For Long Lost Lamented Restaurant Power Hour, Eater NOLA now turns its attention to a few classic shuttered restaurants everyone in New Orleans should know about. Pulling from two great local resources for all things restaurant history—Tom Fitzmorris' NoMenu and Old New Orleans.com— here now are ten beloved classics, and what you'll find in their place today.
Anything Goes: Pip and Ted Brennan ran this extremely cheesy-sounding (and rather touristy) concept restaurant in the late 70s through the early 80s, where the theme "anything goes" meant you could eat in a prison cell, a giant Bud beer can, or even a pyramid while being waited on by Ali Baba. Today, it's the Penthouse Club.
Bali Ha'i: This copy cat of Trader Vic's, with tiki drinks, Chinese food and a fun Hawaiian-style atmosphere, was all the rage on Pontchartrain Beach (which is now part of UNO campus) in the late 1960s. Actor Bryan Batt's grandfather started the place, which eventually was destroyed by fire in the 80s. Today you can find the sign in Kenner's Veterans Memorial Park.
Kolb's: This CBD restaurant was the go-to for German fare from 1899 to around the late 70s when the place was in decline. It was known for the elaborate "leather-belt-driven ceiling fan system, running about a dozen fans" and the "wooden man" named Ludwig, who appeared to be cranking them. Today, it sits empty but its two iconic signs remain.
Mandich: A Bywater favorite since 1922, known for neighborhood New Orleans fare. It was run by Croation immigrant Jon Mandich and family until Katrina sunk it in two feet of water. It was long considered a 'secret' hot spot due to its location in the Ninth Ward, and highly regarded for the oysters bordelaise. Today, the location houses Gabby's Daiquiri Shop, but as of 2014, the younger generation of Mandiches was running a Mandich-inspired restaurant inside Slidell's Sapphire.
Maylie's: A classic New Orleans restaurant in the CBD known for brisket and potatoes , which was an inexpensive and nourishing meal for folks who worked in the nearby Poydras Market. Open from 1876-1983, in the 1990s it became a NYC steakhouse chain that shuttered due to Katrina. Today, the site houses Walk-Ons.
Madam Begue's: It is widely believed (in New Orleans anyways) that this female-run French Quarter restaurant, dating back to 1853, was the birthplace of brunch. Today, the site houses Tujague's, another classic Nola institution that bought the building in 1914.
Restaurant de La Tour Eiffel: In 1983, the chef of Louis XVI Daniel Bonnot and his biz partner purchased the former restaurant structure which used to sit atop the Eiffel Tower. It was transported to the Garden District, and rather plagued with issues including financial ones. But the French bistro cuisine was legit and rather groundbreaking for New Orleans at the time. Bonus: This is also where T-Fitz' once took 10 (yes 10!) female models for some hot souffle action. Today, it houses Eiffel.
The Crash Landing: Yes, there was once a disco/restaurant near Lakeside Shopping Mall that consisted of a plane on top of a building in the 1970s. It may have had ties to the New Orleans mafia. It became a teen-focused dance club before closing. The location housed the Beef(eater's) Room until 2004.
Uglesich's: Perhaps one of the most lamented closures of all time, this family-run Central City classic dating back to 1924 was known for its definitive shabby interior and cheap, delicious eats including seafood, po' boys, and of course oysters. A favorite neighborhood restaurant until 2005, when the place closed up shortly after Jazz Fest. Today the building remains, unscathed by Katrina.
Fitzgerald's: Many New Orleanians considered Fitzgerald's their favorite spot in West End with views of the lake in three directions thanks to their location sitting above the water on stilts, further out than neighboring restaurants (such as Bruning's). Known for boiled and fried seafood, destroyed by Hurricane Georges in the late 1990s. Today, the area is still recovering from Katrina damage.