On the radio show, when someone calls to ask about a restaurant that’s been out of business for many years, most of the remainder of that day’s program will be about other restaurants that “ain’t dere no more” (to use Bennie Grunch’s famous Yat phrase).
It’s more evidence of how much we love our restaurants in New Orleans. In most other places, eateries come, serve for a decade or so (if they’re lucky), then disappear forever, leaving few memories. Here, we never forget our favorite restaurants of the past. In fact, we yearn for them, hoping they will someday reopen, or that their chefs will turn up somewhere cooking the food of old.
Extinct Restaurants is a weekly feature in NOMenu.Com recalling these cherished restaurants. The information is largely gleaned from the reviews I’ve written over the forty-one years I’ve been at this enterprise. They’re not just reprintings of those articles. That would be embarrassing, and wouldn’t include the stories of how and why the restaurants closed.
Most of these pieces, in slightly different form, also are in Lost Restaurants of New Orleans, a book I co-authored in 2011 with Peggy Scott Laborde. She dug up hundreds of visual artifacts to illustrate the nostalgia. The book is widely available in bookstores, for those who love to reminisce.
So here are all the Extinct Restaurants currently on line here. Click on any of them to read the article. A new old restaurant’s story is added every week.