One of Detroit’s oldest Black-owned restaurants, Louisiana Creole Gumbo, is moving locations after more than 50 years on the edge of Eastern Market on a corner of Gratiot Avenue.
Joseph Stafford brought Creole cooking to Detroit in 1970, where he and his wife Margarine opened the Luzianne Creole Gumbo shop. Stafford used recipes he learned from his mother on Bayou Lafourche in the southwest part of Louisiana.
Those are the same recipes used today in the restaurant, which is moving just down the street from the original shop at 2051 Gratiot to an expanded, full-service restaurant at 2830 Gratiot.
Owner Joe Spencer, who bought the restaurant in 1982 and has since opened locations on 7 Mile Road and in Farmington Hills, says the restaurant needed to stay in its home community.
“It’s a generational kind of service and people know us they love us, and we know we just got a real dedication to the city and to this particular area of the city because so many of our customers come out of this area and we wanted to make it place that was easy to get to and that you know would be accommodate for them.”
The new 4,800-square-foot location, housed in an Art Deco building at the corner of Gratiot and Joe Campau, will have a large dine-in area, bar, two outdoor patios and dedicated carry-out space, as well as a tasting kitchen and live entertainment.
The old location will remain open during renovations to the new space, which is expected to open in spring of 2024.
Listen: Louisiana Creole Gumbo owner Joe Spencer joins CultureShift to talk about the new restaurant space and history behind the beloved eatery