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Henry’s Louisiana Grill Hosts 15th Anniversary Celebration!

August 14, 2015
Henry working in the original kitchen just down the street from its current location.

Henry working in the original kitchen just down the street from its current location.

On Saturday, August 15th—15 years to the day that Henry’s Louisiana Grill opened its doors in historic Acworth—this Main Street flagship restaurant will host its 15-year anniversary celebration.

Family, friends and the entire community are invited to celebrate with food and drink specials and much more throughout this momentous day. All guests that wear a classic Henry’s t-shirt will receive a special something extra.

During brunch, served from 9:00-11:30 a.m., each table will enjoy a welcoming pre-meal biscuit and gravy as well as half price mimosa.

The restaurant will also feature $3.00 Abita Drafts (excluding Andygator) and $5.00 Hurricanes all day.

Y2K Throwback Menu

For lunch and dinner, the restaurant will offer throwback pricing on a few select items from their original menu. Guests will enjoy an appetizer portion of Henry’s Famous Shrimp Ooh La La for $7.95 which first appeared as an appetizer named “Introductory Special” when the restaurant opened its doors. Now, as a dish that was famously featured on ABC Nightline®, one in three guests order the Ooh La La.

The height of the celebration will be held at 7:00 p.m. when founders Chef Henry and Claudia Chandler will say thank you to their guests for their years of enthusiastic support by sharing cake with everyone and capturing the fun with photos of the restaurant’s many friends.

Guests are encouraged to make reservations by calling 770-966-1515 though walk-ins are always welcome.

A snapshot of the original Henry's dining room.

A snapshot of the original Henry’s dining room.

Changes Through the Years

When the restaurant opened on August 15, 2000 in its original, much smaller location just down the street, it was the result of a tight knit community’s hard work fueled by plenty of prayers. A shell of a building when the Henry’s krewe took possession of it, it needed lots of DIY renovation before finally opening on the hottest day anyone could remember. When the air conditioning failed, they stopped wondering what else could go wrong, found the grace to laugh and brought in portable units. In the four years at that location, Henry’s operated in 1495 sq. ft. and served 150 people weekly with six employees. Working 110 hours a week, Henry and Francisco did all of the cooking themselves.

But no matter how much the restaurant has grown, Henry will never forget the early days of its success. “This has been a dream come true for us,” said Chandler, “when we opened the restaurant in the original location, we had so many obstacles. It was such a learning experience and we were blessed with friends and an entire community that wanted us to succeed and helped us every step along the way.  We have come a long way with God’s help!”

In 2004, in answer to two and three hour waits on the weekends for a table, Henry’s opened in its current much larger location just down the street. Once again, the feat was a major one. Making the transition to a much larger operation required all hands on deck, including the same friends that had helped originally and more long hours, but Henry and the krewe were up to the task; they are used to working hard to give guests an exceptional experience.

Then, just when their efforts were paying off, everything changed for Henry. In 2007, Chef Henry discovered he had cancer and needed a liver transplant. With the support of his family, staff, and the community once again, he made a full recovery, more thankful than ever to God and determined to give back in every way possible.

Henry was further fueled by his life-changing miracle, and, in 2008, the Chandlers continued to expand when they opened Henry’s Uptown in their historic building’s upstairs area for live music and special events. In 2014, as a response to growing wait times, they added that space to the restaurant’s regular dining area for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, with special events held on other days. Now the restaurant, with a staff of 144, is able to serve a staggering 6,000 guests a week.

The phenomenal growth of Henry’s Louisiana Grill is mirrored by the city that supported it. Acworth’s population has more than doubled in the past 15 years from 10,000 to more than 22,000 residents. In 2000, when Henry’s opened at its initial location, Acworth’s historic downtown area was home to a few shops. Fifteen years later, thanks to Henry’s draw as a thriving anchor business, the area is now a bustling and charming district of renown, lined with vibrant businesses and plenty of visitors.

There have been plenty of other changes too. Four couples have met and married during their time working at Henry’s, and many children later have literally added to the Henry’s family. The pounds of crawfish the restaurant served in the early days have gone from 6,000 to 14,000 each season. Guests currently eat over 8000 gallons a year of that famous (and secret) Ooh La La sauce, up from the 800 gallons consumed annually during the restaurant’s beginnings. And Facebook? Not even a gleam in Zuckerberg’s eye in 2000, the platform has delivered more than 21,000 Henry’s followers to date.

U.S. representative Barry Loudermilk, who serves Georgia’s 11th Congressional (Henry’s) district, has been a regular customer of Henry’s for years and is an especially big fan of Henry’s Ooh La La. “Today, historic Acworth is a thriving district full of restaurants, one-of-a-kind shops and much more. It’s a place people want to spend their leisure time,” said Loudermilk. “When Henry Chandler opened his restaurant here in 2000, you couldn’t say that. Henry’s Louisiana Grill has had a tremendous impact on the economic development of historic Acworth and has been a generous supporter of the community at large. Congratulations Henry’s, on your 15th anniversary, and I wish you many more!”

Claudia hard at work waiting tables.

Claudia hard at work waiting tables.

Giving Thanks

Finding ways to thank the community for the support that made his successes possible is always on Henry’s mind. Programs such as Henry’s Helps Our Community, which provides fundraising nights at the restaurant for eligible groups, Run the Bases to benefit Acworth’s Horizon Field and the Liverversary Celebration that raises money for the Georgia Transplant Foundation each year are just a few of the programs to which the restaurant is dedicated.

About Henry’s Louisiana Grill                                                                                            

Henry’s Louisiana Grill, which debuted in 2000, is an award-winning community gathering place with local and national acclaim. The menu is designed by award-winning Chef Henry Chandler, sparked by the Southern-inspired food he loved and prepared with his Nanny Castell as a child. With an emphasis on world-class hospitality and dishes using the finest ingredients, Henry’s Southern comfort cooking has people driving cross-country just for a taste.

Henry’s Louisiana Grill is located at 4835 N Main St, Acworth, GA 30101. For more information, please visit www.chefhenrys.com or find us on Facebook.

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