LAFAYETTE — For a number of decades, Judice Inn was also a drive-in. With call-in and curbside taking over during the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant has returned to its roots.
“And it is kind of taking full-circle back so we’re car-hopping and running out there, and like I said, these guys are taking to it like they’ve been done it during all their time here,” explains co-owner Gerald Judice. “We check out the window to see a car pulling up and we dash out just like Dad and uncle Al used to make us do.”
Business – particularly at night--- is a bit down at the longtime Lafayette favorite. There are changes—social distancing for one, curbsiding for another, and hand sanitizing stations for a third. Still the same, yet adapting--- Gerald Judice says his restaurant is just trying to help a bit and at the same time say, “Thank you”.
“This is a small business, we have not changed our product or our business for 73 years, just to be able to survive that I’m appreciative to this whole community,” says Judice. “And to be able to do something about their situation right now, to be able to take a 10-minute break to have a burger and maybe tell a story about Judice right now, we’re fortunate to be around.”
On a lighter note, even though there’s more car-hopping and more door cleaning, don’t go thinking Judice Inn has changed everything:
“Luckily, you’re still cooking French fries”, I say. Judice laughs. “I don’t see that happening in my lifetime.”
“Luckily, you still have bottles of ketchup everywhere.” I say.
Judice laughs again. “I’ll tell you what my dad always said: ketchup is for bad-tasting food, you don’t put ketchup on good-tasting food.”
Although Judice Inn can say, “We’re Open”, this past weekend’s 73rd birthday bash simply wasn’t going to happen. Not now. Not under these conditions. And while a 75th anniversary celebration will take place in 2022, right now, Judice simply wants to offer encouragement to the people of Acadiana.
“Every industry, it’s different things, but what people have to do is persevere. If you persevere through this, I strongly believe that economy in general will share the benefits when things start coming back to normality.”