Bayou on the Vine
1601 E. 18th St., KCMO
Proprietor: Sharekka Byrd backed up by a whole flock of Byrds (mom, dad, her sister Shayna and Sharekka’s future hubby)
Cuisine: Louisiana Cajun
Hours: 11 a.m. -9 p.m., Mon. – Thurs. , 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Fri., and 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. Sat.
Opened: Aug. 2016
Sharekka, a graduate of the L’eole Culinary School, tried other professions, but she knew cooking and the restaurant business was her calling. So when her dad, a successful entrepreneur in his own right, told her a former restaurant spot in KC’s historic 18th and Vice area was available, it was on. The former restaurant featured Cajun cuisine and Sharekka decided to maintain the concept, but with her own twist on the menu.
The restaurant received a lot of national attention when just a few months after they opened, they were featured on Chef Gordon Ramsay’s “24 Hours to Hell and Back,” a reality television show where the Chef comes in and redesigns the store interior and the menu.
“It was a good experience,” says Sharekaa, but she admits she really wasn’t prepared for how over the top the day would be. Yes, the remodel takes place in 24-hours. The interior, redone in mint green and purple is a classy remake with a much better homage to the spirit of New Orleans. They’ve kept the entire interior redesign, but not all of the menu makeovers stuck. Before the show, they had a buffet. Sharekka, says that’s one thing that she was glad to see go.
The restaurant’s simple one-page menu may not be extensive, but it full of great Cajun favorites including Catfish New Orleans, of course, Gumbo, and Shrimp and Grits that are to die for. Another favorite is their wings, they come with several sauce options, but the caramel sauce is by far the favorite of their regular customers.
This is definitely a place with regular customers. Happy hour with good drinks keeps bringing them back. The after-work crowd starts wandering in the beginning as early as 4 p.m. – that when happy hour starts. The happy hour menu offers discounted prices on several appetizers and drinks. On Friday and Saturday night, there’s live music, so get there early or you’ll have a hard time finding a seat. Overall, this a great place for food, drinks, and live entertainment.