For over 20 years, Baby's Kay's Cajun Kitchen has been a fixture at the Town & Country Shopping Center, the 50-year-old retail and restaurant hub at 20th Street and Camelback.
But on Saturday, August 31, the family-owned restaurant of Cajun eats will be closing its doors and leaving its Town & Country neighbors -- including Pizzeria Bianco, Nordstrom Rack, and a coming-this-fall Whole Foods -- behind in lieu of new digs.
"We were in negotiations to try and remodel and stay here," Baby Kay's bartender and assistant manager Serena Heath, who's been with the restaurant for 15 years, tells me, "but the landlord and owners couldn't come to an agreement."
Heath goes on to say Baby Kay's will be headed north, to 1582 East Bethany Home Road, the one-time home of Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico. (After a fire in 2009, Richardson's closed, re-opening in 2012 a couple of blocks north -- at the southeastern corner of 16th Street and Maryland -- next to its sibling restaurant, the Rokerji.)
"It's around 300-square-feet bigger," Heath says of the new digs. "It's a bi-level space with a stage behind the bar."
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Heath tells me the look and feel of the new restaurant will stay the same, but in the food area, thanks to a separate fryer, there may be the addition of beignets. Currently, Baby Kay's menu includes classic Cajun dishes like shrimp rémoulade, gumbo crawfish, and red beans and rice.
The new Baby Kay's is planned to open in November. When asked what the staff will do between the shuttering of the Town & Country location and the opening of the new one, Heath says, "We're still trying to figure that one out."
A representative from the Town & Country Shopping Center could not be reached for comment.