Restauranteur and philanthropist T.J. Moran dies at 84
BATON ROUGE - A veteran of the Capital City restaurant scene, T.J. Moran, has died at the age of 84.
Moran's legacy centers around his company, TJM Restaurant Management, LLC, which owned and operated some of Baton Rouge's most notable eateries including Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, TJ Ribs, Ruffino's and Ninfa's Mexican Restaurant. Moran sold off the properties to partners and family members in recent years.
Moran came to Louisiana in the early 1970s by way of Chicago and initially set out to make his mark in real estate development. He changed course by a few degrees in 1977 when he became the first Ruth's Chris franchisee, opening the still thriving location on Constitution Avenue. In the decades to follow, he would extend his restaurant empire as he added TJ Ribs in the 1980s along with Ruffino's and Ninfa's in the 1990s.
While Moran was most noted for his passion for the restaurant industry, he was also a noted contributor to various charitable causes in Baton Rouge. His personal involvement in projects like WBRZ's Pat's Coats for Kids, the Children's Miracle Network and the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation went down as significant efforts. He was also founding director of the Dale Brown Foundation and a charter member of the Karnvial Krewe de Louisiane. Even as recent as 2011, Moran continued to give to the community in the form of a $1 million donation to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.
Funeral arrangements and additional information are expected to be announced soon.