Richard Hurst is taking on his grandfather’s legacy one “snowball” at a time. Starting with his grandfather and a snowball stand in 1932 and the history that comes with four generations in Lafayette until today, Richard is back at the helm of Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn. Richard and Lori plan to focus on the original and make it shine bright, putting 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations back under one roof! Once with two full-service restaurants, one in Lafayette since 1932, and one in New Iberia for 32 years, the Hurst family has prospered in the Acadiana area. The beginning -a hand-pushed snowball wagon and $1.30 investment in sugar and flavoring in the middle of the Depression with an enterprising country boy from Youngsville named Hulo “Poor Boy” Landry, a family tradition was born. Originally a baker by trade from the Evangeline Maid bread family, Hulo developed an allergy to flour and by necessity became an entrepreneur. From snowballs to hamburgers to famed “Poor Boy” sandwiches, Hulo’s business expanded and prospered. With input from his wife, Eugenia, relatives and friends, the menu grew to include seafood and steaks. In 1939, he moved from St. John Street to a beautiful site overlooking the Vermilion Bayou at Pinhook Bridge. Then disaster struck. Many believed that the devastating flood of 1940, which swamped the restaurant, ruining building and equipment, would mean the end of “Poor Boy’s”, but three months later found Hulo Landry back in business.
In 1946, he opened the first completely air-conditioned restaurant in Lafayette and enjoyed continuous success until his death in 1958. Still, Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn endured. Upon his death in 1958, his son-in-law and only daughter, Larry and Kathlyn Hurst, took over the management of Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn, and prospered on the same premise that brought success and respect from the community to Hulo -quality in food and perfection in service. In 1977, Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn moved to its present site where the Hursts began to groom two of their four children to manage the restaurant, though every family member has worked here in some capacity. In 1985, under the guidance and watchful eye of their parents, Richard and Elaine took over the operation of the restaurant. They made an outstanding brother/sister team, and along with their loyal staff continued the family tradition of consistent quality in food and service.
In 1988, they opened their second restaurant, Little River Inn. They took over the Bayou Bar in Bayou Landing from the Patout Family. In 2000 when Richard moved Little River to its new location on Main Street, Richard’s wife, Lori, joined the restaurant team. The new location encompassed a little bit of history. Originally the BF Trappey office building, it overlooked the famous Bernard F Trappey Oak, estimated to have been planted in 1630. Lori managed the front of the house there, while Richard supervised the kitchen. Fast forward to 2011, Elaine followed in the footsteps of her father, Larry, and retired early and Richard followed in the footsteps of his mother, Kathlyn, keeping the family tradition going until the next generation—grooming son, Christian, in front of house operations as a server, kitchen management, and also in the office. This also made the second time Richard has bought the restaurant in one form or another.
He and his wife, Lori, plan to live up to Hulo’s dream, and as a dynamic husband/wife team continue the Hurst family tradition. Hitting the fast forward button once again to 2020, Richard and Lori decide it is time to be back at the original, train more hands on, have three generations back under one roof—learning even more from the matriarch of the family, restaurant history from dad, and making a bittersweet decision to get back to one location—the original “Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn”. Both locations have seen Acadiana grow and prosper, with many fond memories made in New Iberia—but with a new outlook, new energy and new plans to take Riverside to greater levels, more history is to be made. If windows and doors could talk, what tales they could tell! Birthday celebrations, business deals, proposals, reunions, parties of all kinds have taken place at both of our locations. Couples who held their wedding receptions here return again and again to celebrate their anniversaries with us. Now, Richard and Lori are looking forward to more stories to fill the pages with—so stay tuned. The Hursts would like to thank you for the opportunity of serving you, and Richard and Lori hope that in their food and service you find a bit of the love and intense pride that has gone into the creation of Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn!
Your Hosts, Richard, Lori & Christian Hurst Larry & Kathlyn Hurst
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