Walking into Brown’s Cafe feels like a visit to Grandma’s house. The cozy bar stools and Pac-Man machine along with the open kitchen where owner Cleveland Clayton and son Dante Clayton cook plates to order epitomizes hospitality and comfort food in South Louisiana.
The 20-minute drive from Baton Rouge to Brown’s Cafe is a familiar trip for many patrons. Though you might miss the humble establishment in between the sugarcane and back roads just south of Brusly if you aren’t careful.
But the operation that is run at Brown’s Cafe is bigger than many might think. The small cafe is opening a second location in the heart of metropolitan Baton Rouge, at 6031 Siegen Lane.
Although the second location will be in the city, the legacy will remain the same, Clayton said.
The Famous K & C’s, the name of the new location, will be “really, truly living the legacy,” Clayton said.
The name was changed to incorporate the co-owner of the new establishment and long-time patron of Brown’s Cafe, Karen Banks. The menu at the Famous K & C’s will be expanded, but the legacy and quality found at Brown’s Cafe will still be the foundation for the restaurant, Clayton said.
Leatha Brown, Clayton’s grandmother, started the restaurant on Lukeville road almost 70 years ago when the building was nothing more than the kitchen, Clayton said.
When Clayton’s grandfather, James Brown, got upset at his job at a nearby plant he began running the restaurant full-time.
A picture of Leatha and James Brown hangs proudly in the cafe with a sign that reads, “Granny and grandpa’s place” sitting right below it. Across the cafe is an advertisement clipped from a newspaper for local attorney Tony Clayton, Cleveland Clayton’s cousin.
The history of the West Side is as ingrained into Brown’s Cafe as much as the Southern comfort food served there is a staple of the community.
Now, the one-room operation with three parking spots is ready for business on the other side of the river.
“This is just a legacy I took over and want to make grow,” Clayton said.
The modest menu consists of fried shrimp, chicken or fish with potato salad and a roll for a side. For dessert, try the peach cobbler. It’s a recipe Leatha Brown created for the restaurant when the operation first began.
The Famous K & C’s will offer a special peach cobbler, a recipe Leatha Brown only cooked for the family, called Willy Mae Peach Cobbler, Clayton said.
Daily specials will be something for new and old customers to look forward to as well, Clayton said.
The expanded menu at The Famous K & C’s will also include healthy and vegetarian options, Clayton said.
“We’re not gonna miss anybody,” Clayton said.
His eyes lit up as he talked about the possibility of opening another location of The Famous K & C’s.
“I’d like to see one in Lafayette, maybe Mandeville or New Orleans,” He said.
Though he has big plans for the restaurant, he wants the operation to remain local and true to it’s legacy of quality, homemade Southern comfort food.
“When you get too big your food starts slipping,” Clayton said.