LuLu’s in Gulf Shores
Finding a place that has a little bit of everything for everyone isn’t as hard as it used to be but distinguishing yourself from other family restaurants can be quite a challenge.
Go on down to Gulf Shores and you will find a restaurant on every corner and an umbrella chair on every beach, but you will also find a place that has cultivated itself in such a way that it stands out in every aspect.
Welcome to LuLu’s Gulf Shores!
After starting in 2005, Gabrielle Barnett, now the Director of Marketing, shared the history behind how LuLu’s has become as inviting and charismatic as Lucy Buffett herself. The founder and famous sister of Margaritaville connoisseur and singer, Jimmy Buffett, Lucy found her way back to us here on the Gulf Coast and opened the original LuLu’s Sunset Grill, which turned out to be just what her heart had been calling her to do.
“Lots of fun summer days and happy families. It’s what we are about and we’ve had a lot of good times,” says Gabrielle. Food, Fun, and Music is the true life’s mission at LuLu’s.
In their 23rd year, LuLu’s opened in 1999 on Weeks Bay, in Fairhope, AL. After having to relocate to a new location in 2004 due to a lost lease, LuLu’s has established a reputation in Gulf Shores that brings families from all over in their doors year after year.
Lucy herself created a menu of Buffett family favorites, and eventually her own cookbooks, including the fried shrimp, house-made gumbo, and the coastal southern cuisine that is any visitor or locals favorite when they come to the beach on vacation. Some of the most popular items include fried green tomatoes, shrimp & grits, cheeseburgers, and fried shrimp po boys, to name a few!
With every dish coming out of their scratch kitchen, there is no lack of flavor to be found. It really is the best of the coast. “We make everything fresh in-house. The ranch is made in the back, we hand-batter the shrimp, onion rings, and fried green tomatoes.” Says Gabrielle. From the smoked tuna dip to the fried crab claws, to the gumbo stirred by hand and Crab Melt, each dish is made with as much attention and care, as is everything at LuLu’s. The longevity of their staff really speaks to the culture with tenures ranging from 10 to 15 years, and even some since the inception of the restaurant in Weeks Bay.
One of the most impressive features of LuLu’s is their extensive allergy menu to ensure that every guest who comes through the door can enjoy a meal, no matter what their dietary needs include. From creating a separate menu specifically for certain allergies (Gluten, Soy, Dairy, Egg, Shellfish, and Seafood) and placing those orders on a red ticket, to being a completely nutfree facility, LuLu’s ensures that all guest’s needs are met to the highest degree.
Now with 3 locations including Gulf Shores, Destin, and even North Myrtle Beach, SC, the LuLu’s family brings consistency and uniqueness to each restaurant. From building their own sandy beaches, installing a fountain of youth, and even waterfront views and arcades, LuLu’s truly is a family experience. They’ve even included a virtual waitlist found on their website to ensure that their guests can maximize time with family on vacation instead of standing in a line.
The atmosphere that draws in the crowds from the beach not only includes live music but also 2 bars in each location serving from a menu cultivated by, of course, Lucy herself. Featuring their own Crazy Sista Bloody Mary, Crazy Sista Margarita Mix, and a Crazy Sista Blonde Ale & Crazy Sista Honey Ale brewed by Back Forty Brewing in Alabama, there is no lack of choices while you watch the sunset.
LuLu’s certainly stands on its own with its welcoming family atmosphere, vibrant colors, and mouthwatering fare. But you’ll find more here than just great food; you’ll find a coastal southern gem hidden on the beaches of Gulf Shores. And above all, you’ll find love and forever memories made within your family, just as Lucy intended. It is an absolute must-visit no matter where on the coast you are vacationing.