After a six-week hiatus for open-heart surgery, award-winning Independent cartoonist Greg Peters is back in action. His Snake Oil cartoon returns this week on p. 12. Welcome back, Greg. ' Scott Jordan
Less than a month after selling its interest in the City Club at River Ranch, Lafayette's Moody family is back in the restaurant business. Led by B.I. Moody III, the family purchased Coyote Blues on Johnston Street and is planning to expand the Mexican concept, which has been wildly popular in Lafayette.
Coyotes Blues' Simon Eid, who founded the restaurant with his close friends, brothers Robert and Rami Ajam, would not disclose financial terms of the deal. Sources close to the parties, however, say the restaurant's building, business and rights to the name sold for about $4 million.
"They want to take it on the road," Eid says. Coyote Blues' first stop will likely be Baton Rouge, and the previous owners will work as consultants in the expansion.
B.I. Moody's son, Braxton IV, has been captivated by the restaurant since it opened in April 2003, and it's no secret in restaurant circles that he has been trying to buy it for some time. Records in the Louisiana Secretary of State's office reveal that he formed Coyote Blues Restaurant Group LLC in June 2004 and another entity, Coyote Blues International LLC, on Dec. 14, 2006.
"They've been looking at it for years," Eid says.
In the past, knowledgeable restaurant industry sources have estimated Coyote Blues' annual revenues to be about $3 million, a figure that likely escalated in 2006. "Coyote Blues had a very, very good year last year," Eid says.
Because of Coyote Blues' immediate success, the Lebanese immigrants hoped to franchise the concept, but Eid says their lack of experience in this arena prompted them to explore a relationship with the Moody family. The Moodys once owned and operated a number of local restaurants and franchises, including Burger King, Luther's Barbeque and Chart House; Braxton IV had Burger Tyme, the Sonny's Bar-B-Q outside of the Mall of Acadiana and brought Outback Steakhouse to Lafayette. "They really know these big concepts. They know how to run them," Eid says.
Eid's group owns Stoma's Furniture & Interiors on Johnston Street, as well as La Pizzeria on Ambassador Caffery Parkway, a 10-year-old gourmet pizza eatery that also has enjoyed tremendous success in this market. ' Leslie Turk
WHO WANTS TO BE A COUNCILMAN?
Wanted: Thick-skinned loquacious persons able to work late on Tuesday nights. People skills and kissing babies, a plus. Must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of Lafayette parish for at least one year. No education/degree required. Annual pay of $22,791 plus some expenses.
AMERICA'S WETLAND GARNERS PRAISE
PR News, a leading industry trade publication, has presented its top honor for 2006 to Louisiana's public information campaign on coastal restoration. America's Wetland, which is supported by private and public resources, joined the ranks of other high-profile winners such as the American Veterinary Association, Girl Scouts and U.S. Postal Service. The group's "Campaign to Save Coastal Louisiana" was recognized for its "groundbreaking work" that resonated with national and local communities, association members, volunteers, the media and other stakeholders. Among other issues, America's Wetland was critical in helping the state educate the general public and lobby Congress to get Louisiana a greater share of its offshore oil and gas royalties last year. "For the past four years we have been informing the nation and world about Louisiana's land loss crisis and how that loss affects the state, the nation and the world," says Valsin A. Marmillion, a Houma native and manager of the wetland campaign. Louisiana is the home to almost 6,000 square miles of coastal wetlands, but they are being lost at an alarming rate ' more than 230 square miles in the 1990s alone. This vanishing landscape supports and protects wildlife, communities and the important energy infrastructure on Louisiana's tattered coast. ' Jeremy Alford
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