As River goes, so does Buddy B’s: Garyville restaurant approaching 20 years of service
Published 12:10 am Saturday, November 4, 2017
GARYVILLE — Since June 1, 1998, Buddy B’s Restaurant has been a staple of historic Garyville, growing and expanding alongside industries lining the Mississippi River.
Located at 2788 River Road near San Francisco Plantation and open 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, the family-owned restaurant is one of the first landmarks guests come upon as they travel into Garyville.
Tourists, locals and industry employees regularly stop by to enjoy family style breakfast and hearty Cajun and Italian lunch dishes.
Menu items include sandwiches, burgers, steak dinners and seafood platters, but perhaps the most popular are Buddy B’s renowned “Fege brownies” and “gumboe,” named for the owners of the restaurant: Gary Boe, Fege Boe and their children, Buddy and Bridget Boe.
Garyville native Fege Boe grew up in the restaurant industry and learned from her family to cook by taste. After starting a family with her husband, Gary, she became aware of a building for sale along River Road.
Originally a gas station, a convenient store and the previous site of Sissy’s Restaurant, the space became Buddy B’s Restaurant in June 1998 and has served the community ever since.
It’s always been a family business, according to Fege.
“I have a huge family, and almost all of them have pitched in one way or another,” Fege said.
Her sister worked at the restaurant for 15 years, and Buddy said several employees have left and returned over the years.
Barbara Delhommer has been part of the Buddy B’s team since day one, and she still works in the restaurant today.
In honor of the restaurant’s upcoming anniversary, Buddy said there are plans to roll back to 1998 prices for a week next June. In addition, there are plans to host a “family reunion” night for all past employees, as well as a community night.
For nearly 20 years, Gary has watched tourists stop by from near and far, and a few fond memories stand out to him. He still gets choked up when he recalls watching his wife work passionately and diligently, coming to the restaurant overnight to complete orders of 400 to 500 biscuits before breakfast.
He also recalls working with his uncle to expand the inside of the restaurant without ever closing it off to customers.
According to Buddy, his parents’ culinary skills have contributed to the success of the restaurant.
“Mom brought the flavor, and he brought the standard,” Buddy said. “He made it so that someone can order ‘gumboe,’ and it will taste exactly the same as the ‘gumboe’ they ordered last week. There’s a consistency to it.”
However, the biggest changes have been dependent on the expansion of Marathon and other industries down the river, according to Buddy.
“As the river goes, so does Buddy B’s,” Buddy said, noting a large percentage of the restaurant’s business comes from catering and delivering to the industrial companies down the road.
Buddy said his family strives to preserve the historic culture of the area. A “welcome to Garyville” mural on the exterior of the building greets guests, and the inside wall features a painted map giving customers and tourists a visual of the River Parishes.
For the past five years, Buddy B’s has won the cook-off competition at the Sings and Strings Festival hosted by Marathon. In addition, the family supports the United Way Golf Classic and donates brownies to veterans, churches and funerals.
“We want to continue to be involved and invest in Garyville,” Buddy said. “We don’t plan on going anywhere.”