|Photos by Robin May|
|Kevin Robin and Sanjay Maharaj of The Little Big Cup|
Robin is the owner of a new restaurant in Arnaudville called The Little Big Cup, which opened just over a year ago. Robin and his business partner, Sanjay Maharaj, a Trinidad native, are representative of what some residents are calling Arnaudville’s renaissance, marked in part by a number of new ventures, including the Bayou Teche Brewery on LA 31, Tom’s Fiddle & Bow Shop, the new NuNu’s art studio and, possibly in the near future, a French immersion program in the old St. Luke’s Hospital.
Robin is like many of the town’s native sons and daughters who left their hometown after high school only to return in recent years.
“I lived in New York for about 20 years, but started getting the ahnvie to move back again about two years ago,” he tells IND Monthly during a recent visit to his restaurant, which overlooks Bayou Fusilier.
Robin is no newcomer to Arnaudville’s business community; he represents the fifth-generation to own Russell’s Food Center, located directly across the street from The Little Big Cup.
Recalling the return to his hometown, Robin says the idea to open a restaurant came when his partner, Maharaj, asked the simple question: Where does one go for a good cup of coffee in Arnaudville?
“There wasn’t a place,” says Robin. “So we originally opened Little Big Cup as a little coffee shop. And it has just mushroomed from there.”
That little coffee shop has since become a restaurant, specializing in what Robin describes as “the classic Louisiana plate lunch.”
“The idea was to offer something for people like my sister with kids, people with hectic lives, to be able to still get a nutritious, affordable meal,” he says.
Now Robin is gearing up for the next expansion of the business. That development, for which construction is already under way, includes the erection of a massive wooden deck on the backside of the restaurant. Once finished, it will not only allow for al fresco, on-the-bayou dining, but will also be a place for entertainment, with open mic nights, an outdoor kitchen for cooking demos and a place for zydeco/Cajun dancing.
Like the town’s other business owners, Maharaj and Robin welcome the idea of using the vacant St. Luke’s Hospital building as headquarters for a French immersion program.
“This project would only be a positive for Arnaudville’s economic development and its business community,” says Maharaj, noting, however, that the French immersion program is meeting some resistance from town folks (see related story, Page 6).
Robin, however, believes they will come around. Oftentimes, those against the unknown (and fearful of change) have more in common than they suspect, he says.
“I always joke that Sanjay, even though he’s from another country, is more Cajun than I am,” Robin says of his partner in business and life. “He’s so devoted to family, food, music, and that love of family and culture, to me, is what being Cajun is all about.”
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, March 10, 2014:
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.