New Orleans-themed Bayou to take over former Mr. Bill’s in Cheektowaga | To eat


The Bayou margarita does not rely on a pre-made mix and incorporates organic lime juice.

Kaylee Gould / The Bayou

“We got too big for our building – we had to turn away customers on Friday and Saturday nights,” said Rottger, who has long recommended reservations to customers and tries to manage two-hour waits on busy nights.

The former Mr. Bill’s will essentially double the capacity of the Bayou from 66 to 119, with twice as many tables and bar stools. Rottger’s plan is to stay open for late lunch, dinner, and late-night service, and add hours on Sundays during billing season. Indoor entertainment will expand with Rottger aiming to focus on his popular Cajun karaoke night, as well as live music beyond the acoustic concerts he has hosted on French Road.

Southern dishes that have become popular at Bayou include the Seafood Swampy Sampler with frog legs, alligator, oysters, soft-shell crab and a trio of sauces; plus a soft shell crab sandwich, shrimp tacos and homemade donuts, available stuffed with Nutella. Chicken and Belgian scratch waffles are a recent hit.

Rottger and her general manager Kaylee Gould traveled to New Orleans in March with the intention of revising the bar’s beverage menu, which already includes margaritas that weave in organic lime juice and don’t rely on a pre-made mix. With Gould at the helm, the Bayou recently launched a different specialty drink, like a blue siren made with coconut rum, every weekend.

At least temporarily, the Bayou will not be offering breakfast or brunch, and Rottger plans to apply for permits to allow outdoor seating at the new location.

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