As a kid, I would always love to listen to my grandmother tell stories of her life growing up in Louisiana.
The best were the stories of my great-grandfather Paul, his fishing adventures and all of the delicious Creole food they ate.
I have gotten the chance to travel to New Orleans and taste the unique, authentic flavors of the bayou, but now I get to take a short drive downtown to Indiana Avenue and eat all the Louisiana inspired food I want.
Bridget Brown is the owner of New Orleans on the Avenue and growing up in the restaurant industry, she knew her way around a professional kitchen. She always dreamed of owning her own restaurant but wanted to wait patiently on the right opportunity to open her first restaurant.
“I was working downtown when I spotted this building. This was the ideal building for me. It’s similar to a lot of the buildings in my home town of Lafayette, Louisiana. I saw the vision,” said Brown.
She staked her claim on 543 Indiana Ave., right across the street from the historic Madame Walker Theatre.
The cuisine – Cajun and Creole food, of course.
“It’s hard to find the type of Louisiana cuisine that I know,” said Brown.
She continued saying there are other restaurants in Indy that offer similar food, but each has its different style. Where Brown may differ is she orders her inventory from Louisiana.
Although the eatery offers familiar items such as “Po’ Boy” sandwiches, red beans and rice, and shrimp etouffee, Brown’s restaurant serves it up with authentic Creole and southwest Louisiana flavors in a comfortable, upscale atmosphere.
New Orleans on the Avenue has been in operation for over four months and has brought in all types of people – from politicians to every day working Joes to families – to taste the flavors of the Pelican state.
In addition to folks stopping by the restaurant to eat, New Orleans on the Avenue has welcomed special events and plans to add monthly live music and spoken word poetry.
Brown hopes that more people visit the restaurant to taste the food that she grew up on and still loves to this day. She also hopes to make her mark on Indiana Avenue and return the historic location to its rightful spot as a mecca for all things fun and prosperous.
“I’ve seen a lot of pictures from back in the day, how Indiana Avenue used to be the place to be,” she said. “Now everything’s in Broad Ripple or Mass Avenue. I want to bring back some life to this corner and make people feel good.”
For more information, call (317) 632-4099 or visit www.neworleansontheavenue.com