Join us in celebrating our 100th anniversary at four quarterly events honoring past owners and the future of the restaurant.
Born in Bosdarros, France on June 27, 1876, Leon Bertrand Arnaud Cazenave intended on studying medicine in Paris. At 24, he visited New York and found himself distracted by life in America. Cazenave abandoned medicine and took a job selling champagne & spirits. A trip to New Orleans in 1902 left Arnaud intoxicated by the city’s many charms. He left New York behind to find his calling in the old Creole restaurants of the French Quarter. Arnaud’s reputation as a bon vivant, an unequaled raconteur, and a connoisseur of food, drink, clothing and entertainment earned him a nickname that stuck for the rest of his life: “Count Arnaud”
Germaine was traveling on the vaudeville circuit when her father, Count Arnaud, fell ill. She immediately returned to New Orleans and set about learning the business inside and out. Following his death, Germaine was driven to carry on his legacy. As a performer and lover of the spotlight, her main achievement was in spreading the fame of Arnaud’s around the world.
Naturally drawn to the pageantry and spectacle of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, she ruled as Queen of over 22 Carnival balls and continued the revelry of Mardi Gras after the Lenten season by bringing an Easter Parade of horse-drawn carriages to the City.
In December 1978, after years of neglect the restaurant was sold to Archie Casbarian.
Together with his wife, Jane, Casbarian began the arduous task of reviving Arnaud’s. Extensive research was undertaken about the original look and feel of the restaurant. The duo focused on keeping many of the restaurant’s original details during the massive renovation. Menus were redesigned with special focus on the return of original dishes. On February 28, 1979, the renovated dining room reopened to great fanfare and over the ensuing years, Casbarian restored Arnaud’s to its prominent place in the culinary landscape of New Orleans.
As fourth-generation owners of Arnaud’s Restaurant, Archie and Katy are proud to carry on their family’s legacy of serving exceptional Creole cuisine. The restaurants continued success lies in achieving a balance between preserving the past and embracing the future.