Nubian Queen Lola’s Cajun Soul Food, the Eater 38 restaurant that focused on helping out others while serving Cajun food, appears to have closed. Austin 360 reports that the restaurant on Rosewood Avenue is "cleared out inside." Calls to the restaurant refer to a different number, which rings out.
Hours were always spotty for the cash-only Cajun soul food restaurant, where owner Lola Stephens-Bell would dish out po’boys, etoufee, red beans, rice, and cornbread. She also dedicated her time to cooking and feeding the homeless regularly, as well as other community outreach efforts. Tysons Foods donated a year's worth of chicken to the restaurant in the fall of 2015 to help her efforts, as well as a food truck.
Update, 5:10 p.m.: A tipster pointed to an East Magazine article published in April with Stephens-Bells, detailing her plan to close down Nubian Queen on Tuesday, April 18, and relocate the restaurant to Taylor, operating under her real name Lozina.
Guillermo Hernandez Martinez and Jonathan Damrich hung out with Stephens-Bell while she went to the Mason Manor Apartments, as well as the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless on East 7th Street. She said in the video:
“It's hard for people to support this, because it's peculiar. It's not going to operate like another big, fine restaurant. Or the restaurant that people may think that I should be, top of the line. Well, I really am, I just don't have the income that they have. I'm just doing a lot more than they'll ever do.”
If anyone has any tips on what happened to Nubian Queen and/or what Stephens-Bell is up to now, please hit up the tipline.
- Nubian Queen Lola’s Cajun Soul Food Cafe has closed [Austin 360]
- Soul Queen [Eastside Magazine]
- The 38 Essential Austin Restaurants, Spring 2017 [EATX]
- All Coverage of Nubian Queen Lola's Soul Food [EATX]