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Jul 19, 2009 12:05 PM

Still there? Just wondering.

Greetings NOLA folks,
I'm a Philly hound and haven't been down your way in 32 years but remember all oh, so well. I came down with the love-of-my-life in 1977 (didn't work out) to visit her sister and BF in Kenner. We came into NO frequently, did Preservation Hall (with the original crew), had b'fast at Brennan's (Scotch milk punch, turtle soup, Eggs Sardou and Bananas Foster) and did many a shot on Bourbon St. I found three matchbooks recently and was wondering if these places were still in existence:

1.) Messina's: This was an oyster bar that was really old with white mosaic tile floors and marble counters and wells worn in from a century of shucked shells. You just let the counter man shuck and roll them into your well untli you could take no more. Heaven! Also, they had a great crab gumbo.

2.) Visco's: Somewhat outside of town (on the shore of the Lake?) with a big grill and steamers in the middle of the restaurant, A great view of the water. I'm assuming was the Lake.

3.) Fat City: This was THE bar to go to for the 20's crowd. Also somewhat outside of town. What a night!!!

Are they still in biz or have they gone by the wayside? Any memories to share? I must get down your way again soon.


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  1. oy, ive been nearly everywhere but i havent heard of any of those :(

    1. Messina's is still there, but I am not sure it is open any longer as a restaurant. It looks like the owners have decided to only to private catering. They've been a fixture in the Kenner dining scene (if there ever was one) for decades. Actually, my sister had her rehearsal dinner there in 2004, which was Pre-K. A quick search on Google turned up

      I have heard of Visco's, but never been there. Definitely long gone.

      Fat City (the bar) is probably long gone. In fact, there's a whole district in Metairie called Fat City.

      Hope this helps.


      1 Reply
      1. re: UptownKevin

        From his description, he speaks not of Messina's inKenner but the older, and in its day, more famous, Messina's Oyster Bar, at 200 Charters st. Hey, Chefpaulo: was it near the Marriott? It was one of the finest oyster bars in the city. I really don't remember when it closed down. But a good restaurant, Mena's, has moved into its spot.

        I never tried Visko's, alas. But Fat City was always, as far as I remember, a district, in Metairie next tothe Lakside shopping center, wheree, of course, it still is. My parents owned several pieces of property in that area. They allowed this fast talking developer to talk them into selling. If they had not, my occupation would be collecting rents and spending the proceeds.

        Ah well.

      2. Wasn't Visko's on the westbank? It ain't dere no more.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mrsfury

          yes, it was. there may have been a pond or a canal nearby.

        2. Visko's was in Gretna, on the Westbank and isn't open anymore. There was no water view there.

          1. Many thanks to everyone for posting and shaking up the rusting synapses.

            Underworld Gourmet nailed it. It was the old Messina's Oyster Bar in the city and, back in '77, looked like it hadn't been re-decorated since 1900. What charm and such a culinary memory! Visko's was a foggier memory as I recall a water view, or at least going over a few long bridges to get there. it was a rainy April night so maybe I'm imagining the surroundings. BUT, not the food. We had steamed dinners in cotton sacks (crab claws, shrimp, clams, oysters, potatoes) and great beer. Now, on to Fat City, it was a huge bar with live music and it was in Metarie. It was really loud and we were there long enough to dull my hearing a few days. There was a line to get in and big bouncers A great time was had by all.

            I hope to get down there again soon.


            2 Replies
            1. re: Chefpaulo

              you crossed the Mississippi River to get to Visko's if you were staying in NOLA. and there are a lot of drainage canals that could pass for "waterfront".
              otherwise crossing bridges or driving over water can lead you to Middendorf''s in Manchac.
              Fat City in its heyday had lots of bars w/lots of lines and bouncers.

              1. re: edible complex

                I don't remember Fat City as a bar but I do remember the area---looked like hell the last time I went remotely near it. My gang eschewed Fat City--there was enough fun Uptown and MidCity and French Quarter et. al. I hadn'tthought about Messina's in years.