New Orleans family starts restaurant in Indy after Katrina

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In 2005, Art Bouvier was already settled in Indianapolis, long before predictions of a devastating hurricane called Katrina made landfall in Louisiana.

The natural disaster took more than a thousand lives, forcing life-long residents to leave the state they love.

Bouvier’s parents sought safety in Texas. Their goal was to wait out the storm.

“My dad called me the next day and said, ‘We are waiting to come back from New Orleans.’ I said, ‘Dad, there is no New Orleans to come back to,’ so he moved up here,” said Bouvier.

It didn’t take long before the family decided to open a restaurant called Papa Roux. The popular Cajun restaurant opened its doors near 10th Street and Post Road.

On any given day, customers line the hallways for the red beans and rice, shrimp po’boy and etouffee.

In the immediate aftermathof Katrina, Bouvier says his father had two takeaways about Indiana.

“His first shocking revelation is that the people were nice, and the cost of living was low,” said Bouvier.

24-Hour News 8 reached out to others who moved to Indianapolis in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but we were not successful in making contact Monday evening.

Images of Hurricane Harvey dominating television and social media posts over the last few days have brought back memories of Katrina for Bouvier.

“It has been heartbreaking what we lost 12 years ago,” Bouvier said.