By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) – A popular restaurant in Downtown Denver has closed its doors after 33 years of business. Bayou Bob’s served its last Cajun dish on Glenarm Place on Saturday, but the owner couldn’t pack those recipes up just yet. He wanted his last dish to be sold at the Taste of Colorado.

(credit: CBS)

“We’ve been doing [Taste of Colorado] for 26 years. We figured there’s no better way to go out than the Taste of Colorado!” said Bob Hoffpauir, owner of Bayou Bob’s.

Hoffpauir isn’t the only man from Morgan City, LA who knows how to make a roux, but he’s one of the few to bring his recipes to Denver.

“Some people did it and it really wasn’t good Cajun food. We always wanted to do this. We had a passion for it and we still do,” said Hoffpauir, “It’s the aromas and the scents! It’s knowing what to add and what not to add.”

(credit: CBS)

It’s no surprise that Bayou Bob’s lasted in Denver’s tough restaurant market for over three decades. In addition to great food, he said his restaurant brought the community together.

“Broncos fans come watch the Saints games with us!” said Hoffpauir, “It’s meant everything. It’s been my family, my life. It’s a very difficult thing to walk away from.”

Denver’s Cajun cook is going back South. Hoffpauir says he’s “getting old” and handling the restaurant is getting harder with age. His daughter and grandson helped him serve food in Civic Center Park Sunday.

(credit: CBS)

“This was always a family restaurant,” added Hoffpauir.

There were few who walked by his stand at Taste of Colorado that weren’t intrigued by his southern menu. Crawfish étouffée, fried pickles and alligator aren’t exactly common in the West. While many guests were skeptical, most were brave enough to taste — and they loved it.

Hoffpauir turned southern specialties into Colorado native favorites. It’s something Bob says he’ll always be proud of.

“There’s a misnomer that cajun food is fire pepper hot and that’s not true! It was so rewarding because I cook food the way I like it,” explained Hoffpauir.

Bob Hoffpaiur (credit: CBS)

After decades of teaching Denver how to peel crawfish, Hoffpauir says his work here is done. However, he plans to leave some Cajun for Colorado.

“I’m thinking I might write a cook book. A customer suggested the idea and I think I’ll actually do that. Thank y’all, everybody! It’s been a great run! I love ya’ll! Thank you.”

Guests who visited his stand at Taste of Colorado say his is a retirement well deserved, and Hoffpauir will be missed.

Laissez les bons temps rouler, Bayou Bob.

Tori Mason

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