About Us


HAND-BATTERED & Cooked to Order
Tough to beat and worth every craving, Ponchatoulas’ hand-battered items are dipped and fried until golden with flavor. From Fried Cheese Sticks and Green Tomatoes to Fried Shrimp and Fish, one cannot truly experience Louisiana Cajun flavor without trying a hand-battered staple from Ponchatoulas.
Southern Staples
Indulge in classic dishes crafted with authentic Cajun flair, featuring rich and soulful holy trinity flavors that warm the heart. From savory Gumbo to creamy Crawfish Étouffée, every bite is a nostalgic taste of the South that will leave you longing for ‘home.’
Packed Bar Menu
Sip on carefully-crafted specialty drinks like the Hurricane and Ruston Strong Mule, perfectly complemented by an extensive selection of craft beers and your favorite drafts. As a true Southern-grounded bar, we proudly stock a full array of liquors, making every visit to Ponch an unforgettable, good time. Cheers to a great time ahead!
SOUL OF Cajun Food
The soul of Cajun food originates in the heart of Louisiana, where the captivating blend of French, African, and Spanish influences gives birth to its unique and irresistible flavors. At Ponchatoulas, we pride ourselves on preserving the essence of this beloved culinary tradition and pay homage to the roots of Louisiana’s iconic cuisines. Our commitment to keeping the authentic Cajun flavor, with its rich history and vibrant taste, alive is evident in every dish we serve.
Rooted in the heart of Downtown Ruston, the walls of our building have decades worth of stories to tell. Once a fire station in the earlier 1900s and then a radio / recording studio for the likes of legends such as Elvis Presley, our building is now home to authentic Cajun cuisine that lives in the heart of the liveliness now a part of all the great things happening in Downtown Ruston.


A true restaurant entrepreneur, Johnny is no stranger to the business. As a graduate of Louisiana Tech, it was nearly fate to open Ponchatoulas in the heart of downtown Ruston in 1996. Ponchatoulas is proof of his original passion for serving customers with great, down-home cuisine and a good time. In 1999, he took Chris ‘Moose’ Garriga — then a college student and line cook at the restaurant — under his wing and taught him the ropes of the business, food preparation, and customer services, leading to Chris' introduction as co-owner in 2004. Now, two restaurants and a HVAC company later, Johnny and his partner, Chris, have centralized their ventures to Ruston and are true staples in the community and for those traveling through. Their partnership now results in the success of these operations, but it is the true friendship formed on passion for the restaurant business in 2004 that propels the three ventures forward. Away from work, Johnny is a husband, father to his two sons, and self-proclaimed workaholic, escaping for the outdoors much like his business partner.
Originally hailing from Minden, Christy’s journey with Ponchatoulas began in 2008 when she joined the staff as a hostess during her time as a student at Louisiana Tech. Through hard work, much observation from the hostess stand, and a gained understanding of the business, she quickly rose through the ranks, becoming the General Manager in 2011. After graduating from Tech with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing in 2012, Christy quickly became an invaluable asset to the Ponch team. There’s no doubt that Christy bleeds ‘Ponch red,’ as her daily lineup of responsibilities encompasses it all. From staff scheduling, operational and team management, assisting with the overseeing of the wholesale operation, catering, and handling any task that comes her way, Christy keeps the ‘Ponch Party’ going. Beyond her role at Ponchatoulas, Christy is a wife, mother to two girls, and much like her bosses, enjoys being outdoors and traveling. If you don’t find her at Ponchatoulas or exploring with her family, you’re bound to find her cheering for her girls at the ball field.
During his time as a student at Louisiana Tech, ‘Moose’ was a line-cook for Ponchatoulas in 1999. Discovering his passion for the restaurant business there, he decided to dive in head-first and become the co-owner of Ponchatoulas in 2004. His partner, Johnny Gaudet, shared a love of authentic Louisiana homestyle cooking and between the two of them and keen business acumen, the venture has turned into over 27 years of proud ownership in three different establishments in the Ruston area. The partners took on another business with the purchase of Log Cabin in 2005, where Moose oversees the operations on a day-to-day basis. The pair also started an HVAC business in 2017, Hot2Cold, serving the local and surrounding markets. Away from work, Moose is a husband to his wife, Jennifer, and a father to his two daughters. He is a community advocate, serving on various boards and committees, as well as an avid-hunter and outdoorsman.


19 96
Johnny Gaudet opened Ponchatoulas in Downtown Ruston
19 99
Chris ‘Moose’ Garriga started working as a line cook during his college years at Louisiana Tech
20 04
Johnny and Moose went into business together as co-owners of Ponchatoulas
20 05
The pair purchased Log Cabin, marking the start of their second restaurant venture together.
20 08
Christy began working at Ponch during her college years at Louisiana Tech and remained on, now serving as Manager
20 XX
Ponchatoulas started a Ponchatoulas Wholesale division, now distributed through Sysco and Performance Food Group to the Little Rick, Houston and Shreveport markets