Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s at Homeport Marina
Once upon a time, a Gulf Coast darling, born and raised in one L.A. (Lower Alabama) found herself living and dying in another L.A. (Los Angeles, California). She was born of a clan of adventurous spirits, thriving on life in the sun and life on the run. Still, Lulu knew she’d 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 than “lifestyle.”
With many failures in her pocket, and many triumphs in her heart, she packed her bags and her cats, Jazz and Whisper, and headed back to parts known, back to the place where her roots had grown. Now an adult woman, 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 home.
Anyone who knows Lulu, knows the woman can cook. She is a passionate entertainer, a natural storyteller, and not unlike her big brother, Jimmy, can throw a party you will be hard pressed to forget, or possibly, remember. She moved to a beautiful spot on Weeks Bay, Alabama, and LuLu’s Sunset Grill was born – “Where life is good and lunch lasts forever.” It was just a little outdoor burger joint and bar, part of a bird estuary, in the same spot her father once took her and her brother fishing as children. A dream come true for a little southern belle.
“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 after a long day of fishing. How hard could it be? After working for some of the meanest folks in Hollywood, 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.
Since the beginning of “LuLu-time,” I would fire myself about once a year because I just couldn’t take another crazy catastrophe like…the key kitchen staff calling from jail needing to be bailed out before the Saturday lunch rush. But, the people in my family have never been very good at coloring inside the lines, and we’ve bailed plenty of folks out of jail after a wild night. We don’t seem to do things the way normal people do. My mother blames it on chance. My father blames it on the tides. My sister blames it on my brother. And my brother blames it on my grandfather, who, as you may have heard the song, really has no one to blame, and we like it like that.”
Five years later, LuLu opened a new restaurant on the Intracoastal Waterway in Gulf Shores, AL., after the state decided not to renew her lease on Weeks Bay. It was a bitter sweet move, but like any Buffett faced with a decision, she decided to throw a party and move forward. She enlisted the help of a buddy with a barge and, literally, moved the whole venue by water. “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 invite you to come and enjoy. 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…….”
I write to you from my new place, LULU’S at HOMEPORT Marina, named lovingly after the home my beloved parents shared on Mobile Bay the last 30 years of their lives. Come on down and share the good times with me, my friends, and my family. I guarantee you will have a time you will want to repeat over and over again. LOVE LULU!”