The Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association recognized outstanding achievements by hospitality leaders and businesses at the MBAHA Annual Meeting on November 15, 2018. The 2018 awards honor those who have made great strides in their industry. Lucy Buffett and LuLu’s was selected as the 2018 Restaurateur of the Year! Read the Press Release below!
November 15, 2018, Myrtle Beach, S.C. — Lucy Buffett, owner of LuLu’s at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, was named the 2018 Restaurateur of the Year by the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association (MBAHA) Thursday.
In June, Buffett opened her wildly popular LuLu’s restaurant at Dockside Village, a walkable dining district along the Intracoastal Waterway in Barefoot Landing. Fans clamored for her signature gumbo, and families were drawn to the restaurant’s manmade sandy beach complete with a volleyball court and countless beach toys, kids’ play area and its water feature, the Fountain For Youth.
The Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association recognized outstanding achievements by hospitality leaders and businesses at the MBAHA Annual Meeting on November 15, 2018. The 2018 awards honor those who have made great strides in their industry.
“I am deeply grateful and delighted to be named MBAHA’s 2018 “Restaurateur of the Year,” Buffett says. “The Myrtle Beach area has been calling me for a long time and we love it here because the area is so similar to our beloved home base in Gulf Shores, Al. I have never been motivated to have more locations just for the sake of growth. I always consider how the LuLu’s concept can benefit the community because it truly is the community that makes it happen. We’ve not even been able to show Myrtle Beach all that we can really do, as we opened mid-year and then Hurricane Florence blew through and disrupted so many lives. So, I’m particularly humbled by this great honor bestowed upon me but I share this with every person on the LuLu’s North Myrtle Beach team. They are the heart of LuLu’s and without them, I am just a woman with an idea.”
Among the restaurant’s biggest hits during its inaugural year include LuLu’s six allergy menus that accommodate diners with restricted diets. The expansive allergy friendly menus include: dairy free, egg free, gluten free, shellfish free, soy free, and seafood free options. To ensure safety and accuracy, a manager comes to the table to take the order before the food is prepared in a special area in the kitchen.
“To many, it’s just another menu but to some, it’s life changing,” Buffett said. “When families come to visit and afterward write me to let me know that it was their child’s first time ever dining out, I know what I’m doing in meaningful. These instances elicit a special community of people who I’m proud to serve.”
This is Lucy Buffett’s third LuLu’s location. She also has locations in Gulf Shores, Ala., and Destin, Fla.
Buffett has been known to assist those in the community impacted by tropical storms and hurricanes. This year’s Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael were no exception. The North Myrtle Beach LuLu’s family offered free meals to those in need, served and catered at a local community kitchen, and participated in events that directly benefited those affected.
Her accomplishments are not just limited to her restaurants. Buffett is the author of two cookbooks and a children’s book: “LuLu’s Kitchen: A Taste of the Gulf Coast Good Life,” “Gumbo Love: Recipes for Gulf Coast Cooking, Entertaining, and Savoring the Good Life,” and “Billy Claus & The Spirit of Christmas Island.”