Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Krewe Of DeJavu Slated To Open May 8

Gary Williams closed DejaVu on South Main in December knowing that his days owning a restaurant were done. The bills were too much and he was behind on taxes; Uncle Sam was hot on his heels.

But that didn't mean he was leaving the restaurant business. He knew even then he was headed back to the little building on Florida Street where it all started in 2008, but that someone else would own it and worry about the money.

Pending one final inspection, Krewe of DejaVu will open this week at 936 Florida.



"I am tickled to be back on Florida," Williams said. 'It's new ownership. I'll be the executive chef. Martin Gill and Rondell Charles own it.

"But I'll be doing the Gary thing. It's my pictures on the walls and my food coming out of that kitchen."

Originally from New Orleans where he owned a restaurant with his family, Williams came to Memphis in 2008 after a few years in Las Vegas. He opened the tiny spot on Florida with fewer than 10 tables and folks waited in line to eat his po' boys, crawfish etouffée, filé gumbo and other Creole and Cajun favorites in addition to his vegetarian fare.

In 2013, he opened Downtown in a much larger spot, running both places for a while but eventually closing Florida. In December, it caught up to him.

The work took a toll on his health. He had two strokes in two years and was hospitalized for diabetes last year.

"My doctor told me I have to slow down, but that's hard for me to do. He said 'You either do it, or you'll be making gumbo in heaven,' " Williams said after he closed Downtown, which he did willingly but knowing he had no choice because of the back taxes.

More: A brew from a roux: Here's who's stirring up Memphis' best gumbo

Since then, he's continued to operate his DejaVu food truck, though in the past few weeks he's been working on getting the new place ready.

"But we'll be at Shelby Farms this weekend and when it opens we'll be back out at Levitt Shell," he said.

Right now, he's keyed up about Florida, starting it back up like it was 10 years ago.

"Chefs are artists," he said. "We create the food. It's better to let someone who knows more about it handle the money."


The restaurant will be open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It's still the small place it always was, but a patio is in the works and Williams noted there's a benefit to the cozy spot.

"The prices are doing to be lower than they were Downtown," he said. "Without that overhead, we can do it."
story by Jennifer Biggs

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Vote Chef Gary and DeJavu Restaurant BEST OF MEMPHIS


 
 


Memphis Flyer's
BEST OF MEMPHIS 2017
 
Chef Gary Williams and DeJavu Restaurant are nominated for 4 Categories. We are excited about this. Please vote us in
Best Cajun/Creole
Best Homecooking/Soulfood
Best Vegetarian
Best Chef
http://thememphisflyer.secondstreetapp.com/Best-of-Memp

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