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!!!
A few months and a few rain delays later, the new LuLu's at Homeport Marina (new beginning, new name…a tribute to the home Lucy's beloved parents, JD and Peets, shared on Mobile Bay the last 30 years of their lives) opened its canal-facing, garage doors on Mardi Gras Day, Fat Tuesday, 2004!
Since then, LuLu's has undergone constant changes. It first began as a restaurant with a tiny gift shop, a little sand for the kids, and a gorgeous view of the Intracoastal Waterway. Now, a few years later, the view is still unbeatable, but the restaurant is more than just that—it's become a true family entertainment destination.
LuLu's is known for adding something new and exciting to the complex every year. Serving 4,000 people a day during the summer season is no easy task, and though there is often a wait, we like to think we give everyone who comes to LuLu's something worth waiting for!!! We've added new areas like the BAMA BREEZE bar to wet your whistle, the SUNSET GRILL, overlooking the marina, for a little taste of the big kitchen, the FOUNTAIN FOR YOUTH to cool off the kids, the MOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, a safe, three-story rope climbing apparatus for the adventurous kid within all of us! With face-painting, hair-wraps, volleyball nets, LIVE MUSIC daily, a huge retail store, and a large sandy beach area equipped with pails, shovels and toys galore, and newest addition the LuLu's FUN ARCADE! LuLu's is a perfect place for kids of ages to get their "play" time fix.
BUT IT'S THE FOOD LULU'S IS FAMOUS FOR…After climbing the Mountain of Youth or playing beach volleyball with the kids, we expect you've surely worked up an appetite for LuLu's Crazy Sista specialties. Be sure to indulge in our Cheeseburger in Paradise, a tasty bowl of our Famous Seafood Gumbo, or our Wild Gulf Snapper Sandwich! Got allergies? No worries! Check out our NEW ALLERGY MENU, which covers six different types of allergies/diets: gluten-free, egg-free, seafood, shellfish, and dairy. Regardless of your diet or taste, remember that everything here at LuLu's is made in-house, fresh to order.
We know that when you arrive at LuLu's you are ready to play and eat. While we DON'T TAKE RESERVATIONS, we ask that you arrive early. In order to better serve you and your family, we cap our waiting time at two hours. This not only ensures better service for you on our end, but a better experience overall for everyone! If you still have that hankering for LuLu's food, though, check out our SUNSET GRILL; it has a small-scale menu for a small-scale wait!
As always, music is never lacking at LuLu's. There is live music every single night and it is always FREE. During lunches, we have our state of the art sound system playing our own play lists of music that are quintessential to the LuLu's atmosphere we all know and love.
Here at LuLu's our commitment to you is providing a place we would want to visit with our families, too! There is no chain restaurant mentality here, and we hope that when you visit, whether on vacation with family or just a night out with friends, you experience the essence that is LuLu's. When you leave, we want you to leave with a full belly, a happy heart, the memory of a GREAT TIME (and if applicable, maybe even some content and sleepy kids). More than anything, we really want you to WANT to come back and experience it again and again!!
Here at LuLu's, we are never satisfied with normal. LuLu's is proud to be more than just a restaurant, which is why we are always looking to expand, evolve, or elaborate on what we already have to make the experience even better for our visitors.
Stay tuned for some upcoming announcements that will definitely rock the world of LuLu's!