Victor’s Cafeteria

109 West Main Street

 

Every Building Has a Story

Taste and see the five-star crawfish pies, out of this world desserts, and gourmet breakfasts found at Victor’s Cafeteria. Although this restaurant is known for its delicious meals, Victor’s has become a historical landmark for Iberia Parish. This dominant building has a distinct history. In the early 1900s, this area between French Street and Iberia Street was owned and operated by Charles Gougenheim, who bought several blocks of land on what would become Main Street in New Iberia. However, in mid-June of 1906, Annette Fontelieu received a portion of this property after a lawsuit held against Gougenheim. This portion consists of a one-story building along East Main Street. After finding no particular use in the property, Fontelieu sold it to Edward Pfister on October 15, 1908. A large building was built on the property and was named Pfister Jewelry Company, Inc. Pfister’s was the most profitable business in this building, and the architectural remnants of the company still remain. However, in 1939, the Maier family inherited the building due to the last request of Edward Pfister after his death. The jewelry company still remained until May 14, 1952, when the building was sold to Vernon J. Huckaby and Beverly Victor Huckaby. Today, the building is called Victor’s Cafeteria and has been restored to its original appearance of the 1930s.

 

If Walls and Windows Could Talk

Dave Robicheaux eats here! The unique art deco style building is where James Lee Burke sets his stories about his fictional detective, Dave Robicheaux. Victor’s Cafeteria has gotten many tourists visit the exceptional architectural building where Dave Robicheaux eats in the author’s fictional novels. The one-of-a-kind building has a false front with the exterior being mostly mirrors and glass. The bay windows and mosaic brick in the front are all original features from when it was first built. Above the original doors, there are distinct windows which open outward and hang. The door handles are the original from the jewelry store and are a very old style. When walking inside, the beautiful tile in the center instantly catches a visitor’s eye. This original flooring was the main aisle of the once jewelry store. Standing in the middle of the building, there is a unique feature that is also original, the skylight. It is a beautiful architectural design that complements the building greatly. Looking up at the skylight, a visitor’s eye is drawn to the tediously painted ceiling. This feature, though, is not authentic but adds to the unique features the building attains. Victors is a lasting landmark of New Iberia that has maintained its architectural integrity.

 

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

 

Sign from the original business

Enlarged image of the molding surrounding the ceiling of the building

The multicolor tile flooring has managed to stay the same since Pfister’s Jewelry Store.

The skylight, one of Victor’s most unique details, is surrounded by a gold ceiling.

The large safe from the days of the jewelry store is still there today.

Glass shelves for jewelry display are preserved in the upstairs room.

Making Headlines

This Pfister’s advertisement was printed in the Weekly Iberian on November 16, 1939.

Not only did Pfister’s sell jewelry, but also glasses in the 1930s. New Iberia Enterprise, March 24, 1934

Throughout The Daily Iberian, Victor’s promoted its Grand Opening in the 1960s. This advertisement was from November 12, 1969.

 

Voices from the Past and Present

Ryan Hebert, Farrah Freeman, and Alaina St. Upery interviewed Mrs. Catherine Huckaby, the co-owner of Victor’s, about the history of the building and her experience of working there on May 12, 2011.

A Visit Behind the Scenes 1

A Visit Behind the Scenes 2

A Visit Behind the Scenes 3

 References

Freeman, Farrah. Victor’s. 2011. Photographs. Private Collection.

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 60, Folio 87, Entry 18653—. 3 June 1906.Print.

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 63, Folio 248, Entry 20531—. 15 Oct. 1908.Print.

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 137, Folio 390, Entry 56197—. 15 Apr. 1938.Print.

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 206, Folio 383, Entry 85017—. 17 May 1952 .Print.

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 661, Folio 339, Entry 77-2-5917—. Dec. 1976.Print.

Pfister. Advertisement. New Iberia Enterprise 24 Mar. 1934:3. Microform.

Pfister. Advertisement. New Iberia Enterprise 30 Nov. 1934:8. Microform.

Pfister. Advertisement. The Weekly Iberian 16 Nov. 1939:5. Microform.

Victor’s. Advertisement. The Daily Iberian 12 Nov. 1969. Microform.

Victor’s. Advertisement. The Daily Iberian 27 Nov. 1969. Microform.