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ON THE MENU — Rodair Bar & Grill’s new ownership restores great tastes, family atmosphere

PORT ACRES — Misti Wullenwaber and her family ate at Rodair Roadhouse in Port Acres towards the beginning of this year. The owner at the time asked if she wanted a job.

After replying “no,” Wullenwaber said the owner jokingly offered to sell her the restaurant. Two weeks later, Wullenwaber, along with Dane Powell and Bo Cloud, bought the establishment with hopes of returning it to one of the most recognizable brands in the area.

Cloud and Powell also own Dane’s Crawfish and More in Bridge City.

The new ownership team closed the doors for two weeks in order to get things in order prior to reopening Feb. 9.

“There was a lot of cleaning that needed to be done, reorganization and throwing away of old food,” Wullenwaber said. “We also got some new kitchen equipment. It was just a revamp.”

After a debate on whether to keep the restaurant name or start fresh, the group settled on new by familiar name: Rodair Bar and Grill.

“We wanted to keep the ‘Rodair’ in it because of the history,” Wullenwaber said. “A lot of people love the history, and we do, too. Your grandparents talk about the Rodair Club, and we love that part of it; but we did want to switch it up some to get away from the negativity. It has been a struggle to pull both sides.”

The family friendly atmosphere is what drew Wullenwaber to Rodair.

“We kept a lot of the decorations and we wanted to keep a lot of the family atmosphere,” Wullenwaber said. “That was very important to us. I started a kids sections (at the front), where kids could play while the parents sit down and eat.”

Rodair Bar and Grill is launching a new menu this week, but those who have favorite menu items need not worry, Wullenwaber said.

“We are keeping a lot of the old favorites from here and adding a lot from Dane’s Crawfish and More and making a super menu,” she said. “We are going to keep our fried green tomatoes, of course. We are keeping the majority of our items. We are only taking away a few items that didn’t really sell. We are keeping everyone’s top favorites. We will add crawfish pistolettes, corn nuggets and a lot of new appetizers.”

While patrons will not see much of a change in atmosphere, the addition of a patio area is planned by summertime.

A pool table should arrive in the next couple of weeks.

It’s all part of a more laid-back vibe, Wullenwaber said.

“We will start on the patio in another month,” she said. “It will probably take another month to build. It will be heated and cooled. It will still give the atmosphere of being outside; but with Texas weather, you still need air conditioners.”
Wullenwaber said people who come to eat should know the new ownership cares about the restaurant and its standing in the community.

“We are newly owned,” she said. “I feel like there are a lot of people who think the past owners are still involved. We are completely different. We have a sister company that is bringing in good food. We are excited.”

Rodair Bar and Grill is located at 6701 Jade Avenue in Port Arthur. Call 409-548-4242 for more information.