Two Lafayette restaurants, both spinoffs of successful concepts that are still going strong, have shut their doors. Pinhook Road's Catahoula's Steakhouse served its last meal New Year's Eve, three days after Hub City Diner on Kaliste Saloom Road called it quits.
The first Catahoula's opened in 1996 in Grand Coteau and is now owned and operated by Jude Tauzin, and the original Hub City Diner in the Oil Center was founded 18 years ago by Charlie Goodson, George Graham and Pat Mould. Current owner Jimmy Guidry purchased the location 10 years ago from Graham and opened a second restaurant in the Shops at Martial on Kaliste Saloom Road in August 2006.
"It's a great location, and it's a beautiful restaurant," Guidry says of the Kaliste site. "The effort-reward just didn't work for me; the rewards have to outweigh the effort."
Guidry maintains economic conditions did not factor into his decision. "The economy never was a factor," he says. "The business didn't waver from beginning to end."
For John Slaughter at Catahoula's, however, economic conditions -- though not necessarily local ones -- did play a role. "No one likes to turn on the TV and see what they're seeing," he says. "The psychology [of the nation's recession] is a problem. The higher end restaurants are affected directly by it. Once people shave just a little bit, we are the first to be affected."
Slaughter and his partner, Brach Myers, made the decision after sitting down in December to assess what business would likely be like in the first quarter of '09. "We didn't really like what we saw," Slaughter says. The business' lease does not expire till 2010, but at least two interested parties have approached the landlord, Greg Gachassin, about the space, which also made the decision to close easier. Slaughter says it is highly likely that another restaurant operator will take over the lease soon.
Slaughter and Myers are already planning to launch a new business, a quick-service concept with the working name Louisiana Fish Fry, which is locating at the corner of Prejean Road and North University Avenue in Carencro (at the entrance to Pelican Park). The business will feature plates of fried fish, shrimp and chicken.
Guidry, who has been serving as general manager of his Oil Center location, has moved Jason Redmon back from Kaliste Saloom as GM, along with eight other employees. Redmon has been with Guidry for a decade. "Given the employment situation, it's a big plus for the Oil Center," Guidry says. The Kaliste Saloom Road location had about 42 employees when it closed. "From what I gather the majority are already employed," he says. "Restaurants are still short-staffed."
And while the local economy was not a driving factor in his decision to close, Guidry says 2009 will be a challenging time for local restaurants, given the decline in real estate activity, falling oil and natural gas prices and the national downturn. "Anybody that's not positioning for '09 is behind the 8 ball," he says.
From jewelry to home goods, deals abound
Forgiving shapes for NOLA Bowl
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, December 12, 2013:
As part of a national undertaking known by industry insiders as the “Butterfly Project,” a rebranded version of The Daily Advertiser is set to launch with Sunday’s edition of the Gannett-owned paper.
Louisiana moved up a slot to 48th in the ranking of healthy states — once again, thank God for Mississippi! — so all this frettin’ about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refusal to expand Medicaid per Obamacare ... fuggidaboutit! We don’t need Medicaid no more!
The Denham Springs woman who placed Christmas lights in the shape of a butter finger on her roof in a display of anger directed at neighbors has doubled the trouble for the 2013 holiday season.
The New Orleans architect behind the 1984 World’s Fair also left his mark on Lafayette.
Laid back vibe just right for NOLA Bowl
The 30-second commercial, to run around the state, is the Democratic senator's first TV spot in her bid for re-election to a fourth term.
It's a number that has edged up but falls far short of the thousands who are eligible for subsidized coverage.
A group of mostly higher education leaders will make recommendations to state lawmakers about how to tweak the policies governing tuition rates charged at the state's public colleges.
Week long specials and a ribbon cutting celebration held in Parc Lafayette
Fort Worth company's new facility at Lafayette Regional Airport will build helicopters primarily for the export market.
Could River Ranch restaurant be the next star?
Move over Hooters — there’s a new breastaurant coming to town.
Hashtag, retweet, like, share and do whatever else it takes to get in good today with the jolly man in red.
That would be Congressman John Fleming talking about Sen. David Vitter.
The alleged mastermind behind the bribery scheme that went on for four years under DA Mike Harson’s nose isn’t just schizophrenic, bipolar and recovering from mini strokes; he now says he has cancer.
Louisiana's higher education leaders are trying to work out a financing deal to keep the state's public colleges from running low on state cash to operate their campuses.
With their latest triumph, the Saints left little doubt about how tough they are to beat in the Superdome. Unfortunately, two of their remaining three games are on the road.