|Restaurant La Louisiane
|La Louisiane, 1930
|The restaurant La Louisiane was established in 1881 by Louis Bezaudun and
his wife, Ann. They opened the restaurant in a building on current-day
Iberville Street which had been built in 1837 - the former home of James
Walters Zacharie, a wealthy merchant. In 1890, Ann's nephew, Fernand
Jules Alciatore, became manager of La Louisiane. The excellent French
cuisine and Alciatore's reputation as a master host attracted guests from all
over the world. In 1920, he purchased the restaurant and managed it until
his death in 1930.
During its colorful 130 year history, the restaurant has gone through
several owners and incarnations. Its owners have included Diamond Jim
Moran in the 1950's and members of the Marcello family in the 1980's.
The restaurant closed in 1996, but, in 1998, the Smith family purchased it
and oversaw the building's historical restoration in 2004. Today, it is La
Louisiane Bistro and Bar, an elegant restaurant and lounge.
Following is an excerpt from a 1930 New Orleans Guide:
"Fashionable Creole gentlemen, when they used to gather to sip their
wines, discuss the price of indigo, the imminent duel or the latest news
from Europe, preferred the quieter and more elegant cafes, Mesparo's,
Hewlitt's or John Davis'. If good solid food was required, the prevailing
practice was the Restaurant d'Orleans, Restaurant d'La Louisiane, the La
Veau Qui Tete or the somewhat rowdy, Hotel de la Marine, haunt of the
Lafitte pirates and other colorful characters.
"New Orleans, having taken the trouble to concoct its delicious, many
tasting foods, may raise a quizzical eyebrow at the occasional spinach and
lettuce-leaf devotee, but to the appreciative gourmet, she extends a joyous
welcome. This spirit of gracious catering, found alike in the noted
restaurants and in the humblest, is a sort of noblesse oblige deriving from
the fine tradition of the past, for the city boasts of a long line of
distinguished old hostelries.
"Eating ranks as a fine art in New Orleans and the traveler finds the flavor
of the past kept vitally alive in its restaurants. Year after year, the older
institutions go on, in the same buildings and the same atmosphere,
serving the famous Creole dishes in undiminished excellence."
|La Louisiane courtyard, date unknown
|Milk cart stops in front of La Louisiane
|Notice that on this 1889 ad the address given is
Customhouse Street. Through the years,
depending on who was in power, Iberville, like
many of the streets in the Old Quarter, has
undergone various name changes. It was called
Rue de la Douane by the French, Nueve Dualia by
the Spanish and Customhouse by the Americans.
In 1901, it was renamed in honor of Iberville,
who's known as the father of Louisiana.