Originally opened in the early 1900’s, it has long been a favorite of local dining connoisseurs. After a brief recess, Al and Alzina Pierce came to New Orleans in the early 1950’s from their home along the bayous of South Louisiana and reopened the Bon Ton. With them came recipes that their families had created while living deep in the Cajun country of Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes.
Armed with these recipes, they opened one of the first restaurants in New Orleans to challenge the city’s renowned Creole cooking with authentic Cajun cuisine that depends heavily on foods from Louisiana’s bayous and the Gulf of Mexico. Once found only in the kitchens along those bayous, dishes such as crawfish etouffée, crawfish bisque, shrimp and oyster jambalaya, now appeared on a restaurant table. Other Bon Ton specialties made with lump crabmeat, oysters, crawfish and soft shell crabs began to pamper New Orleans diners—one of the world’s most critical group of gourmets.