|Turk File 09.28.2011|
Mulate’s No More
By Wynce Nolley
Pont Breaux’s keeps famous Breaux Bridge Cajun eatery’s memory alive.
After 31 years in Breaux Bridge, Mulate’s Cajun Restaurant is writing a new chapter on the Acadiana restaurant scene. Now under the ownership of longtime manager Jimmy LaGrange and his business partner Randy LeBlanc, the Breaux Bridge institution re-opened simultaneously with its closing — but it’s now called Pont Breaux’s Cajun Restaurant.
|Randy LeBlanc and Jimmy LaGrange, owners of Pont Breaux’s|
After enjoying immense popularity and success since 1989 under the guidance of the late Goldie Comeaux, her children decided that it was time to move on so they made an offer to the restaurant’s general manager of more than 26 years. LaGrange’s decision to assume ownership leaves founder Kerry Boutté’s Mulate’s in New Orleans the exclusive location of the famous Cajun junction.
“The atmosphere will still be the same,” assures LaGrange. “I’ve been working with Ms. Goldie and the family for 23 years. I started off as a busboy dishwasher and then I was assistant manager and I’ve been the general manager for the last 20 years; the family has been great to me.”
LaGrange’s business partner and friend, LeBlanc is hardly a stranger to Mulate’s rich history. LeBlanc’s son Blasien has been playing the Mulate’s stage since he was only 6 years old; now 17, he’s an accordionist with Nik L Beer, along with other Cajun performers.
“When I was offered the opportunity I took the issue real serious because I believe in the Cajun culture and I believe in the Acadiana area and the Breaux Bridge people,” says LeBlanc, who also is president of Tri City Services Inc., a directional drilling company.
Aside from “just keeping the history going,” LeBlanc says another major reason he decided to go in with LaGrange on the restaurant was to maintain the jobs the restaurant provides for the local economy.
“I thought that with the economy the way it is today then buying this place and keeping the approximately 35 employees employed was a great idea,” he says. “So my idea is to keep people working and to get the local people back over here to enjoy a great time with Cajun style at Pont Breaux’s.”
Something LeBlanc insisted the new incarnation of the restaurant add is boiled crawfish, along with boiled shrimp, frog legs and other Louisiana seafood. The menu will also now feature fresh steaks, seafood salad, crabmeat au gratin, steak au gratin, grilled tilapia and alligator and several char-broiled items. Plate lunch specials will also be offered Monday through Friday; the plate lunch menu was still being tweaked at press time.
Another aspect of the restaurant that won’t change is live Cajun music performed every night of the week.
“I was born and raised Cajun, I love Cajun music, I love Cajun food, I love meeting people, I love to hear the stories of the people from Breaux Bridge,” says LeBlanc. “If the dance floors could talk they would go way back, so we want to keep the floor for the future.”
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