Ruby's Restaurant and Catering
"Ruby's is a family business."
Ruby Sharlow, owner & Head Chef, Ruby's Restaurant
When Ruby Sharlow retired from her position as cafeteria manager at Our Lady of Fatima School, she had briefly considered taking a rest. Encouraged by her sons Tim and Wayne, she decided instead to follow her life's dream and open her own restaurant. At age 54, Ruby began a new career serving up some of her mother's own recipes for the hungry public. Despite the bank's unwillingness to finance her, and Ruby's own lack of experience running a for-profit business, she opened her restaurantin 1991. The loan was paid in full two and a half years later, and the place has been a staple of Lafayette dining ever since. For nearly two decades, hungry residents in south Lafayette have looked to Miss Ruby and her family for delicious home cooking.
When Ruby says that her place is a family business, she means it. The business got started on a bank loan taken our by her son Wayne. Another son, Tim, is her business partner and her second chef. Tim's wife Liz makes all of the desserts Ruby's serves. Several generations of the Sharlow clan count this restaurant as their first real job, and many of Ruby's children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews still work there at least part time, usually on Sunday. Employees who aren't members of the Sharlow clan can still count themselves as family, because that is how Miss Ruby likes to treat them. Creole Barbecue Sunday is the biggest day of the week, with multitudes of hungry families stopping in for their after-church meal.
You won't find any “fancy dining” clientele at Ruby’s; her customers are very down-to-earth. For all of them, Ruby’s is like home, because Miss Ruby serves the kind of food most of her customers ate while they were growing up. This should come as no surprise, because the menu is made up of the down-home creole food that Miss Ruby cooked first for her family, and later for generations of Lafayette schoolchildren. Nowadays, you can find elementary school faculty chatting in French over heaping plates of shrimp étouffée. Noontime on Friday often brings six or seven school bus drivers, buses parked just outside, together to share bowl of gumbo and swap war stories.