The Bull’s Corner
Broadmoor: 4440 Magnolia Street
Laplace: 1036 W. Airline Hwy.
Restaurants in the immediate vicinity of a hospital can count on a steady clientele of hospital staff. Restaurants serving hamburgers and beer in the near environs of a large college can also expect to see a consistent flow. The Bull’s Corner enjoyed both of these advantages. Not only did it give owner Doug Depp a successful restaurant, but it created a scene engaging the memory of it glows.
The original Bull’s Corner was across the street from the former Baptist Hospital (now a campus of Ochsner). When it opened in the 1960s, the restaurant reminded a lot of people of the well established Bud’s Broiler. The Bull’s Corner grilled good hamburgers over charcoal, and served them with a variety of sauces specified by numbers, like at Bud’s.
But the Bull’s Corner was much more sophisticated and comfortable than Bud’s. In addition to the hamburgers, it served steaks. USDA Prime steaks, at that. It had a full bar. A lot of customers–particularly the younger ones–went there on dates, liking the dim lighting and the easy-to-dig food. No doubt quite a few people had the first cocktail of their lives at the Bull’s Corner. I am one of them. The drink was a banana banshee–spelled on the order board as “abanche” for some reason.
One regular customer liked the Bull’s Corner enough to sell Doug Depp on the idea of franchising. Mike Norton opened his edition of the Bull’s Corner in Laplace in 1985. –far enough away that it wouldn’t affect the original. Laplace had such a dearth of eateries that its Bull’s Corner evolved into a full-service restaurant with a wide-ranging menu. It expanded into the adjacent shopping mall to pull in groups and parties.
Not long after, street construction and expansion of the hospital made the original Bull’s Corner hard to get to for an extended period. Depp closed the place, but kept the name and the spirit alive, with at least the hope of reopening in the future. He and his burgers have long been a fixture at the Audubon Zoo To-Do.
But with no open Bull’s Corner in New Orleans, Mike Norton opened a second location of his version in Bucktown. There was some legal maneuvering between Norton and Depp because of this, but it became moot when the Bucktown building was bought from under the restaurant and torn down.
The Bull’s Corner kept selling Bull burgers and steaks in Laplace, but a downturn there put the place in distress. Norton closed it in 2009. And that was that. But with upscale hamburgers becoming popular, the thought of having the Bull’s Corner again sounds good.