Gerald Judice, proprietor of Judice Inn in Lafayette, is dedicated to sustaining his family’s heritage of integrity, work ethic, and putting family first. In this episode of Discover Lafayette, Gerald Judice walks us back in time to the era immediately after WWII when Judice Inn opened.
Judice Inn was opened on April 5, 1947, by Alcide and Marc Judice. After serving in the war, Al and Marc had decided that they wanted more than working on the farm with their 15 siblings. They wanted to open their own hamburger stand, with a simple menu that only had about five choices that incorporated a secret sauce created by their aunt. The brothers, along with family members, constructed the original building under the lumination of flashlights after their day jobs were done.
Located on family property situated 1.5 miles outside the city limits of Lafayette on the newly paved two-lane Johnston Street, Judice Inn was envisioned in a time before McDonald’s’s golden arches had appeared in the U. S. Horses were still a common mode of transportation for patrons taking a ride out of town to sample the perfectly spiced burgers and cold beer served alongside. Ketchup or”fries” were not typically consumed at the time.
With the help and support of their wives, Pearl and Gladys, the Judice brothers opened the business on a shoestring budget toiling long hours. Marc and Al’s children (7 and 6 children, respectively) supplied a large portion of the workforce. Typical starting age was about 7 years old and “waiter” status was achieved at 12 years of age. Through the years, the Judice family has supplied a majority of the workforce.
Gerald Judice joined his uncle, Al, as a manager during his sophomore year at USL when his dad suffered a series of strokes. Intending to just remain a few years, he’s never left his role as manager, even though he graduated in Business and could have ventured out as a financial consultant. And our community is so grateful for this choice!
71 1/2 years have passed since Judice Inn opened and the menu remains the same. The love of family and focus on customer service remains the same. In this age of technology and fast-paced lives, Judice Inn is still a destination for locals and out-of-town travelers alike. And still, no ketchup and no fries.
As for the “secret sauce,” it’s still a secret, being made solely by Gerald Judice, and his lovely wife, Lynda. I tried to obtain the recipe but their lips are sealed!!
***Update on service during the COVID-19 stay at home order found on Judice Inn Facebook Page: Judice Inn will remain open from 10:00 am till 8:00 pm during the Corona virus situation. Delivery and pick up orders can be placed on our Judice Inn app, web page or face book page! Call in orders are welcome and they can be picked up or brought out to your car. Just call when you arrive! Walk in orders are accepted but it would be best to call in all orders so we can serve you quickly and safely! Be safe and thank you for allowing us to serve you!!
For more information on Judice Inn located at 3134 Johnston Street, please call (337)984-5614 or visit https://www.judiceinn.com.
Thanks to Gerald Judice and the entire Judice family for maintaining the original vision held by Marc and Al Judice in keeping the menu simple and delicious. Bon appetit!