The moment you pull up a chair with Carri Lewis behind the bar at Broussard’s Bayou Grill and Cajun Market, you feel welcome – her bubbly demeanor and upbeat attitude has a way of pulling you into the laid-back atmosphere of Navarre Beach.

“My mom has told me since I was a kid that I never meet a stranger – and she’s right,” Lewis said. “I thoroughly enjoy bartending because it’s ever-changing. I meet new people and it’s almost like you are there when they tell you their stories. It’s great, I don’t ever have to leave my little piece of paradise.”

Lewis said she grew up in the Florida panhandle and found her niche in the restaurant industry.

“I started from the bottom, serving and hostessing, and worked my way to the top behind the bar,” she said. “I love the bar because during the summer it’s chaotic and it’s fast-paced. Then in winter it’s like the calm after the storm.”

Broussard’s Bayou Grill in Navarre Beach has been open for only a few months, but Lewis said she believes the Cajun menu is a perfect fit for the area.

“I just think that, finally, this is an excellent menu selection for this area,” she said. “A lot of our products on our menu you can buy in our Cajun Market and make at home. We have our sauces and spices and, of course, our specialty meats such as andouille sausage, boudin and even turducken.”

To showcase some of those custom Cajun products, Lewis chose the Floody Mary as her signature sip.

“I chose to feature it because it really represents our restaurant and our Cajun vibe,” she said. “The reason we call it a Floody Mary is because it will literally flood you and fill you. It’s a 32-ounce bloody mary; it’s a meal in a glass.”

The Floody Mary involves 15 ingredients including several freshly made toppings from the restaurant.

“It has a boudin ball, a hush puppy and a pork skin that we make ourselves,” Lewis said. “The boudin ball is sausage and rice fried into a ball like a hush puppy, and they are made fresh to order. We also use Stuart’s Cajun Pickles for our pickled green bean, okra and dill pickle.”

Lewis said even the Zing Zang sauce and the Cajun seasoning used for the drink are specially made and brought in from Louisiana.

“Everything we provide is from Louisiana,” she said. “We are Cajun to the bone,”

Broussard’s Bayou Grill and Cajun Market is at 8649 Gulf Blvd. in Navarre Beach. The restaurant and bar are open from 11 a.m. daily. For more information, visit or call 850-396-6099.