Editor's note: An earlier version of this story caused some readers to believe that Annie's Wok in Lexington is closing. Annie's Wok is not closing and will remain open at its current location at 9123 South Highway Dr. The new Cajun restaurant will be moving into the location where Annie's Wok used to be located before it moved.
LEXINGTON — The future site of Bistro La Roux is more than 1,200 miles away from Tim Glover’s hometown of Houma, La., but he’s confident that the Cajun food of his stomping grounds can easily make the journey north.
Glover, who moved to Minnesota 13 years ago after meeting his wife Lori online, began operating a Cajun food truck called Cajun 2 Geaux about a year and a half ago. Now, the couple is making the jump to a physical location, with plans to open a Cajun restaurant called Bistro La Roux in Lexington at 9372 Lexington Ave. within the next three months.
Tim, a former military aircraft mechanic who used his plane-fixing skills to outfit the couple’s RV as the Cajun 2 Geaux food truck, said he and Lori made the decision after realizing they were in good financial shape. After determining that the next step of Tim’s cooking dreams was a sit-down restaurant, they needed to find a location.
“We were actually running our food truck at [Hammerheart Brewery] in Lino Lakes,” said Tim. They realized that many “destination” Twin Cities-area restaurants chose to make their homes closer to the urban center, often leaving the outer metropolitan area with few dining options.
“[We thought,] ‘There’s a lot of people in this area who would appreciate the kind of thing we have to offer,’” said Tim.
The “Roux” in Bistro La Roux is a reference to the flour and butter mixture that is the base of many Cajun foods. Many Cajun favorites Tim already makes in the truck will be making an appearance on Bistro La Roux’s menu, including jambalaya, gumbo, and po’ boy sandwiches. However, classic Cajun cuisine won’t be the only thing the restaurant has to offer.
“It’s going to be an open kitchen concept, so that everyone in the entire restaurant can see that the entire focus is on the kitchen,” Tim explained. There will be seats next to the kitchen so that curious patrons can watch their food being made, and screens will be set up around the restaurant showing diners a live feed of what’s going on in the cookery.
“You’ll be able to see what’s going on with your food,” said Tim. “You’re going to see fresh ingredients being worked.”
Helping fulfill the Glovers’ vision of a destination location in the north metro will be a changing selection of local craft beers, as well as cheeses and wines from all over the world.
“The menu is a rotating menu,” Tim remarked. “It’s not something that’s constant.”
Though some Louisiana staples will be a fixture at Bistro La Roux, others will come and go based on demand and the season. Tim said diners can expect to see red beans and rice, pasta dishes and the crowd-pleasing crawfish boil depending on when they stop in.
The restaurant will sit between 30 and 40 people, with additional standing space for diners so inclined. Tim said customers will often be treated to live jazz music as they eat, and he said he’d like to foster an interest in America’s music on a local level.
“What I want to do is have high school jazz bands involved,” he said, explaining that as many school jazz bands as possible will be invited to play in the restaurant. “I would like to have the high school bands have a battle of the bands and encourage jazz in the communities.”
The Glovers are sure to be busy. Cajun 2 Geaux will stay in operation, and Tim is also juggling a commitment to a metro-area commercial kitchen. However, it’s a small price to pay for him to follow his dream, something Lori encouraged him to do after his plans to work as a mechanic at the financially struggling (and now nonexistent) Northwest Airlines fell through.
“I have a passion for food and of course being from Louisiana that’s quite natural,” he said.
Bistro La Roux does not have an official opening date yet. Tim encouraged people to check out cajun2geaux.com for updates.