Jober't Salem was born in Kuwait in 1965. He moved to New Orleans in 1982, where he attended Tulane University majoring in Electrical Engineering and Physics. A consummate entrepreneur, he has channeled his raw ambition and hunger for success into owning and developing his businesses in the French Quarter. Jober’t entered the service industry as a bus boy and emerged as a business owner. His first mentor was Andrea Apuzzo, a James Beard Foundation member and chef at Andrea's, a distinguished Northern Italian Restaurant just outside of New Orleans. He dove into the service industry at Vieux Carre Restaurant at 241 Bourbon, ascending the ranks quickly from waiter, to assistant manager, to manager. Within 10 years he was an owner of the Vieux Carre Restaurant. As owner he changed the name of the restaurant to Rue Bourbon Restaurant, a title that would eventually denominate his group of bars and event spaces that pepper the French Quarter. Jober’t’s next move was to purchase Old Absinthe Bar, located at 400 Bourbon. He then opened four daiquiri shops on Bourbon Street, calling them Mango Mango Daiquiris. In 2002, Jober’t was able to buy the lease at 240 Bourbon Street, the original building of the Old Absinthe House, from Tony and Jeannette Moran. They had observed his hard work over the years while they operated their three establishments (Old Absinthe House, Tony Moran's Italian Restaurant, and Jean Lafitte Rendesvouz) in the Creole entresol at 240 Bourbon. They trusted that their businesses flourish under his leadership, and Jober’t was confident that he could deliver. With the opening of Belle Époque in the fall of 2018, he hopes to create a deeper appreciation for the history of Absinthe and The Old Absinthe House. Jober’t has two sons he loves spending time with, along with celebrating life in the French Quarter, tasting food and wine, and developing new business ideas.
Mourad Habli has ambitiously devoted his life to two foundational passions: travel and hospitality. Mo was born and raised in Tunis, Tunisia’s historic and sprawling capitol city. He received his bachelor’s degree from Hamemet Culinary Institute, where he cultivated a lifelong interest in classic French and Italian cooking. He then moved to Baden, Switzerland to work for a travel agency while he saved up to attend the prestigious Ecole Hôtelière de Genève to obtain his master’s in Hotel and Restaurant Administration. Upon completion of this degree in ‘97, Mo returned to Switzerland for a job at Hotel Abendruh in Zermatt, a famed destination for skiers and climbers in the Alps. He found himself climbing as well, up the ranks in the service industry, to be hired on as the Food and Beverage Director for the Palm Beach Palace on the island of Djerba, Tunisia. After two years of dedicated work at this five-star tropical retreat, Mourad’s drive to explore continued to flourish, and he began visiting America. He began his stateside excursions in 1999, stopping in New York City and Miami. When a friend in Metairie, Louisiana contacted him for guidance in opening a coffee shop, the city New Orleans caught his attention. After helping his brother operate a successful bar in Belgium and more hotel work in Tunisia, he was ready to take the plunge, and relocated to Louisiana in 2009 to sign on with the famed Old Absinthe House. Mourad brings a broad spectrum of talents to his work at Rue Bourbon, managing several event spaces and the four Mango Mango Daiquiri locations on Bourbon Street, in addition to the Absinthe House. He speaks five languages, and enjoys cooking Italian cuisine and spending time with his daughter.
Marissa Alberts enthusiastically joined the Rue Bourbon team in June of 2018 as Director of Events and Marketing, with a clear focus on dedicated client relations as well as event development, programming, and production in some of New Orleans’ most storied event spaces.
A recent addition to the New Orleans hospitality community from New York City, Marissa has worked under premier chefs and restaurateurs in both cities. Her foundation in meticulously choreographed, exclusive and elegant events came while she ascended the ranks from kitchen server to the youngest ever Special Events Captain for the highly acclaimed, Michelin starred NoMad Hotel Restaurant, managed by Make It Nice Hospitality and The Sydell Group. There she was responsible for many highly orchestrated VIP and celebrity events for four years. Since arriving in New Orleans in 2017, she has worked in management for both The Commander's Palace Family and Link Restaurant Group.
Marissa's interest in events and production began early in her childhood. Her father was an Emmy Award winning television sound design engineer, her mother a television and event producer who worked for some of the most prominent producers in New York media. During her young life she was exposed to a wide variety of social events, often held by her parents, for luminaries in New York City's entertainment and music industries.
Marissa developed her sense of production and performance further while she auditioned, acted, sang, and danced in selective arts education programs as a child and adolescent. She graduated from the prestigious Hudson School and went on to study Culture and Media at The New School in Greenwich Village.
Detail oriented and professionally intuitive, Marissa has seasoned eyes on backstage operations as well as front of house excellence, all with easy-going style. She has happily embraced the New Orleans hospitality culture and intends to support the continued and expanding view of New Orleans as the animated and delectable epicenter for extraordinary special events.
Laura grew up in Massachusetts. Born to a colorful Italian gynecologist with roots in Long Island and a sweet, Midwestern Pastors’ daughter, her upbringing was a lively mixture of Marinara Sauce, excited yelling, and sneaking out of church early.
Her love of food and beverage started early: a series of fortuitous miscommunications lead her into an apprenticeship with the head pastry chef for the Black Dog Co. on Martha’s Vineyard where she learned to truly respect the patience and dedication it takes to succeed in the industry.
She attended Emerson College, majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, and waited tables for extra money at Flash’s Cocktails, a funky, retro regulars’ spot in Boston’s blustery downtown. Laura graduated Emerson in 2011, but favored the fast paced, kinetic world of the service industry over internships in her studied field.
Laura moved to New Orleans in 2013 to pursue hospitality. Her first job was at Victory Bar, crafting drinks with an equal focus on balanced recipes and fresh ingredients. Later, she joined the Booty's Street Food team, exploring international ingredients to surprise and intrigue the palate. She was then offered a bar management position at Apolline, where she directed a bar program based on excellent service and elegant libations in an intimate, fine dining atmosphere.
She truly came into her own at SoBou in the French Quarter. She led the bar program of this quirky Creole saloon for three years, exploring and experimenting in an environment that fostered sophisticated yet unpretentious creativity. There, she received many accolades for her program. She was named as one of FSR Magazine’s 40 Restaurant Stars on the Rise in 2017 and won WHERE YAT’s Redemption Rye Cocktail Mixoff and SOFAB State of the Art: American Independents Cocktail Competition that year as well. She took home judges and people’s choice for Creative Tequila Cocktail in 2018’s Top Taco competition. Laura’s drinks have been featured on the websites of USA Today, Forbes, Saveur, Liquor.com, Thrillist, Maxim, The Food Network, Supercall, Marie Claire and many more.
Fascinated with the history of New Orleans and the famed green elixir, she linked up with her two best friends in the spring of 2018 to delve into a new project at the Old Absinthe House called Belle Epoque: a clandestine craft bar that focuses on Absinthe cocktails.