Last month Steve and his wife Sharon visited Steve’s hometown of Freehold, NJ. “I always love getting back to see the family and old friends. Sharing my roots and stories of my past with Sharon is always very special to me”. No visit to Freehold would ever be complete without a stop at Steve’s favorite pizza spot, Federici’s. “I really think Fed’s is my inspiration for Turtle Bay Pizza. I love their thin crust” Smith says. “The best part of it all was having many family members their to enjoy it with me. We had a small family reunion and it was very special.” Smith says there are a few eateries that he has to hit while back home. He always gets a sub from Sorrentos, Ice Cream from Jersey Freeze, and a few beers with friends at the Court Jester. Steve and Sharon spent a lot of time with his parents Agnes and Bill and sister Tracy. “We took a few rides to the beach and hit the boardwalk. I really miss the Jersey Shore. This area will always be special to me. By far though, the most important part of the trip was spending time with my parents. Living so far away is difficult at times especially as time rolls on. I realize I definitely would not be where I am today without them.” Smith went on to say, “They always gave me great support and encouragement growing up. I always played sports and I was a fair athlete at best but they always made me feel special. Like I could always succeed. I also realize now that I surely got my work ethic from my parents.” Steve’s father, Bill, worked for the local electric company as a mechanic and mom, Agnes, drove a school bus for the local school system. “I remember every power outage getting calls in the middle of the night for my dad to go into work and he would. Also, I don’t think i ever remember my mother taking a day off from work. Not ever!” Steve and Sharon also made a visit to Freehold Borough High School. Home of the Colonials. They met with Steve’s former baseball coach Jon Block, also spending time with former teachers and coaches Jim Gill, Stan Parker, and Rick Lister. Smith says, “I was surprised to see that there were still a few familiar faces around. I had so many coaches and teachers I’d like to be able to thank. It was really nice seeing them”. “This place will always have great memories for me. What a thrill it was to get a chance to walk the halls again. I haven’t been back inside since 1988. Much has changed and the place looks great.” Smith explained the he learned so much from Block about preparation and attitude. Smith’s senior year was Block’s first as skipper of the Colonials squad. “It was really amazing to see the transformation. In my first 3 years at the Boro, we stunk. Never finishing at or near .500. When block took over, things instantly changed. We prepared like never before. With that preparation came confidence and an attitude that we could win every time we took the field. Knowing that we were prepared allowed us to play with a confidence and attitude that we had never had before. Nothing was really different about the players, same guys. But we were always prepared and knew we could succeed. I feel like I keep those lessons with me in my work still today”. Block led the Colonials to their first conference championship in years in ’88. He has had many since and recently gone on to win his 300th career game as a head coach.
I’m tying my shoe in the kitchen of the Turtle Bay bar and restaurant on Decatur Street when I’m suddenly aware that I may be about to die in a horrible and grisly manner. It’s a sunny late-summer afternoon, and I’ve stopped by to try and snap some digital pictures of the three knives that allegedly were thrown at Turtle Bay’s cook, Chisesi Simpson, by a cranky ghost or a sneaky, malevolent, unseen force. Simpson leads me back into the kitchen where the first two knives are lying on the stainless steel countop.
“I don’t know where that other one’s at,” says Simpson. “Oh, there it is.” He strides down the length of the small, airy courtyard kitchen, toward the capped sewer drain where the ghost, which the bar has named “Boudreaux,” lives. It’s then that I notice that the lace of my left Converse All-Star has come undone. As I bend down to tie it, Simpson says, “Man, Boudreaux was pissed after you were here yesterday. He was really acting up, throwing stuff around. He threw this pan here all the way out there.”
I look up briefly to see the cook holding up a steel pan and gesturing with it to a spot at least 10 feet away. I flash on how this would all play out in a predictable horror movie. Nosy reporter girl angers ghost … returns to bar on innocent errand … knife mysteriously missing. While everyone in the theater is silently yelling Get out of there! Don’t tie your shoe! Run, girl! the cook is possessed and murders me while the audience grumbles how they saw it coming a mile away.
I straighten up quickly and realize Simpson is standing over me, brandishing a large knife. “Found it,” he says.
The Turtle Bay ghost is only the most recent bar haunting investigated by Kalila Katherina Smith, a tour guide for the Haunted History Tours who both founded the New Orleans Paranormal and Occult Research Society and is the Louisiana state head of the National Ghost Research Society. Her book New Orleans Ghosts and Vampires notes several haunted bars in the French Quarter including Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, Cosimo’s, Yo Mama’s and O’Flaherty’s. She believes that the violent atmosphere of the locales, many of which have been saloons of one kind or another over hundreds of years, predisposes them to the kind of tragic or gruesome on-premises deaths that cause spirits to linger. The 1100 block of Decatur Street where Turtle Bay is located is a particularly fertile area for haunting. Most of that land once belonged to the Ursulines Convent on Chartres Street and served as a potter’s field for yellow fever victims in the 18th century.
