A NEW ORLEANS INSTITUTION SERVING UP HOME-STYLE COOKING
Every city has a history. In its streets, in its people, and in the structures they inhabit. While in New Orleans, the establishment that came up first and foremost when discussing where to eat was Mother’s Restaurant. Founded in 1938 by Simon Landry and his wife, Mary Landry, the cafeteria styled eatery enjoyed a long and lucrative career catering to laborers on the wharf. Nicknamed ‘Mother’, Mary Landry was often the comforting force behind the organization and long before it’s sale to the Amato brothers in ’86, it had become synonymous with the place to get a home-cooked meal when out and about “Restaurant’s Row.” Today, its rustic, brick façade is a welcomed sight to out-of-towners and residents alike. Inside, it still proudly displays trimmings of its past, even showing off the abandoned dumbwaiter in the center of its main dining area. In the back, heavy metal fire doors left behind from when the space was a power plant, separate the large, sky lighted bar. This place has a lot of room, and filling it are hordes of smiling, full-bellied patrons enjoying an afternoon at mother’s table.
Not to say that Mother’s hasn’t had its fair share of hardships. In 2005, the roaring devastation meteorologists called Katrina set its eye on the Louisiana/Mississippi border. New Orleans suffered a great tragedy that warm summer evening as the Mississippi rose to meet it. Although Mother’s suffered extensive damage, and like so many others, had to close its doors, the city swirled beneath the growing need for normalcy and the restaurant once again supported its patrons. The owners procured nine FEMA trailers and used them to house former employees of the restaurant. There they managed to band together and re-open, much to the pleasant surprise of home sick returnees. Together, working hand in hand with the community that’s given the establishment it’s famed reputation, Mother’s Restaurant began to rebuild the spirits of its neighborhood one comforting po’ boy at a time.