History Places St Landry History People & Places

Photo from the Past – Steamboat Warehouse, Washington, LA

CAROLA LILLIE HARTLEY
Publisher and Contributing Writer

Photograph: Carola Lillie Hartley Collection

In 1978, the historic Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant in Washington was selected as the first-place winner in the “Business for Beauty” program. Sponsored locally by the Civic Circle Club of Opelousas, the “Business for Beauty” program at that time was an annual project of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and Cities Service Company. It was designed to motivate improved appearance standards for local businesses. This was a national award that Steamboat Warehouse owner Jack Womack received in Washington D. C. on May 9th of that year.

That was only one of the many local, state and national honors won by the St. Landry Parish restaurant over the years. The Steamboat Warehouse story was also featured in an article in the 1980s Ford Times magazine that found its way to eight million readers over the United States that year. Shown in this photo from the past, taken in the 1980s, the Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant continues to be part of the culinary culture of St. Landry Parish today.

Located in the historic town of Washington, LA, the Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant was built in the 1830s when Washington was a port where steamboats traveled to and from the town on the Bayou Courtableau. The building was purchased during the 1970s by Opelousas businessman Jack Womack, who renovated it and opened the restaurant in 1977. It was later owned by Frankie Elder and is now owned by Chef Jason Huguet.