Popular Louisiana-style restaurant now open
The wait is finally over.
After months of anticipation, Longview residents said “bonjou” to the true taste of the bayou when the popular Cajun Steamer Bar & Grill opened its doors for the first time on Monday, June 2. The grand opening marked the Louisiana-style chain’s first restaurant in Texas, as well as its first franchised location.
An official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held June 16. The Longview Chamber of Commerce, high school representatives and other local dignitaries were in attendance.
Located at 3084 N. Eastman Road (formerly home to Fish City Grill), the new restaurant is known for its wide array of Cajun classics and original creations, prepared in authentic, made-from-scratch fashion. The extensive menu features gumbo, jambalaya, boudin and etouffee, as well as oysters, crawfish and Po-boys. In addition, a wide variety of grilled fish and shrimp entrees stand alongside hearty land options and seasonal favorites. It’s a classic Louisiana kitchen, complete with homemade beignets for dessert.
The restaurant kicked off the celebration prior to its June 2 opening with Friends and Family and VIP nights over the weekend, both complete with gift card giveaways, free commemorative T-shirts and other prizes.
Featuring crawfish from Louisiana, shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico and oysters from the coasts of Louisiana and Texas, Cajun Steamer specializes in satisfying Creole lovers’ discriminating palates.
Longview native John Williams is the franchise owner and operator of the newest Cajun Steamer. He is pouring his 30 years of industry expertise into the new business, going full steam ahead with casual dining prices and lunch specials from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
“I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” said Williams. “This is where I grew up and where I’ve raised my family, so it’s exciting to be a part of Longview’s growth and to give something back, whether it’s wowing guests with our shrimp and grits or partnering with local schools and taking the lead on an important service project. We look forward to doing our part to keep this community a vibrant one.”
The first Cajun Steamer restaurant opened 10 years ago in Birmingham, Ala., and quickly developed a loyal following of raving fans. A second Birmingham location followed shortly thereafter, and the restaurant moved into the Nashville market in 2009 with a location in Franklin, Tenn. In 2010, the chain was purchased by local Longview businessmen, establishing a direct connection to East Texas. Embarking on an expansion plan across the southern United States, the owners are driven to bring the authentic Cajun dining experience to other areas as well. A fifth restaurant in Huntsville, Ala., is slated for a mid-summer opening.
“It’s amazing to think all of this started with me selling crawfish out of the back of a truck,” laughed Jeff Thompson, original co-founder of Cajun Steamer, who still serves as the chain’s director of operations. “Things have certainly changed since then, but the love and commitment to excellent food has stayed the same. I have no doubt this town is going to love our menu, our atmosphere and our genuine Cajun hospitality.”
Cajun Steamer serves lunch and dinner, and offers a full bar and catering services. The Longview restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. To view its full menu, visit CajunSteamer.com.