A local restaurant is mourning the loss of its host and assistant general manager.
David Foley, who worked in that role at Terra Terroir Kitchen & Bar in Brookhaven, died April 3 of congestive heart failure. He was 80.
The restaurant will host a celebration of Foley’s life April 8 at 4 p.m. on its patio, and the public is invited. Terra Terroir will be closed for regular dinner business that day.
“It is with heavy hearts that we report the passing of one of our favorite people,” the restaurant stated in a message posted to its website. “A cornerstone of the Terra family, David Foley was always a welcoming presence for our staff and our guests. He will be missed by his family, by our Terra family and by the many friends he made here with us.
“His warm and humorous greetings set the tone for the evening, and he often was the last person guests saw on their departure. We will strive to continue his legacy of leadership, humor and genteelness. He honored our presence at his post for 14 years. We are extremely grateful.”
Terra Terroir owner Tim Moore said Foley will be missed for his warmth as the restaurant’s host.
“He meant that when people walked in, they knew this restaurant was different,” Moore said. “Because here was a guy … looking distinguished in a coat and tie in a restaurant in a strip mall. So we knew people were going to be greeted the right way and perhaps fall in love with him before they fell in love with the restaurant. So it was hospitality insurance when you have David at the door.
“I would just say he was fond of taking 60-plus-year-old women to the bar and then stopping them and asking them for their ID. Every women loved him for that.”
According to the restaurant’s website, Foley came to Terra Terroir after working in the international transportation/logistics field for 40 years, on four continents.
The New Orleans native spent three years in Saudi Arabia as director of sales and operations and liaison to the U.S. Consulate, as well as all of the American construction contractors working in that country.
Moore said Foley loved helping host a series of four annual “Downton Abbey” dinners at Terra Terroir honoring Jessica Fellowes, who traveled from London. She is the niece of “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes and has written five books on the show, which lasted six seasons.
Following the April 8 event, Foley’s funeral will be held next week in New Orleans.
“David was a New Orleans gentlemen and devotee through and through. He absolutely adored New Orleans and has family in New Orleans,” Moore said, adding Foley’s death was not a complete shock. “He had had a couple of close calls and was 80, and he recently lost his brother. It was not a total surprise, but he worked up to the day before his death, which is the way he wanted it.”