A New Orleans Restaurant with 101 Years of History
Parkway Bakery and Tavern has been a neighborhood landmark since it opened in 1911. German baker Charles Goering, Sr. ran Parkway Bakery until 1922 when Henry Timothy, Sr. purchased it, with the intent of continuing to run it as the neighborhood bake shop. Over the next seven years, he became known for making delicious fresh breads, donuts, and his famous Seven Sisters sweet rolls. In 1929 he added the recently invented “Poor Boy” sandwich to feed the workers at the American Can Company. They operated twenty-four hours a day, so with the addition of the poor boy, so did Parkway.
In the 1960s, Timothy, Sr.’s two sons, Henry Jr. and Jake, took over the bakery, continuing to run it just as their father had. They closed briefly in 1978 when a flood destroyed their giant brick ovens, dating back to the Goering’s original bakery. Another setback was in 1988 when the American Can Company closed, taking much of Parkway’s business with it. The brothers reduced the bakery hours, and then in 1993, closed the doors of Parkway for good.
Current Parkway Bakery and Tavern owner Jay Nix lived next door to Parkway. He saw the bakery as a cornerstone of the neighborhood, and did not want it to fall derelict like so many other buildings in the area. In 1995, he bought it, but with no intention of reopening the bakery. For almost a decade, Nix used the bakery as storage for his contracting business. When he would meet with older clients, he would always ask them if they remembered Parkway, and every time they had a story to tell about growing up with the bakery.
In 2003, Nix finally decided to reopen The Parkway Bakery and Tavern, bringing back the much missed neighborhood locale. He dismantled the old brick ovens, selling some bricks and using the rest for the floor of the building. He even sold the house next door to raise funds for to get the restaurant going.
Now, a decade later, Parkway Bakery and Tavern is once again a New Orleans staple. With help from his wife, three sisters, two nephews, one niece and over 40 employees, Jay Nix continues the 100 year old tradition of a family owned and operated business serving comfort food and drink. With twenty five different poor boys, a full bar, and Barqs root beer in glass bottles, Parkway Bakery and Tavern is surely backing up its reputation as the oldest, tastiest poor boys anywhere.
About Chef Justin
Justin Kennedy, manager and head chef of the family-owned Parkway Bakery & Tavern in New Orleans, was born and raised in Biloxi, Mississippi. He speaks with pride about reviving the historic Parkway Bakery in 2003 with his uncle while going to college. Justin's enthusiasm for the tavern and New Orleans is obvious. He listened and learned from the cooks he met along the way and his passion and enjoyment for his craft come through in his warm and joyful personality.
His hard work has been well rewarded as he was selected to compete in the popular Food Network show, Chopped, on their “Pride of New Orleans” episode.
- Charles Goering Sr. opens Parkway Bakery.
- Henry Timothy Sr. buys Parkway as Bakery.
- Timothy adds the “Poor Boy” shop to the bakery because of the street car strike, fed the conductors French fry po-boys for free.
- Sons Henry Jr and Jake take over Parkway.
- Parkway closes due to a flood that destroyed their ovens, dating back to 1910 and 1930s.
- The Timothy brothers reduce their hours from 24/7 when the American Can Company (which was also open 24/7), the source of much of their business, closed.
- The Timothy brothers close Parkway Bakery
- Jay Nix bought Parkway.
- Jay reopened Parkway
- Parkway closes due to Katrina.
- December 2005
- The bakery reopens just 2 months later.
- September 15, 2010
- Parkway Bakery and Tavern featured on Travel Channel’s Food Wars.
- June 26, 2012
- Parkway Chef Justin Kennedy is featured on Food Network’s Chopped.