as written for iluvlocalplaces Dec 2013
Mark Dirnberger of the Bella Italia is embarking on a journey to resuscitate a Cape Girardeau icon. The Royal N’Orleans standing at 300 Broadway was erected in 1868. During its time it has housed many things, first being a German Social Club, then an Opera House and Masonic Lodge, a Newspaper office and even a laundry service. Over the years the building has become a grand restaurant.
If you have never been inside the building, there is only one word that can be used to describe it: stunning. It is the kind of intense architecture and decor that you can’t soak in during one visit. There are archways, ornate rails, lamp posts, chandeliers and seating that is sectioned off for an intimate feel. It is easy to see why the N’Orleans was the place to be in its heyday.