In July, we brought you the news that Crawdaddy’s, the longtime Cajun and Creole staple at 9427 W. Greenfield Ave. in West Allis, had closed its doors.
However, the restaurant could see a revival of sorts, thanks to efforts on the part of Troy Meyer, whose family owned and operated Meyers Restaurant for 45 years, most recently at 4260 S. 76th St.
His family sold their longtime business earlier this year, and more recently, his father Larry purchased the former Crawdaddy’s property. It created an opportunity, Meyer says, to embark on his first solo venture in restaurant ownership.
Meyer says they’ve already spent some time in the space and anticipate opening as soon as the first week in October. He says he plans to retain a slightly augmented version of the name, calling it Crawdaddy’s on Greenfield. And he says the logo will be redesigned to better reflect the look and feel of the reimagined concept.
"We’ll really be starting over from scratch," he notes of the new restaurant. "I think that there’s a lot of potential here. Restaurants need to evolve, and we’ll be bringing some new ideas to the table."
Changes include bringing a new look and feel to the interior of the space, adding fun elements, and creating a vibe that looks and feels like New Orleans.
On the menu: Cajun, Creole, barbecue
"I have a fond appreciation for Creole, Cajun and barbecue ... all things that we don’t really have too many of in the area," says Meyer. "So we’ll be reinventing the menu with our own Cajun and creole recipes and adding a number of things, including barbecue."
He says diners can expect staples like jambalaya, etoufee, shrimp creole and gumbos, some prepared with traditional ingredients like duck and turtle. He says there will also be items like duck confit, oxtails and comforting "low country dishes."
Another goal, he says, is to lower the overall price point on the menu and add a variety of affordable items including po boys and burgers, which can be enjoyed for either lunch or dinner.
"At Meyers, we were really known for our comfort foods," he says. "And the community really appreciated our homemade scratch-made dishes. We also had a lot of specials on the menu, and that’s something that we’ll definitely offer at the new Crawdaddy’s."
Meyer plans to head up the kitchen at the new restaurant, but says he is currently looking for a co-chef who can bring passion, energy and knowledge to the table.
"This is a labor of love, so we want to make sure we find the right person," he says. "Ideally, I’d love to find someone who’s not only passionate about food and cooking, but passionate about this style of food. I want someone who looks at this as less of a job and more of an opportunity to really shine in this area."
And it’s passion for the restaurant business – and for food – that Meyer says he hopes will make a difference for the new venue.
"I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t intimidating," Meyer admits, acknowledging the challenges of reviving a concept that’s been a community staple. "But this is a challenge that I’m more than willing to accept. We’ve dedicated our lives to the restaurant business, and we hope to bring that same passion to this concept. My hope is that we can really do it justice."
Watch OnMilwaukee for updates as they become available.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.