By Carolyn Roy, Carolyn@natchitochestimes.com
There’s good news for local and area residents about one of their favorite restaurants. After several months of speculation, Ben and Keri Fidelak confirmed they are the new owners of Mariner’s Restaurant and hope to open Nov. 1. They have been premier caterers and restaurateurs for several years in Natchitoches and around the state as owners of Maison Catering. Keri Fidelak says there will be interior changes. There will be a cork flooring and sea glass tile for a coastal, nautical look.
“The main thing that people are asking is if we are keeping the salad bar,” she said. “Unfortunately with COVID, we are not going to be able to keep it. We are actually transforming it into what we are calling the ‘Bubbles Bar’ where the guest can sit while they wait for their table. We will feature champagne on tap and it will also serve as a full bar. The docks are going to be open nightly and will feature an 8-foot linear fire pit and S’mores Bar. We are replacing all the outdoor furniture and completely remodeling the outside bar.”
The restaurant will open nightly Monday through Saturday from 5-10:30 p.m. The Cove will still be open late night. The restaurant will be open for Sunday brunch from 10 a.m.-2.p.m. There will be valet parking and drive-through pick up for to go orders. They plan to start lunch service in the spring. The name and telephone number will remain the same.
“People can follow our progress on the website, Facebook and Instagram. We started the catering business here in 2001. We will be hiring for all positions and are hoping that opening will be a much needed positive economic impact for the city,” Keri said. Chef Ben Fidelak’s passion for cooking started at an early age while working as a line cook in his father’s restaurant in Northern Ontario, Canada. His skills were honed years later when he opened Maison Louisiane Catering in 2001 and then The Levee Restaurant in 2016.
Ben and Keri, along with their children, Lauren and Graeme, have spent many years traveling the globe in search of adventure and unique dining experiences. In 2018, Ben sailed from Cape Town, South Africa, to French Guyana traveling more than 5,800 nautical miles, stopping at many exotic destinations along the way all while being introduced to new and exciting cuisines. His culinary focus is to create signature dishes using inspiration from his travels while infusing a Southern flair, true to the historic roots of Louisiana cuisine. Mariner’s Restaurant is the culmination of 20 plus years of the Fidelak’s adventures to over 40 countries, and a few amazing stateside destinations as well!
Keri says the dining, wine and cocktail menus have been crafted to reflect the global influences of their travel with inspired offerings from some of their favorite destinations such as Croatia, South Africa, Switzerland, France, Poland, Greece, Italy, Austria and more. “We invite you to sit back and enjoy your journey with us,” the Fidelak’s say.