Boutte restaurant finds home at dumped library location

Just five miles down Highway 90 in Paradis a bigger, better opportunity is waiting for Zydeco’s II owner Dusten Gainey.

Gainey, who first opened the Cajun-themed restaurant two years ago, says that his business is out growing its Boutte location, prompting the executive decision to move into the former Golden Country Buffet building in Paradis.

The site, which was previously scouted for a new West Bank library, will provide Gainey with the chance to expand his business.

“Moving to the Paradis location will give us a larger facility and more opportunity to provide our customers with  a wide selection of services,” he said. “I just like the building. It’s better than where we are at.”

Limited parking and a restaurant that sits too far off of  Highway 90 are the main reasons why Gainey decided to make the move.

“We’ve been here in Boutte for two years and there are still people who don’t know that we exist,” said Gainey. “Leasing the building in Paradis will help put us in the public eye and service a larger group of customers.”

Currently, Zydeco’s II can seat 54 customers. At three times the size, the new building will allow 150 people to dine in at the restaurant.

Also in the works is an oyster bar, a daily soup and salad buffet, and a full drink menu including beer and a variety of cocktails.

“Because we’ve been in a smaller location, we haven’t had the opportunity to provide the same services as the original Zydeco’s in Belle Chasse,” Gainey said. “Being in the larger building will give us the space to do it.”

Customers can expect a  Drago’s-style charbroiled oyster bar where they can sit and eat oysters still sizzling from the chef’s grill, along with a southern-style Sunday buffet inspired by local cuisine.

“We’d also like to eventually open up a market within the restaurant where people can buy fresh seafood and speciality meats,” added Gainey. “There we’d focus on a variety of meat products like t-bones and turduckens, and a range of other items like seafood and gumbos in addition to other seafood favorites.”

Due to the large number of   neighboring businesses in Boutte, lunch hour is currently the busiest time of the day  for Gainey. The big question is, will those mid-day diners travel the extra distance to the new Paradis location?

“I’d like to say that I feel confident that our lunch crowd will continue to dine with us,” said Gainey. “We’ve collected several customer surveys and about 90 percent of our customers say that they will continue to eat with us in Paradis.”

However there are a few disadvantages that Gainey says concern him.

“While the building is larger and provides more parking for our customers, I am worried about left-hand turning off of the highway and the fact that several restaurants have failed at that location,” he said.

“Crossing the highway  without a middle turning lane has created issues for other businesses in Paradis. I’d like to see perhaps the speed limit eventually lessened from 45 mph to 35 mph.”

In an effort to keeping customers coming in, Gainey plans on promoting the restaurant’s move and possibly increasing dine-in hours.

“Depending on how business goes after the move, we could possibly extend our Sunday and weekday hours,”he said. “We’ve been in there doing a lot of work and hope to open by Aug. 10.”

Zydeco’s II is currently open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m.

If dining hours are extended, the restaurant would close at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 8 p.m. on Sundays.


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