The second-oldest restaurant in New Orleans, Tujague’s Restaurant opened in the French Quarter in 1856. Founded by French immigrants Guillaume and Marie Abadie Tujague, the Decatur Street restaurant got its start by serving breakfast and elaborate lunches to the men who worked on the riverfront.
While Tujague’s is still well known for two of its original, much-loved menu items – Shrimp Remoulade and Boiled Beef Brisket with Horseradish – it’s also weighty in bar history.
The cypress stand-up bar was shipped to New Orleans from Paris in 1856. The mirror that adorns it was first used in a Paris bistro for 90 years before it made its way to Tujague’s. Locals, visitors, politicians and entertainers all have stood drinking at that very same bar since the Civil War, including during Prohibition, when liquor was stored in an old shaft between the bar and the next building and served in coffee cups.
In national impact, Tujague’s is also the birthplace of the grasshopper cocktail. Invented by Tujague’s bartender Phillip Guichet for a national cocktail contest in New York in 1928, the mint-cream-chocolate drink became a popular choice around the country in the ’50s and ’60s, and can still be sipped while standing at Tujague’s.
In 2013, when longtime owner Steven Latter died, the future of Tujague’s was questionable. An outpouring of support and concern from the public and the press, and some Latter family business dealings, have kept Tujague’s open and under Latter family proprietorship. Some small upgrades have been made, but the stand-up bar remains the same as it has been for the last 158 years.
Tujague’s Restaurant, 823 Decatur St. Tujague’s originally operated a few doors down from this space, which at the time was the location of their biggest competitor: Madame Begue’s restaurant. After both restaurants came under new ownership, they joined forces in 1914 and moved Tujague’s into the Begue space. It has been operating there ever since.