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.
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