LuLu’s celebrates two years

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“We have great food, great drinks, great music and a place for kids to play. That’s what I wanted the restaurant to be and that’s what my guys executed here.”

Jennie McKeon | 315-4434 | @jenniemnwfdn | jmckeon@nwfdailynews.com

DESTIN — LuLu’s celebrated the summer season and two years in Destin with the annual Bay Bash Anniversary Party on Sunday.

Folks came to celebrate by boats, floats and cars to listen to live music and dance in the sand. Lucy Buffett spent the afternoon signing copies of her latest cookbook, “Gumbo Love” before cutting celebratory cake.

“It’s our anniversary — or our birthday — so we always have a birthday party,” said Buffett Sunday afternoon. “It’s a perfect summer day. We have great food, great drinks, great music and a place for kids to play. That’s what I wanted the restaurant to be and that’s what my guys executed here.”

LuLu’s gift cards were awarded to the first 20 boats that arrived at the restaurant. They sat parked in the Choctawhatchee Bay alongside colorful floats.

A few couples danced in the sand as Albert Simpson and John Kulinich performed on top of the Bay Bar. Other musical acts include Lamont, Adam Holt Band and headliners, Simplified from North Carolina.

LuLu’s Destin General Manager Mike Butler said the Bay Bash started at the Gulf Shores location.

“We would do a LuLuPalooza to kick off the summer season and wanted to do something similar in Destin,” he said. “Since we opened in June 2015, we thought it would be a good time to celebrate our anniversary. We have definitely made our mark and we’re very fortunate to be so well-received.”

Butler has been booking bands for LuLu’s restaurants for eight years, Lucy’s brother, Jimmy Buffett has even made a few surprise appearances in Gulf Shores. Butler said he likes to showcase both up and coming and established acts.

“It’s a nice, mixed bag,” he said. “This location lends itself to this kind of event. Turn up the music and bring out the boats…it’s a floating concert.”

Even as the weekend was coming to an end, there was nothing but smiles all around the restaurant.

“That’s what the gumbo love’s all about,” Buffett said.

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