Seafood restaurant opening in Luling

When Atchafalaya Seafood Co. opens its doors in February, the restaurant will have new dishes and a new look but with the same Cajun roots and taste.

Dusten and Rosmarie Gainey of Paradis, owners of the former Zydeco’s restaurant, say they wanted a fresh start with their new concept, which is going to include their restaurant and seafood market under one roof.

“We’re very excited to be back,” said Rosmarie, who estimated they’ll employ at least 30 people. “We missed not being part of the community and serving the community, and now we get to do it again. This is a fresh start for us.”

They are opening in the former Avocados Mexican Grill & Cantina, an 8,000 square-foot building in Luling, which closed last year.

With them having a crawfish farm in Des Allemands, Dusten said the name from the crawfish-rich area of Atchafalaya came to mind for the new location.

“The people who come to my restaurant know it’s me, but know we’ve turned the page to do something different,” he said. “But doing something different doesn’t mean we’ll be way off track of what we served before.”

The couple had the Zydeco’s restaurant in Boutte for eight years until it was destroyed by fire on Memorial Day weekend in 2016. Dusten said business was strong there, selling as much as 1,500 pounds of crawfish a day.

“Zydeco’s was our baby,” Rosmarie said. “It was hard to close that chapter, but it was time to start fresh again.”

Soon after the fire, they reopened the restaurant under the same name at an existing building in Paradis for about two years and then closed it in early 2018, remaining closed until they negotiated the current location.

“We had the Zydeco’s in town and we have a little seafood market, and we decided to put them together,” Dusten said of the new concept. “People associate Zydeco’s with the buffet, but it’s no more. We will still serve these items and new ones, but no buffet.”

Rising seafood costs prevented continuing the seafood buffet, he said. Atchafalaya Seafood will still offer boiled seafood, as well as raw seafood at the market.

New additions will also include delivery services.

But Dusten was thrilled over offering new items like homemade boudin and cracklins, as well as shrimp and okra gumbo, a deep-fried crawfish etouffee and rice roll, and new soups.

“It’s a new venture for us,” Rosmarie said. “We’re rebranding. This is the new name moving forward.”

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