Billy Blatty is a local New Orleanian whose resume consists of founding and developing multiple restaurants, bars and nightclubs, including Sofia Restaurant, Nagomi, the Barcadia brand (2007-present), Ampersand (2000-2014), Belle’s Diner, Ohm Lounge (2007-present), and City Bar. He also has multiple other concepts in development including a rooftop lounge and day-club, a speakeasy, and an expansive fast casual concept and bar playhouse for adults slated for Q4 of 2022.
Blatty began his work in the hospitality industry over two decades ago, while he pursued his undergraduate degree at Tulane University. Upon graduation with honors, he embarked on his hospitality career with running and eventually owning a premier night club and music venue – Ampersand. After developing countless artists and producing events throughout the gulf states, some in excess of 20k attendees, Billy chose to shift his focus towards the upper end of hospitality.
One of his latest restaurant endeavors includes the fine dining Italian restaurant Sofia in a partnership with Culinary Creative. The space, located in New Orleans’ Warehouse District, is an ode to Sophia Loren (an old family friend of Billy’s parents), with art and design elements that personify Loren’s natural femininity and iconic beauty. Sofia was recognized as “Best New Restaurant” and “Restaurant of the Year” in 2019 by the Gambit Weekly, New Orleans Magazine, and Where Y’At Magazine. In 2020 and 2021, Sofia was named Best Restaurant in the Warehouse District, the condensed hotspot for the best chefs and operators in New Orleans’ culinary scene.
Blatty has partnered with countless non-profits over the years, but most recently, launched “Sofia Serves” in response to the pandemic, with DOO Peter Gordon and EC Talia Diele.
Sofia’s “Sofia Serves” program was recognized as the first in New Orleans to create a meal program specifically to feed members of the hospitality industry. Sofia continued its community leadership as the initiative’s mission expanded to support doctors, nurses, and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19. Thousands of meals were provided free of charge to medical professionals serving New Orleans and its suburbs, including 12 hospitals, several EMS stations, and nursing units.
In addition, Blatty’s omakase restaurant, Nagomi (est. 2019), maintains an unblemished 5 star rating online.
An alumni of Tulane University, Blatty graduated Cum Laude with a degree in psychology and pre-medicine. Blatty was also a member of Tulane’s Division I undefeated football team in 1998. He still enjoys an athletic challenge and summited Denali in Alaska. He used to participate in car rally competitions. In 2013 and 2014, he won the Bullrun Rally and placed second in the same event in 2012, making him the undisputed all-time champion.