On the back side of Judice Inn’s menu, there’s a page-long account of the Judice brothers — Alcide and Marc — who in 1947, with the help of family members and flashlights, built Judice Inn during evening hours after working at their day jobs.
At the time, the building was more than a mile and half outside of town on the Abbeville highway. Still located in the same spot, the burger joint is now deep inside Lafayette’s city limits on Johnston Street. The restaurant is still owned by Alcide’s and Marc’s widows, Pearl Cormier Judice and Gladys Bourque Judice, and managed by Marc’s youngest son, Gerald.
On April 5, the family business turned 60 years old, but plans for a celebration had to be put on hold. “Being two large families full of Catholics, we didn’t feel like Holy Thursday was a good day to have a celebration,” Gerald says. “We also had some family members who were out of town. So it just worked out best to postpone it for a little while. May 19 was the first date we could come up with that all 13 of the children could all make it here.”
This Saturday, May 19, at 11 a.m., Judice Inn will throw a day-long birthday party. “We’re just going to have a big party outside,” Gerald says. “We jack back the prices and just have a little celebration for the folks who have supported us all of these years.” Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, draft beer, and souvenir cups will run you a buck, and soft drinks, chips, candy and ice cream will set you back 50 cents.
“We’re a small kitchen,” Gerald adds. “On an extremely busy day, just pumping it out as fast as we can, we probably do maybe 800 burgers for lunchtime and another 600 or so for the evening. Saturdays are those days. For our 50th anniversary, we did 2,700 burgers. I don’t know how it was possible, to be honest with you, but we did it.”
This Saturday, expect your order to take at least 30 minutes, and with the sheer volume of orders expected, Gerald says no special orders will be considered. Your choices from the kitchen are either a hamburger or a cheeseburger — loaded or plain. Grilled onions or a fried egg will have to wait for another visit.
Judice Inn, located at 3134 Johnston St., will host its 60th anniversary party this Saturday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more info, call 984-5614 or visit www.judiceinn.com.