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Pat’s of Henderson hopes to reopen by December

Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 5:25 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Many of Southwest Louisiana’s restaurants still haven’t been able to reopen since last year’s storms, and that 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 struck a year and a half ago. But it was Hurricane Laura’s wrath that shut down the landmark restaurant for the last year.

This isn’t the first time Perioux has overcome adversity. You may remember he was shot in a robbery at the restaurant in 2004, nearly losing his life.

“As bad of an experience that getting shot was and them trying to rob me over here,” Perioux said. “This is way worse than that incident. This has just lingered on, and it’s a different kind of trial.”

Just like many Southwest Louisiana business owners and residents, Perioux and his contractor Daren Snider have been battling insurance settlements, the cost of building materials, and other issues in trying to reopen.

“Anyone that knows that I’m working on the restaurant is like, ‘what’s going on?’ and ‘why is it, you know?’” Snider said. “Normally, the length of time that we’ve had, we could have done this a couple of times by now. So, that’s kind of frustrating.”

Longtime customers are getting a tour of the restoration project. They say they can’t wait for Pat’s to start serving those Cajun delicacies for which they’re known.

“I’m not putting down any other restaurant, but this was the place where you could be you,” Elaine Gradney said. “No disturbances, all blessings and fellowship. I just can’t wait.”

“It’s good to see the progress, but it’s bad that we had to have the progress, in a sense of everything the city’s suffered through for the past year and a half,” Louis Haxthausen said.

“I just think it’s going to be a delightful place to be again,” Penny Haxthausen said.

Outside, Perioux has put up a temporary sign encouraging others to keep on going.

“I’m trying to send a message from my little part of Lake Charles - telling everybody, ‘Look, we’re going to go through it together,’” Perioux said “But God is good. And don’t give up, because we’re gonna come out on the other side of this thing. And we’re gonna be better than before.”

Perioux hopes to have the new Pat’s up and running by December. And once the original hurricane restorations are made, Pat’s is planning to add more dining and catering space to the north of the current building.

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