Famed Baton Rouge pizzeria temporarily closes

Famed Baton Rouge pizzeria temporarily closes
Fleur de Lis Pizza, a Baton Rouge staple, has announced it's temporarily closing due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Fleur de Lis Pizza, one of the Baton Rouge area’s most famous pizzerias, has temporarily closed due to new restaurant restrictions tied to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The restaurant, best known for its “Round the World” pizza, has operated on Government Street in Baton Rouge since 1946. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has restricted restaurants in the state from having any customers dine inside restaurants due to the pandemic.

“We are going to have to close until things get better,” the owner said in a voice message on the restaurant’s answering system. “I haven’t been able to make enough on my to-go orders to warrant staying open. I’ve tried, for the sake of my employees, but I have to do what is best for the business to ensure they still have a job once this is all over."

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The late Allen Tumey, a former WAFB employee, produced a feature story on Fleur de Lis Pizza in 2004. Here’s an excerpt from that report:

A lot of folks say it’s the best pizza in Louisiana, and it’s a tradition which has been going on a long time. Owner Pam Rushing says, “My grandparents bought it in 1946. My grandmother started making pizza in ’48 and just served it as an appetizer, and it caught on.”

"[It] Caught on so well that the Fleur-De-Lis Cocktail Lounge was known as the Fleur-De-Lis pizza joint -- at least, in the customers’ minds. The sign out front still says cocktail lounge, but inside: “It’s a family restaurant. We love to see kids come in. We keep it a family atmosphere, and we plan on being around another 60 years maybe,” says Pam.

Why are Fleur-De-Lis pizzas always square? -- Because grandma started making them on cookie sheets. Not only did the tradition survive, but some of the 60-year-old cookie pans are still being used.

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