The economy can have many proprietors singing the blues, but at Seven Gables restaurant, chef/owner Alain Bouzouba is both listening to the blues and adjusting his business to a different demand.
The Conyers mainstay restaurant located at 1897 Ga. Highway SE near the Target shopping center has shifted its constantly friendly focus toward couples looking for that special time with each other.
Along with specials such as the establishment’s 22nd anniversary promotion of buy one chicken entrée, receive a second free, they also are bringing in musical talents to add to the romantic ambiance.
On June 24 Seven Gables restaurant welcomed Frankies’ Blues Mission, and the band will play again in mid-July. Bouzouba also said that he is currently looking into bringing in a guitarist/singer to play two times a week.
"People that come to enjoy our dinners on the menu seem to love the blues," Bouzouba said. "It’s a good marriage because our atmosphere lends itself to nice romantic evenings."
The dinners that go along with the romantic atmosphere from the chef trained in France, Belgium, Holland and England include, bouillabaisse, ravioli crabmeat Riviera, pheasant bstella, shrimp and saffron orzo Marseille and fillet mignon au poivre to name a few.
Meals such as those have been served there since Bouzouba moved to Conyers in the 1980s.
Since then he has provided food for couples, visitors, corporations and guests who became friends and then as close as family.
"Because we are very passionate about food preparation and our type of business, that passion kept us in touch with our guests and we found that our customers loved the personal touch that we offered them as owners," Bouzouba said. "Our service is very personal. Most of our customers become our friends. We have some customers that have been coming here for 22 years."
One family in particular has been such avid guests and friends of Bouzouba and his wife/co-owner Mounira is the Owens family.
The Bouzouba’s developed such a relationship with them through the restaurant that they not only saw their daughters grow up but catered their weddings recently.
"My wife and I both work in the restaurant and know most of our guests," Bouzouba said. "We introduce ourselves to them and they become like family."
Seven Gables is continuing that tradition as they cope with how the economy has hit bigger businesses and corporations.
A lot of the restaurant’s business was with corporate catering and bosses bringing in clients for dinner meetings, but with closures and reductions in expenses that has faded recently.
"We noticed in the last year that corporate business had diminished a lot," Bouzouba said. "But we’re here to stay, and we’re catering to couples and families and more romantic dinners."
Bouzouba not only is continuing to keep his business running in the community but is also serving the community.
The chef is a guest of Rockdale Career Academy’s culinary program, conducting demonstrations such as how to make sausage and bread from scratch.
He was also recently invited to help conduct a workshop for culinary instructors.
It’s that sense of community that brought Bouzouba to Conyers from Europe.
"I chose Conyers because it’s a bedroom community," Alain said. I loved the proximity to downtown Atlanta and to Lake Oconee and Stone Mountain. But also the people were very friendly and hospitable and the school system is great."
Guests can visit Bouzouba and his wife at Seven Gables on Monday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.