Monday, February 19, 2018

Cajun restaurant in the works at former Bootlegger Grill

By Ken Hedler
Dec. 5, 2017 at 11:55 p.m.

Business partners Brett Edmonds, left,  and Chad Armstrong are converting the former Bootlegger sports bar into a Cajun restaurant named  Booshay’s Bayou Café and plan to open in February.

The former Bootlegger Grill, which closed a month ago, is being converted into a restaurant serving Cajun dishes expected to open in February.

Brett Edmonds, a Longview resident who spent 36 years in the restaurant business, said Tuesday that he and his business partner, Chad Armstrong, have signed a long-term lease with Eberhart-Miller Real Estate to operate Booshay's Bayou Cafe at 1217 McCann Road. They are currently remodeling the building, which has long been a mainstay of Longview hospitality.

Booshay's will serve Cajun dishes that include jambalaya, etoufee, chicken and sausage gumbo, fried catfish and oysters, Edmonds said.

"If it swims, we are going to fry it and cook it," he said with a laugh.

Referring to the oyster bar, Edmonds said, "We will do char-broiled oysters on the half shell and fresh shucked oysters."

He said Booshay's would succeed in a crowded market because "there is nobody doing what we do."

Booshay's will differ from its predecessor because Bootlegger was a sports bar, Edmonds said, adding, "We are a restaurant that has a bar."

Former Bootlegger owner Chris Cline cited an "oversaturation" of chain restaurants and an inability to find a buyer as grounds for closing the restaurant after four years in business.

Booshay's will be a family owned restaurant, said Edmonds, who formerly owned Bob-A-Deaux's in his hometown of Shreveport. He said he retired from TGIF Fridays six years ago.

Edmonds said the building is "restaurant ready," with booths and tables remaining in place. He said Booshay's will have seating capacity for 192 people and hire 20 or more people. It will be open daily.

He said he has known Armstrong, who grew up in White Oak, for seven months. Armstrong owns Rid-X Termite & Pest Control, Mosquito Joe, East Texas Misting and a Liberty Tax Service.

Armstrong, who has no previous restaurant experience, said he will "just help out, whatever needs to be done."



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