Cajun Boil and Shake opens in East Hyde Park this month | Evening Summary

Cajun Boil and Shake, a modern Cajun restaurant that will serve seafood porridge and comfort food, opens this month in East Hyde Park. Located on the former site of Bar Louie, 5500 S. Shore Dr., the restaurant aims to be a family gathering spot for the neighborhood.

The restaurant is the first Chicago outpost of Cajun Boil and Bar, a franchise with four locations in Chicago’s western and southwest suburbs. General Manager Lesley James said it was meant to be a gathering place, like “Southern breaking bread”.

James, who joined the franchise as a hostess at a location in Merrillville, Indiana, and rose through the ranks, said they chose the location because of its proximity to the lake and the appeal of Hyde Park.

“The neighborhood is beautiful…it’s a family neighborhood and that’s definitely what we’re looking for,” she said.

Located just across Lake Shore Drive from Promontory Point, the lake breeze suits the restaurant’s nautical decor. A door with a copper pirate ship riding the waves opens to an interior adorned with anchors, life rings and seafood carvings. A neon sign reading “Cajun Boil and Shake” glows above a long seated bar.

James said they looked forward to large gatherings and offered a host of items for his common theme. The “star” of the menu is the seafood broth to share with lobster tail, crab legs, crayfish and a signature butter sauce. Their staple drink, the liquor tower, a gallon-sized rum punch, is meant to be shared with loved ones at a “celebratory gathering.” Beyond seafood, the restaurant will also serve pastas, fried foods and ribs.

Seafood Boils will be offered at market price in one pound and half pound increments. Their po-boys range from $12 to $15. They are featured alongside other specialties such as the lobster roll ($22) and the fried alligator appetizer ($15).

It is the second seafood restaurant in the South to open in the neighborhood after What is krackin’1310 E. 53rd St., debuted last August.

The space, which has been empty since Bar Louie closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, is part of the Flamingo Apartments. Sheik Bey, the Flamingo’s senior property manager, said the entire building was thrilled to see the restaurant open.

“It will be a great addition to the community,” Bey said. “It’s already generated some excitement and created jobs.”

Cajun Boil and Shake is currently hiring for all positions and is particularly looking for cooks and servers. Having already hired several people from the area, they hope to continue bringing people from Hyde Park and become a big part of the community. Those wishing to apply can find open positions on Indeed by searching Cajun Boil and Shake.

Cajun Boil and Shake will announce its opening date and hours on its Facebook account @cajunboilandshake.

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