The wait is over for Cou-Yon’s fans who live in Baton Rouge. Instead of driving across the Mississippi River bridge to the popular Port Allen restaurant, they can now find its barbecue dishes on Perkins Road.
The new food trailer opened last month with a limited menu at the Acadian-Perkins Plaza parking lot. But the abbreviated menu options have not seemed to deter customers. Four weeks into operations, and owners say the lines have been strong and steady. The love and support the Baton Rouge community has shown the team has been overwhelming, says partial owner Paul Mladenka.
“The community has really rallied behind us,” Mladenka says. “It’s allowed us to stay busy when a lot of other restaurants have not, and we’re extremely grateful.”
Though the food trailer’s menu is smaller than the original restaurant’s, it still includes a variety of appetizers and sides, sandwiches, barbecue plates and several specialty dishes. Loaded baked potatoes and baby-back ribs have been in especially high demand. Cou-Yon’s sells an average of 10,000 baked potatoes a month prior to the new location.
The business started in 1999 with about 10 employees, but has expanded to around 70 staff members. Mladenka got involved with Cou-Yon’s in 2009.
The team got into the food truck business in 2010, parking in different places around Baton Rouge certain days of the week. This fall, a Cou-Yon’s trailer will be setup on LSU’s campus five days a week.
As for the original dining room in Port Allen? It has been closed for dine-in since March because of the pandemic.
“We were planning on opening up the dining room at the end of June, but then the numbers started shooting back up, and we just don’t want to take any unnecessary risks,” Mladenka says.
Until then, diners seem content with takeout—especially now that the Baton Rouge fans might not have to drive as far to get it.
Find the Cou-Yon’s food truck at 3653 Perkins Road. Hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.