A Lafayette restaurant closed quietly over the long holiday weekend.
Guidry’s Reef — a seafood and steakhouse staple that opened in the ’70s — shut its doors forever after Saturday’s dinner service.
“Our customers didn’t know we were closing,” says owner Dennis Guidry. “Our family has a lot of health problems, and business has been a little sluggish. I’m basically ready to move on, have a little retirement. Others who worked there were ready to retire as well.”
Guidry, 68, says he will miss his customers most of all.
“They were more friends than customers,” he says. “I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the restaurant business.”
Although Guidry acknowledges the slow economy and increase in competition, he says the decision to close was ultimately a personal one.
“I don’t like to blame anybody else for what happened,” Guidry says. “It’s mainly health. We were all kind of talking about being ready to make a move and move on, spend time with the ones we love and care about.”
Guidry helped his father, Charles Sr., open the restaurant in 1978 in a smaller space next door to the current location at 1508 W. Pinhook Road. The family also owned a grocery store on the property called Food City.
Guidry took over the restaurant in 1985 when his father became sick.
In 1992, Guidry closed Food City and relocated Guidry’s Reef to the larger storefront.
This isn’t the first time customers have said goodbye to the restaurant. Guidry’s Reef closed for two months in 2011 because of a legal dispute between family members over the property value.
“We won’t be reopening again,” Guidry says. “Between health and age, this is it.”
Guidry says the restaurant will be remembered for consistent, high-quality seafood and service.
“I want to thank Acadiana for all the business they gave me, all our employees for their hard work and all our friends — I couldn’t have done it without them,” Guidry says. “We’ll miss it. It’s not something we give up easily.”