The Buckboard is back, but with a Louisiana twist

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Buckboard restaurant is reopening on Gantt Lake, but with a Cajun twist.

The restaurant will feature Louisiana-style, Creole food, and will be open for lunch and dinner starting today from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Henry and Mariam Cabrera, the new owners, have been in the process of re-opening the Buckboard since September of last year.

“When we came and saw the building the first time it was a wreck,” Cabrera said. “I decided not to buy it and move my family to Tallahassee, instead, and open a restaurant down there.”

After looking at the building again, he decided that the property had a lot of potential.

“We have had to do a lot of work,” Cabrera said. “But it finally looks amazing.”

Henry Cabrera is from Honduras, and his wife, Mariam, is from Nicaragua.

“We owned a restaurant in Latin America for about 17 years,” Cabrera said. “After that, we sold everything we had and moved to Philadelphia.”

Mariam Cabrera said that she worked at Wal-Mart for a while, and her husband worked as an insurance agent.

The two spent a little time in Crestview, which is where they met former Buckboard owner Fred Spears.

“Fred came to me telling me about his old restaurant,” Cabrera said. “In the back of my mind, I knew we would always want to do what we knew and that was running a restaurant.”

Cabrera brought his son and daughter to Gantt to help him with the business and is planning on having his youngest daughter move to Gantt after she is finished with school at Keiser University.

“The people here are absolutely amazing,” Mrs. Cabrera said. “They are so kind and Gantt is such a beautiful place to have a restaurant.”

The restaurant will offer a boat dock where people with boats can pull up, anchor down and have food.

“We have a remodeled dock, new tables and completely cleaned out the kitchen,” Cabrera said. “Most of the kitchen equipment didn’t even work, so we had to get all new equipment.”

The initial menu features bourbon chicken, filet mignon, shrimp bordelaise, and chicken Florentine. They will also be serving different sandwiches and burgers including the Buckboard sausage po-boy and the Panorama burger. Cabrera said that in time there will be an extended menu.

“My family lives in New Orleans so I know this type of food,” Cabrera said. “I’m excited to bring some Cajun spice to Andalusia.”

Cabrera said that all of his food will be made from scratch.

“I believe that the more time a restaurant has, the better it will get, so I’m excited to show what we have,” Cabrera said. “We will be offering jambalaya on Saturday as our special as well as red beans, rice and sausage.”

Along with the food, Cabrera hopes to bring a family fun type environment to his restaurant.

“We want to bring in a saxophone player to play some soft jazz,” Cabrera said. “And eventually when we get our liquor license we will bring in cocktails, beer and wine.”

The hours for the Buckboard will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.