Where was the famous soft drink Barq's born? Was it in New Orleans or Biloxi?
Dear Ms. Laife,
Although we like to think Barq's is a New Orleans-born product, it originated in Biloxi, Miss. — but it was created by a native New Orleanian, Edward Charles Barq.
Barq was born in New Orleans in 1871. After spending some of his youth in France, he returned to New Orleans and with his brother Gaston opened the Barqs Brothers Bottling Company in the French Quarter in 1890.
His first success in the soft drink business came in 1893, when he won a gold medal at the Chicago World's Fair for a concoction he called Orangine.
After he got married, Barq moved to Biloxi where he purchased the Biloxi Artesian Bottling Works. It was there that he created and bottled the now-famous root beer in 1898.
The first franchise was opened in Mobile, Ala., in 1934, and before long, there were franchises everywhere. In 1976, the Barq family sold the company, and the headquarters was moved to New Orleans. Coca-Cola purchased the soft drink brand in 1995.
Biloxi is proud of its unique beverage, and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Barq's, Mayor A.J. Holloway officially pronounced March 26, 1998, Barq's Root Beer Day.