Tumey's Travels
September 28, 2004 - "Fleur-De-Lis"

It's the building on Government Street that hasn't changed for almost 60 years... Known for its conversation and square pizzas. "Tumey's Travels" has the story behind Baton Rouge's famous Fleur-De-Lis.

A lot of folks say it's the best pizza in Louisiana, and it's a tradition which has been going on a long time. Owner Pam Rushing says, "My grandparents bought it in 1946. My grandmother started making pizza in '48 and just served it as an appetizer, and it caught on."

Caught on so well that the Fleur-De-Lis Cocktail Lounge was known as the Fleur-De-Lis pizza joint -- at least, in the customers' minds. The sign out front still says cocktail lounge, but inside: "It's a family restaurant. We love to see kids come in. We keep it a family atmosphere, and we plan on being around another 60 years maybe," says Pam. "Yes, I feel a huge weight on my shoulders. For one thing, the responsibility to the community to keep the place the same as it has always been, to keep the building looking the same as it always has been because the customers don't want it to change."

But for Pam and Murray Rushing maintaining the Fleur-De-Lis tradition is more than a responsibility. "I think what really makes it fun is hearing stories from people about this is their 50th anniversary, and they came back to celebrate it because they met here or their first date was here. It's interesting to hear all those stories," says Pam.  

The walls and the pizza recipe will always be old. New memories at Fleur-De-Lis are created every day. 

Why are Fleur-De-Lis pizzas always square? -- Because grandma started making them on cookie sheets. Not only did the tradition survive, but some of the 60-year-old cookie pans are still being used.

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2005 WorldNow and WAFB, a Raycom Media station. All Rights Reserved.