History of La Louisiane
The building that is now home to La Louisiane was built in 1837 as residence to wealthy Creole merchant, James Walter Zacharie. By 1881, the Zacharie residence was sold and leased as La Louisiane Hotel and Restaurant, managed by Fernand Jules Alciatore until he purchased it in 1920. Alciatore is credited with transforming the French-Creole menu into the city’s best. He also began the famous “Golden Book,” a guest registry with signatures from prominent guests, including that of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William McKinley as well as William Randolph Hearst, General John J. Preshing, Harry Houdini among others.
After Alciatore’s death, the restaurant went through different ownerships until 1954 when “Diamond Jim” Moran leased the property and transformed it to Moran’s La Louisiane Italian restaurant. Moran decorated the space with extravagant Baccarat chandeliers, murals and other glittering touches. Moran was even known to surprise prominent patrons with a diamond studded meatball. Brothers Joe and Sammy Marcello took over La Louisiane after Moran in 1978 and introduced an Italian-Creole menu. In the early 1990’s, ownership changed a few times. Today La Louisiane has been beautifully restored and transformed as a coveted French Quarter event and meeting venue, complete with a spacious bar, state-of-the-art audio visual equipment and sound system as well as unique details such as gas lanterns, French doors and chandeliers.