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East Austin Cajun Restaurant Big Easy Launches Crowdfunding Campaign After Fire

The restaurant is still serving to-go po’ boys and fried crawfish out of its food truck

Crawfish at Big Easy
Crawfish at Big Easy
Big Easy/Facebook
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

After Cajun restaurant Big Easy Bar & Grill caught on fire in April, owner and chef Darold Gordon is looking to raise money to rebuild the Central East Austin building. To help fund his efforts, a customer launched a GoFundMe campaign this week, seeking to raise $75,000.

The electrical fire began in the RV parked behind the restaurant (which served as Gordon’s office) at 1806 East 12th Street, and then moved into the building. As a result, the back-half of the building was damaged. The fire is still under investigation, according to Gordon.

Big Easy is known for its array of Cajun fare, as Gordon is from New New Orleans. The menu features lots of seafood, from crawfish to shrimp to oysters, with po’ boys, platters, gumbo, crawfish etouffee, and more. The restaurant also often hosted themed music nights and poetry readings.

At the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Gordon closed Big Easy’s dining room and laid off his staff in March. Right now, since the restaurant dining room is still closed, its food truck is still open for takeout food service, with pickups and third-party deliveries (including Favor).

To rebuild and reopen the restaurant proper, Gordon will have to install new electrical wiring and plumbing. Those costs, coupled with loss of profits because of the pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictions, hit the restaurant hard.

That’s where the GoFundMe campaign comes in, launched by customer Kristen Chambers. After the fire, she expressed interest in donating to the restaurant to help it reopen, and Gordon later enlisted her help in creating the page.

Gordon moved to Austin with his family from New Orleans, leaving because of Hurricane Katrina. He opened Big Easy as a food truck in 2007, and opened the restaurant in 2015.

Big Easy Bar and Grill

1720 Barton Springs Road, , TX 78702 (512) 406-9237 Visit Website