After shedding its former name -- Calliope's Po-Boy -- in the wake of a legal battle, the little Cajun restaurant in EaDo had been going by a handful of different names in the last few months: LC's Poboys on Facebook, in which the LC stood for owner Lisa Carnley's initials. KrazyPoBoys on Twitter. And simply "No Name Po-Boys" when you approached the shop off Jefferson, where the old Calliope's name had been painted over and removed entirely from signs.
Carnley had been determined to let her fans and patrons rename the restaurant. After all, they're the reason that the po-boy shop has been so successful and their warm welcome the reason that she decided to stay in Houston after relocating here from New Orleans post-Katrina. Her plan was to announce the new name on December 12 at a 12/12/12 party, a name chosen from the list of suggestions given to her by her guests: Peauxboy Shop, Kajun Korner, Hou Dat. One of the very names the shop had been going by was the No. 1 choice, put up for a vote on the restaurant's Facebook page: LC's Poboys.
And then it came to Carnley in a dream: The Cajun Stop.
"I thought about it last night," Carnley told me on December 12. She'd come up with the new name less than 24 hours before her party and the name's big reveal. "I already had new signs printed up with the new name and everything," she laughed. LC's Poboys would just have to make way for another new name, though.
Carnley printed the story on a stack of printer paper and passed out the explanation to the friends and fans who packed her little shop that night, gorging on free po-boys and jambalaya, Jell-O shots and kegs of beer.
"As simple as the name may seem and though it was not in the contest, it came to me literally around midnight this morning," read the fliers, "literally, midnight of 12/12/12 and I knew at that moment, this is it, it has so much meaning."
Because of Katrina, I have spent the last seven years moving through three states and in Houston, I have lived in more than eight homes and still not quite satisfied with my current home, but what I have that has always been constant in the past four years is this little po-boy shop in this very corner. Because of you and everyone else who has supported me, this is my STOP. I'm not leaving from this location unless they throw me out of here, no matter how much of a hole in a wall it may be, my home, my friends, and all of you are here for me! I love it!!!! I will continue to grow in this very Corner of Houston.
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Carnley had more good news for her supporters last Thursday night, too: She's bought the space in the corner of her Jefferson-facing strip mall and although it doesn't adjoin The Cajun Stop, she's busy remodeling it anyway. Her plans are to turn the massive space into The Cajun Stop's party room, which she hopes to open in time for Mardi Gras.
"Everyone always wants to rent out the space for parties," she said of her small, corner shop. "This way, they'll have a whole space of their own."