Under a newly-filed plan, the restructuring of the restaurant will include an entirely new menu and a new chef, Ryan Trahan.
Jacques Rodrigue, son of famed Louisiana artist George Rodrigue, said the Blue Dog Cafe is filing for bankruptcy.
Rodrigue said under a newly filed plan, the restructuring of the restaurant will include an entirely new menu and a new chef, Ryan Trahan, former owner and chef of Dark Roux restaurant in Lafayette.
“We’re really excited about Ryan Trahan,” Rodrigue said. “We’ve completely changed the menu. There will be more locally sourced, fresher ingredients.”
According to Rodrigue, only four signature items from the old Blue Dog menu will remain. The seafood wontons, corn and crab bisque, crawfish enchiladas and the Louisiana Purchase, a chicken and pasta dish. All are customer favorites and will remain, while Trahan will bring newer, fresher dishes to the table.
“Our goal with the menu is to move us away from all of the unhealthy — everything fried and smothered — movement that has been longstanding in Cajun cuisine,” Trahan said. “It’s very misleading to travelers and to tourists that come in, for them to think our culture and way of life only revolves around fried and smothered foods.”
Trahan said he plans to focus on the natural resources that surround the state, including the abundance of Gulf seafood.
“We have a very valuable resource in the Gulf of Mexcio,” Trahan added. “We want to bring those ingredients and showcase them in the best possible way. And to draw inspiration from George Rodrigue’s paintings and show that Cajun culture is directly associated with our food culture.”
Customers will still be able to view George Rodrigue’s original works of art on display in the restaurant. However, son Jacques said some of the pieces will be replaced and repurposed for an entirely new look and atmosphere.
“We’ve actually been changing out a lot of the artwork and re-curating the space to tell the story of why it made sense for Dad to have a restaurant.” Jacques Rodrigue added. “Because Dad was a cultural ambassador and he told the story of the Cajun people. And you can’t talk about Cajun culture without talking about the food.”
In a press release, the brothers said: “Blue Collar Enterprises, the Limited Liability Company that operates Blue Dog Café Lafayette, has decided to financially restructure its business. To ensure continued operation in the face of financial uncertainty, the company has sought protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S Bankruptcy Code.
“Blue Collar Enterprises LLC will continue to manage and operate the restaurant while implementing a financial and operational overhaul that will ensure stability into the future.”
Jacques and Andre Rodrigue, sons of George Rodrigue, are the largest creditors of the company.
According to the release, the brothers will manage the financial restructuring “to ensure proper vendor payment as laid out in the plan of reorganization that was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Louisiana.”
“From the beginning, we have sought only to make sure that our father’s legacy, which includes Blue Dog Café, is honored with excellence,” Jacques Rodrigue added. “This restructuring will allow us to commit to our community and take responsibility for the restaurant’s business following this time of turbulence.”
Jacques Rodrigue said the family remains dedicated to keeping the current employees of the company. He said the restructuring plan, if approved, will allow the brothers to forgive significant debt owed to them and their father’s estate, and move the restaurant toward profitability.
“We are really excited about being able to celebrate Dad and his legacy through the restaurant,” Jacques Rodrigue added.
The restaurant will remain open and there will be no interruption of service.
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