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Andre’s Bistro & Bar closes, future uncertain

Andre Rochat’s restaurant brand has ended in Southern Nevada after 38 years.

As previously reported, Andre’s Bistro & Bar unexpectedly closed this week, leaving a simple sign on the door announcing a remodeling project. Rochat said Wednesday that he had sent the owners a cease-and-desist letter demanding they stop using his name on the restaurant. Executive chef Chris Bulen resigned following the closure.

Representatives of the restaurant did not comment on the cease-and-desist letter and were unable to provide any details on the restaurant’s future.

Andre’s Bistro & Bar opened in early 2017, not long after the closure of Andre’s at the Monte Carlo and less than a year before the shuttering of Rochat’s Alize atop the Palms. The neighborhood spot was intended to serve as a tribute to the pioneering chef’s legacy, which dated to 1980, when Andre’s French Restaurant opened downtown. That location closed on New Year’s Eve in 2008.

Rochat returned to Las Vegas recently after some years away, including a stint in Thailand, and said Wednesday he is chef at the Spanish Trail Country Club.

The bistro and bar at 6115 S. Fort Apache Road didn’t have any involvement from Rochat beyond his name, some of his recipes and many of the employees who had worked for him over the years. The deal to use his name apparently soured over time.

Because of the dispute, Bulen said plans already were underway to re-brand the restaurant when one of the partners made the decision Sunday night to close and post the sign. He said the two things were “not necessarily related,” and that he and partner Joe Marsco were not involved in the decision.

“Joe and I were made aware early Monday morning that the restaurant had been closed, locks had been changed, paper put in the windows and a sign saying ‘Closed for Renovations’ had been put up,” he said.

Bulen, who spent more than a decade working at Rochat’s restaurants, resigned Wednesday. He says he’s looking for new employment for several members of his team.

Contact Al Mancini at amancini.com or Heidi Knapp Rinella at hrinella@reviewjournal.

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