S&D Oyster Company, on McKinney Avenue and Boll Street in the heart of Uptown, has been one of my family’s favorites for seafood, especially oysters and shrimp. Earlier this year, they received another of their many accolades from website purewow.com, naming S&D as “One of the 10 Old-School Restaurants That Have Survived the Test of Time.”
Several years ago, I met Herb Story, owner of S&D, and quickly found common interests, mainly military background and flying. I had just finished building a model of the B-47, which I flew in 1956-58 in the Air Force. Story was a Navy flyer and had just remodeled and expanded S&D, adding a beautiful outdoor patio area and a bar. Overhead in the bar is a shelf containing a nice collection of planes, many of which we both have flown. I had no place to display my model, so Story was nice enough to place it among his mostly Navy planes where it sits today.
On Veteran’s Day 2019, Story hosted a small group of mostly ex-military flyers. This was his third year to do this and I am hoping it will remain an annual event. Thereafter, I asked Story if I could write a short story about him and his wife and how he came to be in the restaurant business. This is the story about Story.
Story was born in Wichita Falls in 1944. Not surprisingly, he was senior class president of his high school in 1962. He spent a year at the Virginia Military Institute and then transferred to SMU where he graduated in 1966. There he met and married a Rotunda (SMU yearbook) Beauty, Mary Kay Mauldin. These were war years, so they moved to Florida where Story entered flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, flying the T-34 then the T-2 Jet trainer. Then it was to Kingsville, Texas, for carrier training in the F-9 where he received his “Wings of Gold.”
Story remained and became a flight instructor for two years and then it was off to Miramar in San Diego, flying the F-8 Crusader. That was followed by his final assignment at Guantanamo, on alert most of the time, flying and guarding the American assets in that theater. This concluded his six years of active duty.
Entering civilian life, Story started as a commercial real estate broker and investor at Hudson and Hudson for four years. An early investment was a historic grocery building on McKinney Avenue. Having lived in various coastal cities during his naval career, he had developed a taste for seafood. There was one restaurant in Pensacola with which he stayed in touch and decided to replicate in his McKinney Avenue building. Hence, S&D was born. Story built strong relationships with shrimp and oyster suppliers and added a personal touch with proprietary recipes, such as gumbo and cole slaw.
In 2013, Story made the decision to expand his business capacity with key real estate acquisitions on adjacent Boll Street to house his offices and add parking. He also added the patio and bar and expanded the kitchen. Today, he continues to attract young and old of all generations who enjoy and appreciate the New Orleans experience in the heart of Uptown.