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ACU Home > Major Events > News > 2003 News Archive > The Lazy Cajun

'The Restaurant' more than just reality TV for student entrepreneur

For immediate release
Aug. 25, 2003

The name of his restaurant is certainly not self-descriptive.

Twenty-two-year-old Abilene Christian University sophomore Casey Cooper, who is taking a full-load of classes and opening his own restaurant -- The Lazy Cajun -- this week, will have to be anything but lazy.

He did, however, convince his two business partners, who have the luxury of not being full-time college students, to wait until at least the second day of school to open the new eatery.

"We were going to open on Monday, but I said 'Let me start school first, and then I'll go risk my livelihood the next day,'" Cooper said.

So, with the first day of classes behind him, Cooper, an electronic media major from McAllen, will begin his first business venture with the opening of the Cajun deli.

While delivering pizzas for Domino's, Cooper met David Collins, a New Orleans native with a flair for cooking Cajun food. Cooper, Collins and another friend, Scott Lind, often discussed abstractly the idea of opening a restaurant.

"It wasn't until I tasted his [Collins'] food that I thought 'We really might have something here,'" Cooper said. "I thought 'Yes, let's do this.'"

Now, Cooper finds himself living out what most people are watching on television, thanks to NBC's latest reality show "The Restaurant."

However, Cooper said he really can't relate to the hype.

"I haven't even seen the show; I've just been too busy," he said.

As for his first day of school and the preparations for Tuesday's opening, Cooper said on Monday "Let's just say I'll be up late tonight."

The Lazy Cajun will open for business on Tuesday at 2233 Pine Street, across from Hardin-Simmons University and not far from ACU, and will offer student discounts to those schools.

The menu will include such New Orleans favorites as po' boys, jambalaya, red beans and rice and Cajun steaks, all available for dine-in, carry-out or delivery.

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