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Westmoreland Piccadilly is Gone but Not Forgotten

As most of you know, the nearby Piccadilly Cafeteria on Government St., which was located in the Westmoreland Shopping Center for 55 years, closed this past summer on June 29, 2014. A lot of people who grew up in BR (like me) have many fond memories of this particular Piccadilly. So, I thought as a parting gesture to that culinary institution I would share a few of my memories of the place, and I asked other folks (via the GDCA E-mail list) to share their memories, too, and a couple of neighbors obliged.\r\n\r\n”As a little kid, I just loved putting my tray on the moving conveyor belt and watching as it progressed all along the wall towards the mysterious, hidden dishwashing area! This was absolutely mesmerizing for a little kid! I also liked watching my parents’ change roll down from the special old, giant, heavy, metal cash register they had until a few years ago. My siblings and I were raised on Piccadilly buttery green beans, crispy corn bread sticks, meat patties and mashed potatoes with gravy, and for dessert, cubes of green, blue, and red jello! That jello was cubes of pure happiness for a little kid!\r\n\r\n”As an adult, it became my husband’s and my “go to” restaurant when our son Dean was a toddler, because it was one of the most kid-friendly restaurants in Baton Rouge, and of course they offered those discounted kids’ meals. No one there seemed to mind if your 3-year old child ran up and down the long carpeted area laughing maniacally, or if there were cornbread crumbs all over the floor when we were finished (we always tipped especially heavily when this happened!). It was especially fun when we, by chance, met up with other Garden District parents with their young kids on kids’ night; I think I will probably miss that part the most!”\r\n- Carolyn Schwarzoff\r\n\r\n”Aaah, the conveyor belt! Many happy memories. My older brothers regularly threatened to stuff me on it and send me to the jungles of South America (that’s where it goes, apparently). Then, when I was old enough to walk, I used to put things on it that were totally not supposed to be there–stuffed animals, mainly, but I think Barbie might have gone on a ride, too, seeking to broaden her horizons from her day job as an animal activist. I’d love to know what kinds of “presents” the dishwashers received from adoring, local children. I say ‘local’ because you’d have to be a regular to scheme and masterfully execute your drop without a whiff of parental interference.”\r\n- Jeannie Smith\r\n\r\n”This was my mother’s favorite place to eat. Her grandkids never understood why when they want to take her out to eat the only place she wanted to go was Piccadilly. One even “kidnapped” her one time and took her someplace else. They never did that again!\r\n\r\n”Secondly, I always lived and worked in close proximity to Piccadilly and when my work group of over 30 years was outsourced we made a pact to meet once a month for lunch at, you guessed it, Piccadilly. We would catch up with each other’s lives, information share, laugh so loud I thought they were going to ask us to leave, but most importantly listen to Henry Gray play the piano and sing.\r\n\r\n”Kinda like Cheers minus the booze.\r\n\r\n”There was one waitress, Michelle, who always had our table set and waiting for us. Now I feel like I’ve lost a member of the family. Oh by the way, they had the best food of all the Piccadillys.”\r\n- Marlene Little

John WilliamsWestmoreland Piccadilly is Gone but Not Forgotten
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