If you were ambling down Royal Street back in the early 1970s, you probably went into a store that was owned by Roger Simonson on Royal Street. Closed around 1974, A Better Mousetrap sold posters, cards, and any hot new item of the time.. Roger was raised in Peoria, moved to New Orleans in the 1960s (following his older brother to the area) where he went to UNO and happily found his forever home. Roger went on to own other businesses after ABM, but spent most of his remaining years as a high-end kitchenware salesman and then as a cab driver. His uniform was usually jeans and a button-down shirt with a snappy tie during the day (and short shorts and clogs in the summer!), a leather-booted lighter peeking from his pocket and after 5 pm, beer or a gin and tonic in his hand (cheap gin was always the choice). Roger was seen throughout the 80s and 90s at The Steak Pit, Sloppy Jim’s Bar (much more on that place sooner or later), Rawhide, and Mama Rosa’a among other Quarter places. Some may also remember him during his time running the Persian Boy Gallery on Decatur in the 1990s, until PB owner Roger Bogle’s murder shut all of his businesses down.
A Better Mousetrap didn’t last long, but it foretold the trend to fun kitsch/card shops in the Quarter. Roger was one of two longtime Quarter characters that came from ABM: Sooner or later, you’ll meet the other in an interview here with ABM employee Sam, who continues to work in the French Quarter.