By Anna Grace Moore

Photos by Untold Imagery

Strolling into The Rougaroux, one is immersed in a salty breeze and the twangy tunes of banjo-pickin’ bluegrass overhead. The hosts–whose smiles feel like a warm embrace–are eager to usher customers through their doors, welcoming both newcomers and longtime fans with the same tender salutations.

While new to Mountain Brook, The Rougaroux–the brainchild of restaurateurs Ed Stacey and Ryan Champion–first opened in Forest Park in October 2017. The New Orleans-style po’boy restaurant serves everything from house-made Boudin links, Oysters Rockefeller, gumbo and more.

The dynamic duo first met while in school at McAdory High School and later reconnected to open up their first-ever restaurant concept, Hotbox.

“When Hotbox had grown and they were ready to expand, Ryan and Ed saw an opportunity in this market because there’s not many po’boy shops downtown and in Mountain Brook,” Molly Taylor, The Rougaroux’s general manager, says.

Both Ryan and Ed have deep ties rooted in New Orleans culture and wanted to bring their desire into Birmingham’s foodie scene. Ryan has actually spent more than 25 years in the food industry, creating cuisine in Michelin-starred restaurants such as Commander’s Palace–the flagship Creole restaurant in New Orleans.

“We both have a special place in our hearts for the city,” Ed says.

Several years after the Forest Park location opened, one of Ryan and Ed’s friends and customers, Jay Friedman, began attending “Saints Sundays,” which were when The Rougaroux live-streamed the Saints’ games. He loved the cuisine and atmosphere and persuaded the restaurateurs to open up shop in the former Sneaky Pete’s building he owned in Mountain Brook.

On Jan. 12, 2024, The Rougaroux opened its doors for the first time at 2716 Culver Road. While this location sports more of a seafood-dive aesthetic, the menu’s authenticity has no rival.

In fact, the only differences between the Forest Park and Mountain Brook locations are the infrastructure. The Forest Park location’s building was built in the late 1800s, contributing to the eerie Cajun folklore-filled aesthetic.

“The rougarou is a shape-shifting boogeyman that takes on the form of a werewolf,” Ed says. “We like the dark, interesting nature of the figure, and we put an ‘x’ on the end of the name to be indicative of the Cajun spelling and Creole cooking.”

The name fit the bill for the historic building in Forest Park. Its sister location in Mountain Brook Village may not have the dimly-lit, mysterious atmosphere, but it does still have the same cuisine longtime fans love.

Not only is every dish made-from-scratch, in-house daily, but many ingredients are also sourced from New Orleans-based businesses such as Cochon Butcher or Leidenheimer Baking Company. All of the restaurant’s seafood is caught fresh straight from the Gulf of Mexico.

“What we gravitate towards are the smaller neighborhood spots–cuisine you would find throughout the city,” Ed says of the menu’s inspiration. “Our menu is a combination of little things that we like. We just try to take little pieces from places we’ve enjoyed and incorporate those while also trying to keep our cuisine original to us, specifically.”

One such original item is the fried wild gulf shrimp po’boy, which is served on 8-inch Leidenheimer bread and dressed in shredded lettuce, seasoned tomatoes, shaved red onions, dill pickles, Duke’s Mayo and Crystal Hot Sauce. Delicious becomes an understatement when biting into one of these po’boys.

Another Rougaroux original favorite are the muffulettas, which are served on warm Gambino’s Italian Bread and spruced up with Cochon Butcher mortadella, genoa salami, capicola, provolone cheese and marinated olive salad. Although seafood is what The Rougaroux is known for, the staff claims even the pickiest of eaters will find something they enjoy on the menu.

“Everything on our menu is incredible,” Molly says. “The longest you’re going to have to wait in this restaurant is in line.”

For those not keen on seafood, Molly recommends trying the roast beef debris po’boy (think shredded roast beef that’s been slow-roasted and marinated in eclectic seasonings). Children will love the fried boneless chicken, grilled cheese sandwiches and fried shrimp–especially when paired with Creole fries or red beans and rice.

Several menu items customers will notice pay homage to New Orleans, itself. The Viet-Cajun Seafood dish–a nod to the Vietnamese influence in New Orleans-style cooking–combines Breaux Bridge crawfish, wild Gulf shrimp, Cajun spices, garlic butter, ginger, lemongrass and chilies.

The Ferdi Special, too, is a house-made tribute that cleverly blends roast beef debris, ham, provolone, shredded cabbage, shaved onions, Duke’s Mayo and hot sauce into a fusion-filled burst of flavor.

The Rougaroux is also known for their specialty cocktails such as the Roux Old Fashioned and Cathead Honeysuckle Mule–which, if you ask any of the staff, pairs nicely with the fried oyster Caesar salad. No matter one’s preferences, The Rougaroux caters to everyone’s taste palates.

Whether one is interested in dining in, carry-out or hosting their events at The Rougaroux, Molly says customers can always expect the “holy trinity” of good business: delightful staff members, delectable cuisine and in The Rougaroux’s case, a dauntless atmosphere embracing all things “rougaroux.”

“We are very passionate about what we do,” Ed says. “Ryan and I are both food nerds at heart, so we’re grateful to be in such a supportive community–Mountain Brook. Our goal is to put out a really good product that you all are going to enjoy.”

The Rougaroux is located at 2716 Culver Road in Mountain Brook, and it is open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. each day. For more information, visit

 The Legend of “The Rougarou”

According to The Rougaroux staff, in 16th-century France, unexplainable disappearances or eerie, unsolved mysteries were often blamed on “loup-garous,” which is French for “werewolves.” Much like during the Salem Witch Trials, villagers would round up outcasts or their own perceived scapegoats and put them on trial, accusing them of being werewolves. When Europeans started migrating to the United States–particularly Louisiana–the legend took a different form and name, rougarou; although over time, such figures became fables told to children. Legend has it that rougarous still prowl Louisiana swamplands–beware!

Chef’s Picks

Blackened Catfish

-Creole spice-seared catfish with corn, red pepper relish, smoked tomato aioli and charred lemon.

Surf & Turf

-Half-dressed roast beef debris with provolone; half-dressed, fried wild Gulf shrimp; and remoulade.

Oysters Rockefeller

-Fried Bon Secour oysters with bacon, spinach, parmigiano-reggiano, lemon zest and red pepper flakes.