Have mudbugs, will boil: Bayou City Crawfish owner feeds the seasonal fixBookmark this
Crawfish hysteria is in full force and a former corrections officer turned professional crawfish boil master is key to the solution.
From March through May, Lynn Roberts spends his weekends cooking up spicy and savory mudbugs as the owner of Bayou City Crawfish, its Kingwood location situated at 1965 Northpark Dr. The crawfish stand has been a popular place for those searching for their annual fix, selling thousands of pounds of crawfish, corn, sausage, and potatoes every week.
Roberts knows a thing or two about the freshwater crustacean. He’s a Louisiana native from the small hamlet of Lecompte and ran a small-time crawfish catering side-job before tackling a more permanent establishment.
“You’re going to forget about everyday life, come have a drink or a soda, whatever you like with your crawfish, and eat some good food,” Roberts said about the stand.
It’s quite a different profession from his previous career, working in some of the toughest penitentiaries for the Federal Bureau of Prisons over 25 years. Thankfully, life had other plans for him.
“After working in that type of environment for that long, you see a lot of violence over the years, and I just wanted to do something positive,” Roberts said. “I had a son going to high school [in Kingwood] and I wanted to stay tied into the community somehow. Then, I thought, I could cook crawfish three or four months out of the year, and it was something I was pretty good at doing.”
Roberts, now residing out of Katy, originally moved to Kingwood in 2003 when transferred for his job. Nearing the end of his career, he stopped into a crawfish stand on Northpark Drive where he met owner, David Hite. That encounter led to him purchasing the business in addition to opening another location in Katy that offers catering options in 2016.
Bayou City Crawfish is open Friday from 5-9 pm, Saturday from 12-8 pm, and Sunday from 12-6 pm. But these hours are flexible when there is crawfish to be sold. The stand is BYOB, offers a relaxed atmosphere with picnic tables adorning the property and DJs coming out to play music to keep it fun.
Roberts’ weekends in Kingwood also gives him a chance to spend time with his son, a senior at Kingwood Park High School. Parker, a baseball player, works at the stand on Sundays when he’s not at the diamond.
“It’s pretty cool because I teach him a lot of things about the business,” he said. “He’s going to be going off to college, but it really is fun because it gives us some quality time. He’s busy and I’m busy, but it guarantees that I will be there every weekend, watching him play baseball on Saturdays and working with him on the site on Sundays.”
On weekdays, Roberts serves as the environmental health and safety manager for Houston Community College, a job coincidentally offered to him the same day he signed the papers for the crawfish business. It keeps his calendar full, but the joy he brings his customers makes it all worth it.
“I think that little crawfish stand has become somewhat of a tradition or a staple for that community,” Roberts said. “Everyone knows where it is. People come up to me and say, ‘Thank you for opening up this year.’ That’s cool. That makes me chuckle. I’m like, ‘Heck yeah, we’re going to have a party.’”