Michelle and Tony Banks are acting on their dream of opening and operating a full service restaurant serving Cajun/Creole cuisine, heavily influenced by the “good food and good times” culture of New Orleans. They have chosen to conduct business as “da Bayou” to further capture the essence of one of the most famous New Orleans phrases --- laissez les bon temps roulez (let the good times roll). If you were to look up the definition of Bayou, you might find the following:

Bayou (bi oo, bio) – “a creek, secondary watercourse, tributary to another river or body of water, regular term in lower Mississippi Basin”.

But now we’re adding the following definition to become a part of the Northeast Ohio vernacular:

da Bayou (bi u) – “an awesome Cajun and Creole style full service restaurant serving authentic dishes in the Valley”.

Cajun & Creole Cuisine

We are drawing on our experience of living on the West Bank of New Orleans where we had the pleasure of meeting great neighbors from a small town outside Baton Rouge. They embodied that good times Cajun spirit and embraced us as part of their family. And once we became official members of the family, they shared some of the cooking techniques that made New Orleans famous for its very flavorful and creative foods, and equally important, the fun of enjoying great food with great family and friends. When we moved back north, first to the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and later to Akron Ohio, we brought many of the cooking techniques and tastes back with us. As we hosted Cajun themed dinner fundraisers for Akron area charitable organizations, the very positive and exciting feedback on the food from those who attended the fundraisers further fueled our desire to pursue our dream. With Tony’s retirement from the corporate world in full affect, he was able to convince Michelle that it was time to realize their dream and open the Cajun/Creole restaurant that they talked about for years.

da Bayou will initially open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner, and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons for lunch and brunch. The facility will seat over 150 patrons inside and an additional 25 patrons on the outside patio when the weather is nice. The restaurant will serve Cajun/Creole food with a twist that allows patrons to be more interactive with the shell fish cooking process at da Boil. From time to time, da Bayou will host live jazz, blues or zydeco entertainment to close the loop and fulfill the expectation for the New Orleans experience.




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