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New Orleans Trivia

What do you know about the sidewalk is a sign that reads "J. Disimone's 597 Restaurant at Carondelet and Second Streets?

Blake Pontchartrain: N.O. Know It All


Hey Blake,

I recently looked at a piece of property on the corner of Carondelet and Second streets. In the sidewalk is a sign that reads "J. Disimone's 597 Restaurant." I can't find anything about it online. Do you know anything about it?

Dear Reader,

  In the early 1900s, the building at 2505-2507 Carondelet St. was the home of J. Disimone's Restaurant, which also was a saloon, owned by Felix J. Disimone. The restaurant advertised dinners for 75 cents and a special table d'hote during Carnival. During Prohibition, Disimone and others were charged more than once with violating the National Prohibition Act after whiskey and alcohol manufacturing tools were found on their premises.

  The property changed hands several times. In the mid-1930s, owner Charles Petrossi had to defend the restaurant as being a clean and orderly venue after he was accused of running a "bawdy" or "disorderly house." The next year, a police vice squad seized a slot machine from the premises and smashed it in the middle of the street to demonstrate law enforcement's crackdown on corruption.

  In the 1950s, the building became Irwin's Restaurant, which sold grilled minute steak marchands de vin for $2.75. In the 1960s, it became Chez Louie, owned by Louis LeBlanc, and in the late '60s and early '70s, it housed the Porterhouse Room and later Captain's Table Restaurant. Throughout these years, there were apartments upstairs that were rented as residences. The building currently is vacant and in need of repair, but the blue tiles from the original restaurant are still embedded in the sidewalk (the "597" refers to the original street address of J. Disimone's Restaurant) and are in pretty good shape.

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