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Duke’s Seafood & Steakhouse second location opens in Denham Springs

Rudy and Loretta Chandler along with business partners Duke and Betty Landry know how to “stir up” success. In a time when many restaurants are struggling to stay open, this highly successful team of restaurant owners has opened a second location of Duke’s Seafood & Steakhouse just miles from their first.
dukes“After the Flood of 2016, the old Piccadilly building became available. The property owner approached us and asked if we were interested in opening a second location,” co-owner Duke Landry explained. “I had always thought that it was a prime piece of property and just a great location, so Rudy and I came and scoped it out and decided to go for it.”
The renovatio of the building for the new Duke’s II took about six months to complete. Landry said the building took in about a foot of water during the flood of 2016 so they completely gutted the place and started from scratch.
“It was quite an endeavor because we remodeled it from floor to ceiling and used some of the same original cypress from an old home that was torn down in Plaquemine that we also used to build the Watson location” Landry said. “Rudy’s construction expertise and Loretta and Betty’s design work all helped make this a real show place.
They added new coolers, new hoods, old Chicago brick and used the same blue Bahia granite from Brazil for the bar and countertops. The bar is now part of the main entrance at the Denham location and is larger than the one in Watson.
dukes2“This bar is about 15 feet longer and incorporates the oyster grill and shucking station which really makes for a spectacular entrance. People love the grand view,” said Landry.
The square footage of the Denham location is 7,200 versus the 8,000 square footage in Watson. They can serve up to 200 in seating here as opposed to 300 at the original one. The Denham location has a few outdoor waiting tables, unlike the covered patio dining in Watson. Both restaurants offer the exact same menu and same entrée prices.
dukes3“We sell more of our hand-cut select steaks in Watson. Here we are selling more fried seafood platters, and our delicious Alfredo Potato (baked potato covered with Alfredo sauce topped with shrimp and crawfish) is more popular. But our now famous Duked-up Shrimp (butterflied shrimp packed with pepper jack cheese and bacon bits and baked to perfection) seem to be equally as popular at both locations.” Landry said.
Duke and Betty Landry spend most of their time running and operating the new Denham location while their son-in-law Jeremy Jeansonne is general manager and runs the Watson location with the Chandlers. They have a staff of about 90 in Denham and more than 100 in Watson.
“Our employees are one of the keys to our success,” Landry stated. “We used lots of our existing servers and cooks to train our new ones, and we have been equally as blessed to have top quality people to work here and make it a wonderful dining experience for all of our customers.
Speaking of customers, they are seeing some regular ones who patronize Watson, but also lots of new ones thanks to the easy access to I-12 and ample parking alongside the restaurant. Not to mention, they are at the front of the boulevard leading to Denham’s impressive tourist destination, Bass Pro Shops.
“We met a couple from Canada who were dining with us the other night. And with my family’s Nova Scotia heritage, it was so interesting to spend time with them and even share a few recipes,” Landry said.

Details:

Duke’s II, 2591 South Range Ave., Denham Springs, adjacent to the interstate in the old Piccadilly building, at the entrance to Bass Pro Shops. 225. 271.4409. Hours (the same at both locations): 11am to 9pm Monday – Thursday, and 11am – 10pm Friday and Saturday, 11am-9pm Sunday. Website: www.dukesseafoodandsteakhouse.com; Facebook: Dukes Seafood and Steakhouse.
Landry, the five-time USA and world oyster shucking oyster champion, added, “We also had some folks from Baltimore where the national oyster shucking competition takes place, so we had a lot to talk about. They were great customers, and they really loved the food.”
So what are some of the secrets to success when so many other restaurants are posting “Help Wanted” signs or lacking in business?
dukes4“It helps to be in business with a partner like Rudy Chandler” he answered. “Most restaurants have an old building and a tight budget and try to spend so much time repairing cooking devices and restaurant equipment while just trying to get by. We have everything brand new, and Rudy is so business savvy, he doesn’t cut corners and says if you need it, go get it. That’s a blessing and makes the cooking end so much easier and frees me up to prepare the best food for our customers. We make a great team.”
It also can’t hurt to have the impeccable reputation that comes with owning a family chain of restaurants and more than 40 years experience in the restaurant business.
“Betty and I laugh that between the two of us, we have more than 90 years restaurant experience, which really tells our ages,” Landry laughed. “But Rudy and Loretta are also so recognized and so prominent in the community, that we all just blend and bring our talents to the table and hopefully keep our customers coming back.”
The restaurant has a meeting/banquet style room for private meetings and parties. Catering is also available.
Check their Facebook page for menu specials and live entertainment notices for both locations.