Saturday, September 14, 2013

Katie’s {Restaurant}


Nestled in the Mid-City section of New Orleans, Katie’s Restaurant & Bar is a gem. Housed in an old home turned restaurant, Katie’s compliments the local neighborhood. It is definitely a neighborhood, family-oriented treat.



Katie's opened as a corner lunch restaurant in October 1984, following the rich tradition of New Orleans neighborhoods. Like so many other renowned eateries, Katie's is family owned and operated. Founded by Mr. Leo Leininger in the wake of the sagging oil industry, it was his fresh start in a new career. Katie's was actually the idea of Mr. Leo's daughter Cathy and they named the establishment after her grandmother. Sadly, Mr. Leo passed away in 1987, yet his family continued to operate the burgeoning neighborhood favorite vigorously, with his undaunted spirit.

In December 1993, the Leininger family sold Katie's to the Craig family, who officially began building their legacy in January 1994. With over 20 years in the restaurant and service industry at the time, Scot Craig took the helm. The hard work and dedication of his brother David and mother, Mary, enabled Scot to expand the operation into a full-service restaurant and bar. With "the boys" in the kitchen, Mary became known as "The Hostess with the Mostess". She kept the dining room organized and kept the customers happy, full, and returning time and again.

The recipe worked; Katie's enjoyed a full decade of great success and became an indelible mainstay of Mid City. The flood of business Katie's enjoyed gave way to a destructive torrent in August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina washed seven feet of water through the restaurant and devastated everything. What Katrina did not remove with her wrath, looters removed with their disrespect and greed.

With barely enough insurance proceeds to repair his home, which is above the restaurant, Scot feared Katie's might be doomed. Unrelenting, in the four and a half years to follow, Scot Craig worked to rebuild his life and Katie's.


On March 1, 2010 Katie's opened its doors once more. With state-of-the-art kitchen equipment, climate control, bar system and a real Brooklyn-style stone pizza oven, Katie's belated silver anniversary marked a new beginning. In a city that is still working toward recovery, it is good to know the "neighborhood restaurant" did not get lost in the flood. Katie's is a testament to that. Also in March, Katherine D'Aquin a native New Orleanian and former Katie's server & bartender returned from a six year stint in New York City to help Scottie return Katie's to her former glory. In June 2010 Katherine became a partner in the ownership of Katie's.

Although bright, shiny, and new inside and out, the heart and soul of Katie's as an old-school, family operated neighborhood restaurant, still echoes the vision of Mr. Leo Leininger.


After a couple drinks, J & I started with the oh-so tasty crawfish beignet (an overstuffed beignet filled with la crawfish, jalapeno peppers, onions, and three kinds of cheese; fried then topped with a jalapeno aioli) featured by Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.

crawfish beignets

For our main course, I built my own 12” pizza of spinach, roasted peppers, carmelized onions, mushrooms, feta cheese, and white sauce. All of the pizzas are made fresh to order and then fired over Brooklyn-style stone. They are made to order so they take a little longer than other items on the menu. They are about 12" with thin crust and topped with mozzarella and provolone cheeses. The pizza was delicious.


J dined on one of the daily specials, panko crusted grouper with steamed asparagus. I wish I would have snapped the photo prior to his eating.


Katie’s in Mid-City is a great place to dine, and I can’t wait to try their famous weekend brunch.


Katie’s is open 7 days a week. Check the website for daily times. It is located just one block from the Canal Street streetcar line.

Katie’s, y’all!


  1. Katie's is on my Pinterest board of restaurants I want to try. I saw that segment on Katie's on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives! Have a great day! xoxo

  2. Great story! Looks like a fun place to enjoy a meal.

  3. I am drooling now! That was a great story and the food looks wonderful!!!! xo Diana

  4. Did someone say crawfish beignet? Oh - I think I'm in love. I'm always on the look out for new places to try in New Orleans. I'll put this on the list for my next visit, which is WAAAY overdue!

  5. I enjoyed hearing about Katie's, and the crawfish beignet sounds fabulous. Local restaurants are the best. Wish we had more in our neighborhood.


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