Once upon a time, a Gulf Coast darling, born and raised in one L.A. (Lower Alabama) found herself living in another L.A. (Los Angeles, California). Lucy Buffett had just about enough of the plastic pace of Hollywood and yearned for the sweet comfort of home and a way of life that is more about living life than “lifestyle.” As she reached her 40’s, the memories of a childhood scented by magnolias in the spring, crab boils in the summer, tire swings, and the glories of Mobile Bay, were calling her back home.
With many failures in her back pocket, but many triumphs in her heart, “LuLu” packed her bags and her cats, Jazz and Whisper, and headed south to parts “known”– back to the place where her roots had grown.
Anyone who knows LuLu, knows she can COOK! They know she loves life, and not unlike her brother Jimmy, she is a passionate host and entertainer. She found a little dream harbor, and moved into a beautiful spot on Weeks Bay, Alabama, where the original LuLu’s Sunset Grill was born. It was a place that Fish River locals quickly called their own …a place “Where life is good and lunch lasts forever.”
The first LuLu’s was little more than a bait shop, an outdoor burger joint and bar, situated on the edge of a nationally protected bird estuary, in very the same spot Lucy’s father used to take her and her sister and brother fishing as children.
“When I first opened LuLu’s Sunset Grill, I thought…hey, a little place on the water to get a cold beer and a good burger, just like my daddy would have loved. How hard could it be? After working for some of the meanest folks in Hollywood, I thought this would be a piece of cake, right? Wrong! It’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. The restaurant biz is not for the faint of heart.”
LuLu’s Sunset Grill enjoyed 5 precious and fun-filled years, and countless perfect sunsets on the northern edge of Week’s Bay where Fish and Magnolia rivers meet.
In 2003, when the Alabama state government decided not to renew Lucy’s lease on Week’s Bay, a new home was found for LuLu’s on the Intracoastal Waterway in Gulf Shores, Alabama. It was a bittersweet move, but like any Buffett faced with a difficult decision, she decided to throw a party and move forward. She enlisted the help of a buddy with a barge and, literally, moved the ENTIRE establishment to its new locale by water.
So, on a sunny and surreal day in the fall of 2003, friends, family, and the local community that loved LuLu’s so much, literally loaded all of LuLu’s that wasn’t nailed down, including the infamous “boat stage,” JD Buffett’s one-ton custom barbeque grill, and a few mature palm trees (to be replanted at the new site) onto a 150 foot barge and tug-boat. They headed south through Week’s Bay, dancing to the live, on-board, musical accompaniment of the Leavin’ Brother’s Band, and a few free-flowin’ margarita machines!
Lucy was quoted as saying, “Why be normal, why do things the ‘right’ way? I keep this place and my dreams going by riding out the storms and adjusting to the tides. It’s a special place, and I know I can do it again in a new location! LuLu’s is a state of mind, really. It’s a great escape, a great family spot. We’re all about good food, good folks, good music, and good times. A place to confirm that ‘LIFE is good’…..” Amen, Sista!!!
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Listing Title: LuLu’s