Cloud9 to close, partners launching separate ventures

Published 8:24 am Saturday, July 1, 2023

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DESTREHAN — Cloud9, the restaurant, bar and event space located inside Cypress Lakes Country Club, will close effective immediately. As a result, Sophisticated Hospitality Group, started by local entrepreneurs Buddy Boe and Natasha Clement, will dissolve after the closing of Cloud9.

Earlier this year, Sophisticated Hospitality Group announced the closure of SANTOS, its first concept, opened in Luling a week before Hurricane Ida struck the region. SANTOS struggled to gain a growing customer base once the community rebuilt and new restaurants opened in the area. Now, Cloud9, opened in October 2022, will close due to staffing and overall business. In May, Cypress Lakes Country Club announced it would close its golf course for three months to complete a full renovation.

The group owned by Buddy Boe and Natasha Clement was created in 2020 in the midst of the global pandemic with a sole focus on opening SANTOS in Luling. However, when the country club approached the group, Cloud9 was created to provide another food concept and an event space for the group’s growing event business at the time.

“No one wants to admit an idea didn’t work; but we tried to do two very hard things, open two restaurants during COVID, after Hurricane Ida, and during a time of simultaneous labor shortages and runaway inflation for food prices. No matter what we did, the locations, food costs, labor shortages and wage spikes together with our internal management never aligned for success. Despite the huge financial hit of the last two years, I personally will make sure that all employees, vendors, and debtors are paid in full,” said Boe, SHG’s managing partner.

Despite shuttering their food group, the two partners are not leaving the hospitality industry. Clement has relaunched her catering operations, Sophisticated Southern Plates, and Boe will continue to own and operate Buddy B’s Restaurant and Ormond Manor Restaurant under a separate operating company. Boe purchased Buddy B’s Restaurant in 2021 from his family and became the operator of the restaurant, event space, and bed and breakfast at Ormond Manor in May 2023.

“The owners of the Cypress Lakes Country Club have been more than accommodating and we wish any future operator of the space much success. I cannot thank the Club owners enough for their support since day one. It just didn’t work out for us,” said Boe.

Employees of Cloud9 have been offered employment at Boe’s operations remaining open.