Jan 4, 2023 - Business

LuLu’s Central Avenue location has closed

LuLu’s Maryland-Style Chicken and Seafood, which made a splash during the pandemic serving up baseball-sized crab cakes on Tuckaseegee Road, closed its Plaza Midwood shop after less than a year in business.

Owners Jay and Miketa Davis experienced “challenges related to supply chain, staffing and other operational roadblocks,” at the Central Avenue restaurant, spokesperson LaToya Evans tells Axios.

The team has shifted its focus to the original location on Tuckaseegee, which will serve many of the original menu items including the beloved crab cakes, per Evans.

Why it matters: LuLu’s was one of Charlotte’s brightest success stories of 2020, as Axios’ Michael Graff wrote. After opening in 2019, the restaurant quickly became a hotspot, especially for Maryland transplants.

  • The restaurant, and notably its jumbo-lump crab cakes, would routinely draw lines stretching around the building.
  • LuLu’s is the latest in a growing number of closures of locally owned small businesses in Plaza Midwood.

Flashback: The owners spent 15 months building out the Central Avenue spot and opened it last spring with a full bar, indoor-outdoor seating and expanded menu that included items beyond seafood like chicken and waffles, whole wings and wingettes.

  • In September, the Davises closed the Tuckaseegee location temporarily for a “reboot,” Michael wrote, in order to renovate the space, update their look and simplify the menu. The name changed to Lulu’s Express Fry House, too.
  • They made the Central location their flagship, too.
  • At the time, LuLu’s owners indicated they’ve experienced challenges operating the two businesses, from a short supply of crab meat to staffing shortages.

“We’ve had some hiccups and hurdles that we’ve had to get over. Some issues that were unforeseen. We’re just hoping to maintain the standards across the board now,” Jay Davis told Michael in September.

The Davises did not respond to additional requests for comment.

Crab cake at Lulu's chicken and seafood
Crab cake from LuLu’s. Photo: Michael Graff/Axios

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