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Iconic Lake Charles restaurant officially reopens

Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 9:53 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A staple in Lake Charles since 1984, Steamboat Bill’s on Lakeshore officially reopened yesterday.

Ranking among USA Today’s top 10 restaurants on I-10, Steamboat Bill’s is known for fulfilling that famous Southwest Louisiana appetite.

“The food is what makes a community, especially Southwest Louisiana. We have the best food in Louisiana. That’s a little gem people don’t know about,” market agent Paige Vidrine said.

But that all stopped on August 27 when the winds from Hurricane Laura tore the entire back end off of the building and ripped away the roof. Leaving everything inside practically destroyed.

Leaving them to rummage through the things they could salvage, Vidrine said walking through the restaurant afterwards was completely heartbreaking.

“Our life was in this restaurant. Our lives have been dedicated around our businesses. So, to come through and see all the damages was heartbreaking.”

But determined to get the store back on track, they refused to let this deter their motivation to provide their loved food to the people of SWLA.

“You can’t make it up, the things that we’ve been through seem like something out of a fantasy story. And to be able to stand here today and say we’re here and we’re not going anywhere is the type of strength that you can’t pay for.”

Taking full advantage of the damages brought on by Hurricane Laura, Steamboat Bill’s used this as an opportunity to incorporate new items into their menu.

“Well, something new and exciting is the whole remodel and the oyster bar we’ve put in, so that’s going to be amazing. The oysters are phenomenal.”

Steamboat Bill’s has been providing Louisiana crawfish, crawfish tails and gulf shrimp for years, but the new and improved restaurant is now looking forward to introducing their brand new oyster bar.

Steamboat Bill’s has weathered storms in Lake Charles before, and they say they weren’t about to let Laura and Delta shut them down for good.

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