparing each item by hand," writes Chris Jay in his new city blog. "The restaurant is open for two more days - they'll have normal lunch seatings (11 AM-2 PM) until Thursday, December 23, and will be open for pick-up orders only on Friday, December 24."

Adds Jay, "An incredibly tiny, lunch-only spot, Earthereal always felt like some sort of secret society to me. On any given day, there'd be a dozen or so intelligent-looking people quietly enjoying their lunch. I felt smarter and healthier just for having walked in the place. John and Katie literally knew every customer by name, it seemed, and if Katie had a moment's downtime, she'd move from table to table saying hello."

Not only did John & Katie manage the longest-lived vegetarian / health food restaurant in town, they had a salon. As described by Chris Jay above, the small eatery was a haven and meeting place for artists, civic activists and students as well as the swell class.

The Koellens were additionally important by the many students hired as wait staff. Their former employees constitute an informal but considerable family.

The Koellens are patrons of the arts. They collect art and support the scene, especially in live theater. They also established a gold standard for ethics, responsibility and warmth in their business. Though they are retiring, their have set a mark for generosity and fortitude in Shreveport-Bossier that will live long.


Anonymous said...

I will miss them and that amazing egg salad!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic spot with a great vibe! Will miss the Christopher sandwich. Is any similar business moving into the site?