In honor of the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival Nov. 11, we take a look at the history of three of the oldest purveyors of the local sandwich.
One po-boy landmark, Parkway Bakery and Tavern in Mid-City, was founded by Charles Goering Sr. in 1911. Henry Timothy Sr. and his sons Jake and Henry Jr. (known as Bubby) bought the bakery in 1922 and began selling po-boys soon after. Parkway became popular at lunchtime for workers at the nearby American Can Company. When it closed in the 1990s, the bakery's business suffered and it closed in 1995. Jay Nix, who lived next door to the bakery, bought and renovated the building, reopening it in 2003. His nephew Justin Kennedy later joined him as general manager. Parkway was heavily damaged by the levee failures following Hurricane Katrina but was rebuilt and famously hosted President Barack Obama and his family during a visit to the city for Katrina's fifth anniversary.
Peter and Sophie Domilise originally opened a neighborhood bar on Annunciation Street around 1918. It became a sandwich spot a few years later and hit its stride once son Sam and his wife Dorothy took over in 1947. "Miss Dot," as Dorothy was better known, died in 2013 after working more than 65 years at the restaurant. "My customers are my family," she told The Times-Picayune in 2000. "I have people who came in as youngsters, then I see them come in after they've been married. They come in with their children, then they come in with their children's children."
Although its menu includes more than just po-boys, Mother's Restaurant has served po-boys from its Poydras Street location for 80 years. It was opened by Simon and Mary "Mother" Landry but was sold to Jerry and John Amato in 1986. Two of the restaurant's sandwiches, the Ferdi (a roast beef and ham po-boy) and the Ralph (the same sandwich, but with cheese), are named after longtime customers.