Abbeville has always had several seafood restaurants. Two of these were located across the street from each other...Dupuy's and Black's Restaurants. For many years, Blacks was the more popular restaurant in town, but Blacks failed on three different occasions with three different managements (the locals claim that it was built on cocaine and went down with cocaine). This is turn left only Dupuy's, Shucks and Richards for seafood.
The waiters and waitresses at Dupuy's used to wear tee shirts with the following slogan:
Sometime back the restaurant was painted a baby blue, which is more appropriate for a children's nursery rather than a restaurant in an historic downtown district. The management bought or leased the building next door and converted it into a banquet room. When banquets were held there, the remainder of the restaurant had to endure the constant traffic of wait-staff passing through the restaurant with trays of food while restaurant patrons had to watch and wait for their food. When they originally opened the banquet room, the woodwork outside the new facade was a beautiful stained wood that has now been painted over with white paint and looks awful. They unfortunately hired an attorney/decorator who claimed to be a designer.
About a year ago, they closed the banquet room and converted it into a bar and hired the same lawyer/decorator for this as well. The bar itself has to rate as one of the most poorly designed bars in the area. which is not very comfortable. The room was then decorated with an array of items giving it a look which may well be described as Abbeville Kitsch. For entertainment, they brought in some loud local musicians to drown out any possibility of having a decent conversation with a companion. Several long time patrons of the restaurant have complained about the noise. It has now become the "Honky Tonk" of Abbeville, so call ahead to avoid the live music if you plan to have a conversation over dinner.
Then, they fired Jay, their longtime manager and replaced him with a young inexperienced one. Rumors have it that the management didn't want to deliver many of the benefits they had promised Jay, so they fired him. An old custom which Jay initiated was to serve a free drink to the wait-staff after a busy night. The owner cut out the free drink to the employees and actually told them that it was money out of her own pocket. This alienated the staff who liked Jay very much, and since then several of the older wait staff have either been fired or left to follow Jay at the bar/grill "Hook-D Up" in Youngsville. So naturally, you have a very unhappy staff and complaints of a lack of decent service from them.
Rumors have it that the owners are negotiating to buy or lease the adjacent building to add a dance hall with live mucic to the restaurant and bar. No one in their right mind thinks that is such a good idea, particularly without a parking lot to accomodate the dance hall in addition to the restaurant. On busy nights, customers have to park on other streets nearby to get to the restaurant.
Although they have jacked up the prices, the quality of the food is still good. It appears the owners are milking the place to improve their peraonal lifestyle. Dupuy's crab cakes and the Po-Boy's are still good, but the seafood gumbo is not always consistent. Some days, the gumbo tastes like it had been on the stove too long. The oysters on the half-shell (in season) are usually good, but on slower days, the oysters are shucked ahead of time and stored in a refrigerator until served, causing them to dehydrate somewhat. Unlike the Waffle House, Dupuy's serves margarine instead of butter with your bread and baked potato.
The special on Wednesday nights is all the fried catfish you can eat for a fixed price. On those nights the scene can best be described by the title of Ariana Huffington's book, "Pigs at the Trough." The only problem is that once you eat what is on your plate and order more, you may lose your appetite, having to wait for an eternity for the extra catfish.