Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – Many restaurants in southwest Louisiana still haven’t been able to reopen since last year’s storms, and this list includes Pat’s of Hendeson in Lake Charles.
Nicholas Perioux had barely taken over Pat’s of Henderson from his parents when COVID-19 hit a year and a half ago. But it was the wrath of Hurricane Laura that shut down the iconic restaurant last year.
This is not the first time that Perioux has overcome adversity. You may remember that he was shot dead in a restaurant robbery in 2004, nearly losing his life.
“An experience as bad as getting shot and trying to rob me here,” Perioux said. “It’s much worse than this incident. It just lingers, and it’s a different kind of trial.
Much like many business owners and residents of southwest Louisiana, Perioux and his entrepreneur Daren Snider battled insurance settlements, the cost of building materials and other issues in an attempt to reopen.
“Anyone who knows I work at the restaurant asks me, ‘What’s going on? And ‘why is that, you know?’ Snider said. “Normally, in the time we have, we could have done it a few times now. So, it’s a little frustrating.
Long-time clients receive a guided tour of the restoration project. They say they can’t wait for Pat to start serving these Cajun delicacies they are known for.
“I don’t go down to any other restaurant, but this was where you could be yourself,” Elaine Gradney said. “No disturbances, all blessings and fellowship. I can not wait.
“It’s good to see progress, but it’s a shame that we have to have progress, in the direction of everything the city has gone through in the last year and a half,” said Louis Haxthausen.
“I just think it’s going to be a delicious place again,” said Penny Haxthausen.
Outside, Perioux put up a temporary sign encouraging others to continue.
“I’m trying to send a message from my little part of Lake Charles – telling everyone, ‘Look, we’re going through it together,'” said Perioux. “But God is good. And don’t give up, because we’re going to come out on the other side of this thing, and we’ll be better than before.
Perioux hopes the new Pat’s will be operational by December. And once the original hurricane restorations are complete, Pat’s plans to add more dining and dining space north of the current building.
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