Louisiana Creole Gumbo: A Taste of New Orleans Finds a New Home in Detroit

A staple in Detroit’s culinary scene is expanding. Louisiana Creole Gumbo is set to embark on a new chapter in its storied existence. With over five decades of serving authentic New Orleans cuisine, this beloved Black-owned restaurant is not just relocating; it’s expanding its footprint to offer patrons a fresh experience in the heart of Detroit’s Eastern Market neighborhood.

For more than 50 years, Louisiana Creole Gumbo has been a cornerstone of Detroit’s dining scene, providing generations of families with a taste of Bayou-born recipes and old-style Southern dishes. The restaurant’s commitment to flavor, tradition, and community has made it a cherished institution in the city, and now it is set to redefine its role as a culinary mainstay.

Owner Joe Spencer has unveiled plans to move Louisiana Creole Gumbo just two blocks north of its original Gratiot location, positioning it at 2830 Gratiot Avenue. The move signifies not only a change in address but a significant expansion, as the new establishment will feature sit-down seating, two outdoor patios, a tasting kitchen, on-site parking, and the added amenity of a liquor license.

“We had plans of growing our restaurant in its current location,” said Joe. “But now we can expand upon our vision and bring a new culinary experience to the city.”

Mayor Mike Duggan expressed excitement about the expansion, emphasizing Louisiana Creole Gumbo’s rich culinary history in the city. The mayor praised the restaurant for leveraging the Motor City Match grant received in 2016 to create economic opportunities, generate employment, and provide delicious food.

“I am excited about Joe’s plans to expand his restaurant and that it will remain an anchor for the Eastern Market area,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Louisiana Creole Gumbo has such a rich culinary history in our city and is a perfect example of a Detroit business that turned a Motor City Match grant they received in 2016 into an economic opportunity to grow their business, create new jobs, and provide delicious food. With that funding, they expanded their business in Northwest Detroit, and now I am happy they will serve as the gateway to Eastern Market.”

The expansion of Louisiana Creole Gumbo is a testament to the collaborative efforts of the City of Detroit, Detroit Economic Growth Corp, and Invest Detroit. With support from these entities, the restaurant aims to not only offer a delightful dining experience but also contribute to the economic growth of the Eastern Market area. The involvement of architect Beverly Hannah-Jones further emphasizes the commitment to thoughtful design and integration within the community.

Joe Spencer’s journey with Louisiana Creole Gumbo has been one of growth and perseverance. With guidance from mentor Joseph Stafford, Spencer expanded the franchise through various programs and secured financing from multiple sources. The new location is poised to become a gateway to Eastern Market, showcasing the restaurant’s evolution and commitment to Detroit.

Invest Detroit, a key supporter of small businesses in the area, expressed enthusiasm for Louisiana Creole Gumbo’s growth. “Invest Detroit is thrilled to support Joe and Louisiana Creole Gumbo as they move into their new space,” said Jason Barnett, Senior Vice President, Lending at Invest Detroit. “It’s amazing to see how the LCG’s brand has grown, and we are excited to be part of their continued growth.”

November 28 will mark the final meal served at the current Gratiot location, symbolizing the conclusion of an era. However, patrons can look forward to a new chapter as the anticipated opening of the enhanced Louisiana Creole Gumbo restaurant is set for the spring of 2024. This new establishment promises to provide a dining experience that authentically captures the essence of New Orleans in the heart of Detroit. In the interim, food enthusiasts can still savor the flavors of Louisiana Creole Gumbo at the Commissary Kitchen, starting December 5.

As Louisiana Creole Gumbo moves and expands, it remains a beacon of culinary excellence in Detroit. The restaurant’s commitment to tradition, community, and innovation ensures that its legacy will continue to thrive, offering Detroiters and visitors alike a taste of the Bayou right in the heart of the Motor City. In the words of New Orleans, laissez le bon temps rouler – let the good times roll!

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