Lucy Buffett Named South Carolina’s ‘Restaurateur of the Year’

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South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association Recognizes Lucy Buffett For LuLu’s North Myrtle Beach in Barefoot Landing


Lucy Buffett, owner of LuLu’s North Myrtle Beach at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, was named ‘Restaurateur of the Year’ on Monday at a reception in Columbia hosted by the South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association.

“This year’s winners truly exemplify the highest standards of hospitality and shine on the job each and every day,” said John Durst, SCRLA President and CEO. “When Hurricane Florence devastated parts of the area, Lucy and LuLu’s worked with the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association and relief organizations to offer aid and free meals to first responders and residents. We are thrilled to honor a woman and restaurant who are known for celebrating food, family and fun.”

The association gives statewide recognition to regional winners in various categories, including Restaurateur of the Year, Restaurant Manager of the Year, Outstanding Chef of the Year and more. Buffett was also named 2018 ‘Restaurateur of the Year’ by the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association, which recognizes outstanding achievements by hospitality leaders and businesses.

“It is with astonishment and deep gratitude that I accept the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association’s ’Restaurateur of the Year,’” Buffett said. “Opening our third location in North Myrtle Beach presented some dramatic logistical and operational challenges but I had long felt that the Myrtle Beach area was a perfect place for the LuLu’s family casual beach food concept.”

This is Lucy Buffett’s third LuLu’s location. She also has locations in Gulf Shores, Ala., and Destin, Fla.

In June, Buffett opened LuLu’s in Barefoot Landing at Dockside Village, a walkable dining district along the Intracoastal Waterway. Both locals and tourists alike fell in love with her signature gumbo and fresh seafood dishes. Families are drawn to the fun atmosphere, which includes a man-made sandy beach complete with a volleyball court and countless beach toys, kids’ play area and its water feature, the Fountain For Youth.

This spring, LuLu’s North Myrtle Beach will add the Mountain of Youth ropes course and LuLu’s Beach Arcade is set to open mid-March. The 48-foot-tall tropical-themed ropes course and fully themed beach arcade will expand the fun, family-friendly tone of LuLu’s.

“I share this recognition with my phenomenal team who do the heavy lifting and spread the Gumbo Love every day,” Buffett said. “Without them, I’m just a woman with an idea. And I want to thank our South Carolina locals and tourists who have embraced us with their love and patronage. They deserve the best hospitality experience we can deliver, and they are the reason we consistently shoot for excellence!”

About Lucy Buffett

Creative chef, businesswoman, author and storyteller, Lucy Buffett is the creator of the LuLu’s brand. Lucy has taken her initial dream, LuLu’s Gulf Shores & Destin, to become a destination in itself. From restaurants, branded merchandise, cookbooks, Bloody Mary Mix, seasonings, sauces, a children’s book, and Crazy Sista Honey Ale beer, Lucy Buffett combines true Southern coastal graciousness and authenticity with the nerve of a successful entrepreneur. Known as Crazy Sista for good reason, Lucy marches to the beat of her own drum; she plays nice, but usually by rules she has bent, broken or reinvented.

About LuLu’s

The original LuLu’s, a small waterfront dive, opened on Weeks Bay in Fairhope, Alabama in the late ‘90’s. In 2003, it was time for a change, so in her typical Crazy Sista style, Lucy picked up the party and moved on — literally loading the restaurant and crew onto a barge for a storied cruise to her now-famous location on the Intracoastal Waterway in Gulf Shores.

Serving over 3,500 people daily during peak summer season in Gulf Shores, Alabama, LuLu’s is a family-friendly dining and entertainment destination complex. Other venues on the property include the Bama Breeze Bar to wet your whistle; the Sunset Grill for a little taste from the big kitchen; the Fountain For Youth to cool off the kids; the LuLu’s FUN ARCADE for all-weather fun; the Mountain of Youth, a safe, three-story ropes and climbing course for the adventurous kid in all of us; and Munchkin Mountain for the little tykes to have some ropes course fun.

In June 2015, Lucy and the crew added an additional location in beautiful Destin, Florida. Another true destination complex, LuLu’s Destin is 21,000 square feet and seats 400 comfortably. Keeping true to the LuLu’s feel, it is nestled along the Intracoastal Waterway, on Choctawhatchee Bay; and of course, next to a bridge. Complete with a sandy beach, Fountain For Youth and one of the best views in Destin, Fla., LuLu’s Destin has been embraced by the local community, participated in numerous fundraisers, and employs up to 300 people in season.

In June 2018, Buffett opened her third LuLu’s in Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. The approximately 20,000-square-foot destination combines a great dining experience and a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. In addition to the full-service 400-seat restaurant and outdoor dining areas, LuLu’s features a large sandy beach area inside the complex complete with pails, shovels, and toys galore provides an ideal playtime fix for kids, while live music keeps the adults entertained. The newest location also features the Fountain For Youth to cool off the kids, an outdoor Shag Bar, and will add the LuLu’s FUN ARCADE and ropes and climbing course in 2019.

All locations combine to serve over one million guests per year.

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