Broussard’s first opened its doors in 1920, after an eminent local chef named Joseph Broussard married Rosalie, of the prominent Borrello bloodline. The couple moved into the early 19th century Borrello Mansion on Conti Street, where the restaurant now stands. At his restaurant, Joseph Broussard combined the excitement of local Creole cuisine with classic cullinary dishes inspired by his formal Parisian culinary training. The result was a dynamic menu set to the highest of standards.
During his time in Europe, Joseph Broussard developed a penchant for all things Napoleonic. The bee, which was the Emperor’s personal emblem, serves as a focus on the restaurant’s crest. Indeed, Broussard’s devotion to Napoleon was so passionate that whenever a guest ordered a Brandy Napoleon, the lights were dimmed, a bell was rung, and the waiters would gather around a statue of Napoleon and engage in a lively rendition of La Marseillaise, France’s revolutionary rallying anthem.
Because of the restaurant’s unique imperial décor, fantastic food and incomparable ambiance, Broussard’s has served as a vibrant cultural assembly place, where many famous guests have gathered and an array of exciting events have taken place. Hollywood celebrities, politicians, dignitaries, Mardi Gras Royalty and literary figures such as Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner have all played a role in the history of Broussard’s.
The Broussard family worked relentlessly to maintain the five-star, family-run establishment, and even resided in the apartment above the restaurant until their deaths, just one month apart from each other in 1966. Longtime steward Joseph Segretto was a driving force behind the renovation in the 1970’s when he took over for the Broussard family. Following his time at Broussard’s, Evelyn and Gunther Preuss graciously maintained the Grand Dame of the French Quarter for decades.
In 2013, the Ammari Family was honored to continue the legacy of Broussard’s. They carefully renovated the property and restored it to be one of the most beautiful locations in the Vieux Carré. today, Broussard’s closes in on 100 years of incomparable dining experiences.
The current edifice is a charming pastiche of various structures. In addition to serving as the Borrello mansion, Broussard’s includes portions of what used to be the Jefferson Academy, a distinguished preparatory school of the 1800’s; the historic Hermann-Grima house built in 1834; and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Broussard’s commitment to uphold the highest standards in the art of fine dining has led to international recognition, including multiple DiRōNA awards, which define Broussard’s as one of the most respected restaurants in the dining community. Broussard’s has also been awarded the equally prestigious Ivy Award and was inducted into the Nation’s Restaurant News’ Fine Dining Hall of Fame and countless others.
Careful restoration of the centuries old building brings Broussard’s into the 21st Century with a makeover that is both European and Creole in style and features a timeless design that perfectly complements the historic significance of the property. The renovation infused glamour and refinement of the past with an elegant sense of modernity.