Reflections of a Restaurateur

Rami Bader of Oceana Grill

An exclusive eskca interview with Rami Bader (VP of Operations) of Oceana Grill, which was honored in our:
Tell us your origin story. How did you come to be involved with Oceana Grill?

Oceana Grill has been in business since 1975 – it is our family’s restaurant. My brother Moe and I worked here both during and after graduating from high school. A few years after graduation from college, my brother and I took over the Oceana Grill in 2008. We expanded the restaurant from 40 seats to 450 seats by inquiring about the building next door.

What were the biggest hurdles you encountered in your journey?

Indeed there were and still are hundreds of hurdles we face in our joinery. The biggest one is sacrificing time with our families. Every business requires some type of sacrifice. In the restaurant business, the long hours and late nights are the most significant hurdle a business owner can face. We have grown our business from a tiny restaurant that seated 40 people with ten employees to four restaurants and a bar employing 550 people.

What does the future hold for you and Oceana Grill?

Our mission is to change lives for the better. Oceana’s future is to continue changing lives for the better by providing great jobs with high incomes to as many people as possible.

What are your thoughts on the food scene in New Orleans?

New Orleans’s food scene has always served as evidence that the city can grow on top of recovery. Hurricane Katrina didn’t stop the city, and COVID-19 will not either. Despite the limited staff and supplies, restaurants are opening back up and celebrating. Oceana Grill was the only restaurant that stayed open during Hurricane Katrina, serving the locals, law enforcement, media personnel, first responders, and the tourists that got stuck down here. Oceana Grill also stayed open during COVID-19, limited, of course, by the city, state, and White House restrictions and directions. So, the food scene has a great future, with many restaurateurs stepping up their games and serving healthier options.

What’s your best advice for aspiring restaurateurs?

Show up, show a good attitude, and show off.

Our readers love recommendations! What’s your favorite item at Oceana Grill?

Oceana is well known for it’s lump crab meat cakes that combine the flavor of Cajun and southern cuisine, topped with our famous crawfish cream sauce.


For more exclusive interviews, see our full Reflections of a Restaurateur series