“There are probably more haunted bars in the French Quarter than we could ever put on a tour,” she says. “We pick the ones with the most activity and that are the best documented historically. But you’ve got death on top of death on top of death, from yellow fever, fires, hurricanes, violence — a high concentration of death in such a small area. Plus voodoo activity calling up spirits. And people who are drinking are more open to spirits, more open to those experiences.”
Smith recently participated in an investigation of the Turtle Bay ghost in conjunction with the Sci-Fi Channel show Ghost Hunters. She still isn’t ready to explain the ghost’s behavior, although she’s clearly intrigued. “It’s been turning equipment on and off in the middle of the night, throwing hot water,” she says. “And it’s usually pretty rare for a ghost to attack.”
Turtle Bay was honored to be featured #1 for New Orleans Top Late Night Spot for Food in the USA Today’s Top 10 Spots. With all the great fine dinning in New Orleans, oftentimes we get overlooked when it comes to food. We have worked really hard to not just provide great food, but to provide great food 24 hours a day. “To have respectable publications like PMQ and USA TODAY show us so much love we feel like the hard work is paying off,” said Brad Bohannan.
Turtle Bay is a hidden gem in the French Quarter. Popular with locals and tourists alike, TB boasts 25 beers on tap along with a belly-busting menu of American favorites like burgers, pizza and chicken wings. Whether cheering on your favorite team, kicking back with some friends, or just taking in the French Quarter atmosphere, Turtle Bay fits the bill. Located on busy Decatur Street, Turtle Bay stays open – and serves food until 3am Sunday through Wednesday and 24 hours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Turtle Bay has all the major sports packages, so you can get your fill of all kinds of sports action while you chow!
“We feel like we provide reasonably priced quality food to locals and tourist in New Orleans. We even deliver in the French Quarter,” Steve Smith.
Crawfish, crawdads, freshwater,m mudbugs….Whatever you call ’em, we got ’em at Turtle Bay!
We will boil Crawfish every Saturday and Sunday throughout the season.
While in the past we only boiled three sacks a day, but as we have become a crawfish hot spot over the last few years, we are preparing for our biggest boils to date!
With a huge 24 varieties of beers on tap, including lots of regional craft brews from Louisiana and Mississippi, you are sure to find the perfect beer to pair with your crawfish!
The warm weather means these suckers are going to be big and juicy! The boils start at around 3:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday…but them crawdads tend to go quick so you might want to get here early! And don’t forget to suck the heads!
Turtle bay has become a staple for great dinning and great beer selection! Turtle Bay is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to fill the needs of both locals and tourist. To the surprise of many tourists and residents, we offer free delivery in the French Quarter.
The next time you want to watch the big game or just don’t feel like cooking, give Turtle Bay a call and have them do the work for you! Options are aplenty, and you can suit everyone’s tastes…we have nachos, gumbo, cheese sticks, and wings to warm you up! Then try one of our many specialty pizzas or signature burgers!
Turtle Bay has worked hard to get pizzas that not just suit everyone’s taste, but tantalize it! We have always kept our ingredients fresh and we pride ourselves on our homemade crust. Here are some of the most popular specialty pizzas we serve:
BBQ Chicken Pizza
This pizza starts with barbecue sauce, mozzarella cheese, barbecue chicken, red onions and then finishes with honey drizzled on the edge of the crust! Baked golden brown, it has a distinct and delightful taste!
If you want a taste of the islands in the heart of the French Quarter, then you don’t have to go far! The Turtle Bay Hawaiian Pizza is made with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, Canadian bacon, pineapple and a honey drizzled crust. With sprinkled coconut, you won’t forget this pizza!
This local favorite is made with a mixture of our homemade ketchup-mayonnaise sauce, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, ground beef, onions and pickles. It’s like eating a cheeseburger with a delicious pizza taste!
After a long night in the French Quarter, nothing will hit the spot more than our Hangover Pizza! There is no sauce on this pizza which is made with mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon Canadian bacon, sausage and three eggs baked right on your pizza!
Next time you’re in the French quarter, please stop by and have one of our specialty pizzas!
The Times Picayune is planning to settle who has the Best Pizza in New Orleans!
We sure are proud of the pizza at Turtle Bay and love for you to vote for us. So if you like Turtle Bays pizza, then give us a Vote on your computer, iPhone or IPad…or all three! Then come grab a pie at Turtle Bay!