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Feb 28, 2010 05:48 PM

Anyone know/remember Zydeco Grille in Southie?

I was walking down Dorchester St the other day in Southie when I came across an old restaurant space that had some fresh new "B" permits on the window. The work was relatively minor, but included some demo and ceiling work, and the phrase "to prep for new layout," which piqued my curiosity. The name of owner was listed as "Zydeco Grille."

Curious, I did a little googling and came across this "Dining Out" article from March, 1998:

Any old Boston Chowhounds know anything about what happened to this place, or even better, has anyone sniffed out what might be happening to this space?

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  1. I remember a bunch of places from 12 years ago, but Zydeco Grille isn't one of them. Probably the best-known Cajun place in the area was in Inman Square, I think in the space now occupied by Tupelo: The Cajun House, maybe? For some reason, a place called Redfish also rattles around in my memory.

    That location near the junction of E. and W. Broadway in Southie was the home of the late, unlamented South restaurant. I believe the new owners are involved in J.A. Stats in the Financial District, and that this will be a similar concept, something in the sports-bar/pub vein. Lord knows Southie is desperate for more of those.

    6 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      You're thinking of the Cajun Yankee in Inman Square, which was the best cajun/creole restaurant around Boston in its '80s heyday. Chef owner John Silberman (who learned his stuff working for Paul Prudhomme at K-Pauls in New Orleans) then turned it into Magnolia's when the cajun food craze started to fade. And, yes, it's the same spot now occupied by Tupelo (Historical note: before Cajun Yankee, it was a Portuguese-ish diner. Terra Diner? Not sure of the spelling).

      1. re: katzzz

        Yes, Cajun Yankee! Thank you! (The Cajun House was in the Miami area, I think.)

      2. re: MC Slim JB

        It was Zydeco Grille right before it was South.

        A bizarre location for a cajun restaurant, IMO.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          That's a lousy location for a restaurant if you want anyone from outside Southie to come. No parking and not near a train station. I went several times when it was South and it was pretty good considering it was Southie!

          1. re: mtm7654

            That intersection is also very crazy with cars and noise right in front of the restaurant all the time.

          2. re: MC Slim JB

            I also heard that the folks from JA Stats are involved in the reno, though I hope it isn't a total clone of their Financial District location. A decent glass of wine and non-pub food is seemingly too much to ask for in Southie...Keep us posted if you hear any more re: the plans there...

          3. I remember Zydeco in that spot, I think i went there but not positive. And I enjoyed my one time at South altho we only had drinks at the bar. I remember a veal chop looking really good and wanting to come back to try the food but never made it in time.

            1. Also was Grille 77 for a short while.

              1. I remember the place well as I was living in the area @ the time. They had a ludicrous alligator exploding out of the wall above the door. They were about seven years ahead of the shocking gentrification of West Broadway.
                I went for dinner a couple of times and thought it was decent and it was also one of the few places in Southie at the time that you could find something other than Miller Lite, Bud Light, Coors or Guiness.
                The rumors were that it was firebombed by neighborhood folks who didn't appreciate it.

                1. Yes, I was the owner and founder of the Zydeco Grille. I converted a run down used appliance store to a full service restaurant. Admitedly, I was 10 years before my time but I forever changed the menus of Southie. Before Zydeco everyone had the "best steak tips in Southie", scrod, and the typical Irish fair. After I opened the other establishments added ribs, pulled pork and Jambalaya to their menus. Not only did I have real pit BBQ and Cajun fair but I had the most current beer list in Boston. I was the first to have Harpoon UFO and I had numerous craft beers like Anchor Steam, Siarra Nevada,and Pyramid and about 50 others (when Southie had Bud and Miller on tap).

                  I felt that I was better suited to building restaurants than running them and after two years at the helm I decided to sell the Zydeco and help others build their dreams.

                  After selling the restaurant it became Grille 77. Then South followed and most recently it became Stats.

                  Prior to me selling to Grille 77 a boom truck pulled up in broad daylight and stole the 500 lb. alligator that hung from the roof (like it was crawling down the building). The police found it in a back yard and asked me to come down to the station to identify and take back the evidence. I donated the hand carved wood gator to the Franklin Park Zoo.

                  That is the story of the Zydeco Grill at 77 Dorchester St. in Southie.