Parran’s Po-Boys & Restaurant will soon open a new location Uptown on a busy stretch of Prytania Street, bringing along its roast beef, its red gravy and plenty of napkins.
Parran’s plans to open the new restaurant around the beginning of May at 4920 Prytania St., the longtime home of the now-closed Kyoto. The address later had a brief run last year as the Flying Pig Café.
For proprietor Al Hornbrook, the decision came down to a promising location and a chance to recommit to a concept close to his heart.
“I just think bringing back the old po-boy shop is important,” he said. “It’s part of New Orleans, and we can’t lose that to fast food chains, we just can’t.”
Parran's is indeed an old school po-boy shop, one that has persevered through changing food trends, stuck close to traditional flavors and still evolved along the way.
The new restaurant, called Parran’s Po-Boys Uptown, will be the third location for the family-run restaurant, which has been in business in Metairie since 1975. It added a second location in Kenner in 2015.
Like the others, the Uptown shop will be a counter-service operation and the menu will be similar, if somewhat shorter, than the original, running through po-boys and plenty of Creole Italian plates.
There will be signatures like the seafood muffuletta (basically a seafood platter on a seeded round loaf) and also pizza, a more recent menu addition that has been a hit in Metairie and Kenner.
Parran’s builds its po-boys on bread from John Gendusa Bakery in Gentilly. It has many house specialties, like the prime rib or the grilled tuna steak po-boy. But traditional po-boys are the shop’s bread and butter, starting with the roast beef, the fried shrimp and the meatball (order “the trifecta” and you get a four-inch version of all three on the same plate).
Parran’s was originally opened by Nick Impastato, who named it after the Louisiana-ified French term for godfather.
It had a few successive owners, but it was still a small storefront restaurant when Al and his wife Lorell Hornbrook bought it in 1990, just after their marriage. Al Hornbrook, then 25, had little restaurant experience at the time but was instilled with a homegrown appreciation for New Orleans flavors.
“My grandmother taught me how to cook, and she cooked with love and flavor,” he said.
The Metairie restaurant grew gradually, expanding from eight tables and a counter to a series of three connecting dining rooms today.
The Hornbrooks have expanded the menu over time too, but customers still come back to old reliable dishes like the shrimp Creole, the mirliton casserole and, of course, red beans and rice.
“You get to know people here, you know what they order, you know their habits,” said Hornbrook. “We want to get to know people Uptown like that too.”
Parran’s Po-Boys Uptown will follow the same hours as the Metairie location, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, and until 8:30 p.m. on Friday and 8 p.m. on Saturday. It may also add Sunday hours. It will have a bar.
4920 Prytania St., slated to open May 2018
3939 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-885-3416
2321 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 504-305-6422
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