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Harlequin and Villa restaurants merging, creating ‘The Villa Harlequin’

Villa Harlequin
Villa Harlequin(KPLC)
Published: Aug. 16, 2019 at 4:09 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La (KPLC) - A big announcement for the Lake Charles restaurant industry was made on Friday morning.

The Harlequin restaurant on College Street will be merging with the Villa on Pujo Street. The doors of the Harlequin in its current location will close for good on August 31.

They’ll move into The Villa’s building as a part of the merge.

“My son is two years old, and restaurants tend to be kind of a family thing at times," Nic Hunter said. "And this merger allows the Harlequin legacy and the Villa legacy to continue in a very viable and sustainable way.”

The Harlequin, owned by Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter’s family, has been in the Lake Area since 1956. However, it’s only been at its location on College Street for 15 years.

Hunter said it will be bittersweet to see it move, but mostly sweet.

“For me the Harlequin’s not really a building, it’s a legacy," Hunter said. "It’s recipes from my family over the last sixty some odd years.”

Many of those recipes will be transferred over with the new restaurant, according to Mike Sperandeo, the owner of the Villa.

He said the merged menu will bring the best of both restaurants.

“We’re going to put some of the Harlequin dishes that have been popular for all of these many years, some of the signature dishes," Sperandeo said. "We’ll add a steak or two, and some of the popular things like the Harlequin salad dressing, the crab bisque, the crab remmy, the crab royale, on and on.”

As for the current Harlequin employees, Sperandeo said they’ll be welcomed to apply to work at the merged restaurant. Both owners said they’re excited to be a part of the growth currently taking place in downtown Lake Charles.

"We love being a part of that and look towards the future that Lake Charles, downtown is going to get better and better,” Sperandeo said.

The Villa Harlequin is set to officially open mid-September.

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