Copeland's of New Orleans

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Copeland's of New Orleans was a cajun-style restaurant located at 400 East Chase Street (along Gregory Street's "restaurant row"). It was the only Pensacola location of the Copeland's chain founded in 1983 by Al Copeland, who also started the Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits restaurant chain. New Orleans lawyer Tom Cerullo and his wife Cindy opened the franchise location on November 10, 1999.[1]


Citing financial hardships, the Cerullos closed the restaurant in June 2007. It reopened briefly on June 24, to the surprise of employees who were already seeking new jobs, and closed again on June 27.[2] Cindy Cerullo said that when she arrived to pass out final paychecks on June 29, she was "poked, pushed [and] shoved" by former employees, one of whom threatened to follow her home to "finally get a piece of (her)."[2] She also claimed that employees had broken into the restaurant and ransacked food, alcohol and other items.

On July 6, thirty boxes of documents, including sensitive personnel information and customer credit card receipts, were recovered from trash bins behind the Dollar General Store at 400 North Navy Boulevard. Cindy Cerullo said she and her husband had hired two independent contractors to dispose of old computer equipment and broken furniture from the restaurant's Fairfield Drive storage unit, but that they expected to have all the documents returned to them. "There was no point in us hiring a professional shredder because we weren't ready to shred the documents at that time. I was going to speak to our accountant, keep what we needed and ask how to dispose of the rest of them."[3]


  1. "Cajun cuisine comes to restaurant row." Pensacola News Journal, November 10, 1999.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Woman claims assault by ex-workers." Pensacola News Journal, July 3, 2007.
  3. "Documents from Copeland's to be turned over to police." Pensacola News Journal, July 8, 2007.