|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.”
newsy bits for the fam
Festival International de Louisiane is right around the corner — April 23-27 — and IND Monthly’s second annual Fest fIND contest is along for the ride.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
Georgia-based fried chicken chain would go up against Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and others (like the Popeyes near its proposed location).
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The perfect color for Easter Sunday
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
A Scott businessman has pleaded guilty to failing to report a conspiracy to award Opelousas Housing Authority construction bids to his company.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
Egg-citing ideas for sharing at family gatherings
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, April 15, 2014:
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Court-appointed examiner says Lafayette businessman was “effectively on both sides” of transactions, opens door for legal action against him.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Lafayette-based insurance broker/risk management group bought by Florida firm for undisclosed sum; principals Landry and Harris continue to run local operations.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
The life and legacy of Dave Perkins will be commemorated with a special INDesign Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the 2014 event on April 24.
Easy crafts in time for Easter