St. Rose Tavern relocates to historic New Sarpy landmark
St. Rose Tavern owner Pat Elfer and her daughter, Elizabeth, stand inside the restaurant’s new location in New Sarpy. The family was evicted from their St. Rose location, which they had called home for 60 years, in January.
The tavern was a landmark that served food and drinks to locals and passersby for decades from its home on River Road in St. Rose. The eatery gained popularity after being named as having one of the best roast beef po-boys in the New Orleans area in 2011.
In addition to the food, the spot was distinct for having historic decorations collected over the years spread throughout the establishment, many of which were sold at an estate sale held after the restaurant was closed down.
Pat Elfer, who lived on the St. Rose property her entire life, and whose parents ran it before her, took over the establishment after her mother passed away in 1985. However, because the property’s ownership was split up amongst Elfer’s relatives and she was not able to purchase it herself, the building was sold to the nearby International Matex Tank Terminal (IMTT) facility. Elfer then rented the building from IMTT until being evicted – at the outrage of the local community – by IMTT CEO Thomas Coleman in January.
“We lost part of our life history and a means of income,” Elfer said. “We are just regrouping.”
Within weeks of receiving the eviction notice, Elfer and her daughters Jessica, Amanda and Elizabeth, located a storefront in New Sarpy that has a similar history to the St. Rose Tavern they left behind. The Elfers will reopen their restaurant on the grounds of the former Migliore’s Food Store located at 14466 River Road in New Sarpy.
“Some of the grandchildren of the Migliore family hunted us down and said they had the perfect place for us,” Elfer said. “Instead of renting, we went right out and bought it. So we are new homeowners and business owners.”
The timing of the sale could not have been better as the Elfers went from their lifelong home at the former St. Rose Tavern directly to their new building.
“We physically left the other building on Jan. 29 and we stayed (in New Sarpy) the next day,” Elfer said. “We jumped from one lily pad to another.”
Similar to the St. Rose location, the Elfers will live in the rear of the New Sarpy building and have a restaurant up front. Although no longer in St. Rose, the new restaurant will still be called the St. Rose Tavern, only adding “in New Sarpy” to the popular sign.
Most recently the building housed ChefEds, which went out of business in late 2008
However, the Elfers are hoping that they will last a little longer in the spot.
“This (location) is 82 years old, so it’s got history too. We hope to keep it alive,” Elfer said.
Although the family has been through a lot in the past year, Elfer said she feels good about their future.
“We are going to make it because we are strong and we come from strong people. We don’t stop. We pause and regroup, but we’ll make it,” she said.
The St. Rose Tavern in New Sarpy is currently undergoing renovations and is expected to open in the next few weeks. The hours of operation will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
“We are looking forward to seeing our friends and family and we are hoping to meet some new friends,” Elfer said. “We are looking forward to seeing our past, our present and future.”
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