Cajun jams, creative connection, and novel beers on tap
Arnaudville may possess all the trappings of a sleepy bayou town, but there’s more to the place once known as “La Jonction” than meets the eye. For the past fifteen years, Arnaudville has been the epicenter of a rich cultural revival with an emphasis on ecological development and its residents’ French heritage.
While it’s true that Arnaudville is a quiet rural community, local creative businesses like NUNU’s Art and Culture Collective and Tom’s Fiddle and Bow reinforce the sense that the town is a burgeoning artists’ haven, too. At Tom’s Fiddle and Bow, Tom Pierce specializes in the repair, restoration, and crafting of stringed instruments, making his shop a valuable asset for Acadiana’s Cajun musicians. In non-pandemic times, Tom also hosts the JAMbalaya acoustic music jam on the first Sunday of every month, which sees players of all skill levels, from the enthusiastic beginner to experienced artists, such as Grammy-nominated fiddler Blake Miller. NUNU’s, established in 2005 by Arnaudville native and visual artist George Marks, is an experimental arts collective that has been the catalyst for transforming the town into a cultural outpost of sorts. NUNU’s hosts a slew of regular programming and potluck events, (though many remain suspended due to the pandemic, so check online for the most up-to-date info) and a marketplace of locally-made goods. Arnaudville also hosts annual fests that draw attendees from the surrounding region and beyond, including the Étouffée Festival and the Fire and Water Festival.
Spend a day in the scenic beer garden at Arnaudville’s own brewery, Bayou Teche Brewing. Formed by the Knott brothers in 2009 with the goal of crafting beers “complementary to the lifestyle of Cajun and Creole people,” it seems they’ve certainly succeeded with a roster of names like the Cocodrie IPA, Ragin’ Cajuns Ale, Acadie, and Jolie Blon. Known for their limited edition seasonal releases with fun, albeit unconventional, ingredients so there’s always something new to try, like their Hefeweizenl brew, a German-inspired beer, and the Waking Dead Coffee Kolsch.
Nestled on the banks of Bayou Fuselier, The Little Big Cup is a true local gem known for its delectable, downhome Cajun and Creole cuisine. Established in 2012 by Kevin Robin and Sanjay Maharaj—who relocated to Robin’s native Arnaudville from New York City—the restaurant’s cozy atmosphere, expansive menu, and buffet-style boucherie brunch make it a popular weekend spot.
As for accommodations, the folks at Maison Stephanie will take good care of you. The historic 1796 estate was home to several generations of prominent area families over the years until the property was purchased by Kenneth Douet in 2019. Now, the twenty-acre estate is being restored as a bilingual bed and breakfast and event venue driven by cultural preservation and multilingual tourism.