HYDE PARK — A Cajun crab house with several locations is set to open its first Chicago outpost next month, bringing seafood and Southern comfort foods to East Hyde Park.
Cajun Boil and Shake will open in about a month at the former Bar Louie, 5500 S. Shore Drive, general manager Lesley James said. The restaurant will offer seafood boils, fried seafood, po’ boy sandwiches and cocktails, among other options.
“Seafood boils are our star,” James said. “It’s an experience in itself: hands in the bag, cracking open crabs, peeling shrimp, breaking crawfish. It’s bringing people together and sharing that experience of dining in a really low-key, unassuming way.”
The Bahama booze tower — a gallon of tropical fruit punch with rum, triple sec and peach schnapps to share — “pairs amazingly well with a seafood boil,” James said.
Cajun Boil and Bar will operate the Hyde Park restaurant. The company has locations in suburban Oakbrook Terrace, Orland Park, Oak Park and Joliet, as well as Cajun Crab House in Merrillville, Indiana.
“We’ve had such immense success in the suburbs and branching out into Indiana, we felt we were ready to bring our experience to Hyde Park,” James said.
Cajun Boil and Shake’s menu will be similar to those found at the company’s other locations, where seafood boils and seafood by the pound are sold at market price, po’ boys with fries are $12-$15 and sides are $5-$18, James said.
“We’re still finalizing our menu, but for the most part we’ll have very similar pricing,” James said. “We’re hoping to come up with a few unique dishes for this specific location.”
Cajun Boil and Shake did a gut remodel of the former Bar Louie, which closed in April 2020.
“We’re focusing on Hyde Park at the moment to measure our success and see what we can bring to the city,” James said. “If we can experience success here, I would definitely say we’d be branching out.”
Hiring information for the Hyde Park location will soon be posted online and physical job applications will be available, as “we want to bring in the locals from Chicago to work in this location,” James said.
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