Two longtime St. Charles Parish restaurant owners have closed their doors, and a new business has opened in their stead.
Atchafalaya Seafood Company has closed its doors after four years, though owners Dusten and Rosmarie Gainey have been fixtures in the local restaurant scene for longer than that – their Zydeco’s Restaurant was open at two different sites in Boutte and Paradis for nearly a decade prior to Atchafalaya’s opening. The two announced the decision last month via a message posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page. The couple called it the closing of one chapter and opening of another.
“This community has been great to us for 14yrs and we have absolutely loved serving you,” stated the message. “Thank you for being part of our lives, our children and grandchildren’s lives. We will truly miss seeing our regular guests all the time and we wish y’all the best.
“It’s been a great run and we leave a great business behind. We want to truly thank our staff who have been with us thru thick and thin. We appreciate each and every one of you.”
The Gaineys indicated the move was to allow them to focus more on and enjoy time with family.
They also noted the business site, at 12715 Hwy. 90 in Luling, would not go empty – nor the community without a local seafood spot at the location, as the business Thompson’s Seafood and Bar takes over where Atchafalaya departs. Thompson’s officially took over operations earlier this month and is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.
The Gaineys opened the doors to Atchafalaya Seafood Company in February of 2020, the Gaineys noting it was their way of creating a fresh start after closing down operations at Zydeco’s. The latter restaurant’s Boutte site was destroyed by a fire, caused by a lightning strike, on Memorial Day weekend in 2016. Following that loss, the two reopened the restaurant, this time in Paradis, where the couple opened the original Zydeco’s before moving to their larger Boutte location. After two years, they closed that site in 2018 as they moved forward with plans to open Atchafalaya Seafood in Luling.
The latter restaurant was a way of merging their Zydeco’s restaurant with their seafood market they also operated locally, and having both services available in one location. The name was inspired by an Atchafalaya region known for its crawfish.
Thompson’s Seafood and Bar will be the second restaurant for Shawn Thompson and Kristen Romback, as this joins their Thompson’s Kitchen restaurant in Port Sulphur.
Thompson and Dusten Gainey are longtime acquaintances. The move to expand to a second restaurant, for Thompson, went into the works after the Gaineys communicated their plans to retire.
“(Thompson) has actually been knowing Dustin for a long time,” said Romback. “That’s where we got our crawfish from. They were looking to retire. We talked about it, went and visited … and this community, the atmosphere, seeing the customers, it was really a no brainer from there.”
She said the first few weeks of business have been a joy.
“It’s really been awesome.” Romback said. “The customers have been wonderful, we’ve had repeats every week. So far everyone I’ve met has been wonderful and so nice.”
Grilled seafood, fried seafood and hamburger steaks are among the tasty items visitors can expect to find on the menu.
“We try to do specials every day, and we’re going to look to incorporate more as we go,” she said.