Cristian Duarte and Mo Taylor met more than 10 years ago while working at the former Starters Sports Grill restaurant group. Over the years they built their reputations as two of the Lehigh Valley's favorite bar men, all while dreaming of one day opening their own place. Many a late night was spent closing up the bar at Starters discussing the details of the type of place they would one day open. They knew that they wanted to open a small cozy restaurant, where their customers would feel like they were at home. However, they had no idea what their food or identity would look like until....
While sitting with Tyler Baxter, a local chef with experience working at some of the Lehigh Valley's finest restaurants, Mo and Cristian listened to Tyler speak of his time cooking at Emeril Lagasse's restaurants in New Orleans. After a hours of discussion with long time friend and New York marketing executive, Ben Aronson, it became clear there was an opportunity to do something truly different. Gourmet southern comfort food mixed with the sound of blues bands playing in the background; they would bring the soul of the bayou to the heart of the Lehigh Valley. The concept of southern hospitality matched perfectly with their goal of creating a comfortable "homey" atmosphere; while the cuisine was simple, it was different enough to create a unique offering for their diverse customer base. Tyler's knowledge of both NOLA cuisine and the local customer base made him the perfect chef to bring this concept to life.
On March 8th, 2014, just down the road from North Bethlehem's "Restaurant Row" on Broad St, Mo & Cristian held a small celebratory dinner for friends and family at their new restaurant, The Bayou. It was the culmination of years of dreaming paired with hundreds of hours of hard work. They had done it.
The Bayou: Southern Kitchen & Bar is a small local restaurant that offers a creative take on classic New Orleans cooking. The menu is meant to be a shared experience, like eating at the home of a good friend. Pick and choose a mixture of items to satisfy your different tastes and share them amongst the table. Pair your meal with a perfectly mixed cocktail or one of our 24 craft beers. Sit back and savor your meal, and enjoy the music. There's never a need to rush when you're at The Bayou. And don't forget to say hi to Mo & Cristian, the two are always around, and couldn't be happier to welcome you to their southern kitchen.
Founding Partners - Cristian Duarte & Mo Taylor