Familiar restaurant gets new owners

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

By Brooke O’Bryant

Contributing Writer

LAPLACE – Since 1939, the neon sign for Airline Motors has greeted travelers driving along Airline Highway. Over the past 60 years, the restaurant has become a landmark for the LaPlace community.

What started as a car dealership and café during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt quickly turned into a local favorite dining spot. Last year, however, the former owners decided to shut the doors. But Jamie Q. Kilbert and Chef Ray Tromatore were not going to let that happen.

“I grew up in Gretna and came to eat at Airline Motors quite often,” said Tromatore.

Tromatore has been in the restaurant business for over 30 years and has a love for cooking Cajun cuisine. Not only is he half owner of the business, he is also the head chef.

J.C. Carroll, a lifelong resident of south Louisiana, said he use to frequently visit Airline Motors during trips down the highway.

“It had a great atmosphere and wonderful food, and I hope the new owners plan on keeping it that way,” said Carroll.

With both new owners growing up close to this familiar spot, they know how important the restaurant is to this area.

“Right now, we have no plans to change much. We just want to focus on the restaurant and the food,” said Tromatore.

With its ‘50s-themed décor and famous Cajun dishes, it has created a familiar home-style feeling where fast food chains have threatened to take over.

“My wife plan on a visit soon,” said Carroll.

This familiar favorite café may be under new ownership, but it still invited travelers and locals alike to stop by and stay for a while.

To find more information on Airline Motors, visit www.airlinem tors.com.