This Is the Oldest Continuously Family-Run Restaurant in the U.S.

Infrogmation, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
Infrogmation, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0 / Infrogmation, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

In many ways, Antoine’s restaurant remains the same as the day it opened. The New Orleans institution still serves the same classic French-Creole cuisine, still embodies the same Old World style, and is still run by the descendants of the same family that founded the place 173 years ago.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Antoine’s is the oldest continuously family-run restaurant in America. The business began when French-born Antoine Alciatore decided to bring his cuisine to New Orleans at age 18. With help from his wife Julie, he grew the eatery into one of the city’s hottest fine dining destinations.

The restaurant didn’t shutter when Antoine fell sick and died in 1874. Julie took the reins and began preparing her son Jules for the day he would inherit his father’s legacy. He was the first of many children destined to go into the family business. Over its history, the restaurant has passed through five generations.

That fascinating backstory isn’t the only thing that draws diners to Antoine’s: It also happens to be one of the best restaurants in New Orleans. Dishes like Crawfish Cardinal, Escargots a la Bourguignonne, and Oysters Rockefeller (an Antoine's original) make it a popular spot for presidents, actors, and musicians traveling through the city.

If you stop into Antoine’s today you may see Rick Blount, the great-great-grandson of Antoine Alciatore and current CEO of Antoine’s restaurant. He’s been in charge of the place since 2005, but he has a couple of children who are more than qualified to take over if he ever decides to retire.

[h/t Los Angeles Times]