BY ARIEL GUILLORY — Hyattsville now has “Caj-sian” food. The second BeClaws restaurant, located on America Boulevard near Prince George’s Community College, opened its doors to the Hyattsville community on Oct. 13 with its unique fusion of Cajun and Asian cuisine.
David Neal and Vu Huynh, the chief financial officers and co-investors of BeClaws, came up with the concept of combining Cajun and Asian cuisine after Huynh, who is originally from Vietnam, was inspired by the flavor of traditional Louisiana foods.
The first BeClaws opened in 2015 in Wheaton, Maryland. After experiencing the restaurant’s immense popularity, the owners of BeClaws decided to expand.
“The decision to come to Hyattsville came about through a belief that it would be a great fit for the area, and [from] the recommendations of a number of customers who frequented the Wheaton location but were from the Hyattsville area,” said Neal.
According to Larecca Whitmore, a resident of Capitol Heights who works in Hyattsville, BeClaws will be a hit with those who work and live in the Hyattsville area.
“Everyone is friendly, the food is good and the customer service is fast. In the past two weeks since it opened, I have already been here five times,” said Whitmore. “I have already recommended this restaurant to a few of my coworkers, and they really love the food here.”
According to BeClaws’ managers and servers, business has been steadily picking up since their grand opening.
“Business here is going great. The restaurant is about two weeks old, so once the name gets out, it should become a little busier,” said Ricardo Scott, a manager of both the Wheaton and the Hyattsville locations.
Carolina Lizanna, a server who works at both locations, says that BeClaws is a great place to work.
“You get along with everybody, and the work atmosphere is very team-based,” said Lizanna. “I work here [the Hyattsville location] in the mornings, and then I go to school at Prince George’s Community College. After I leave school, I work at our Wheaton location.”
When asked how he would describe the ambiance at BeClaws, Neal said, “The focus is on fun, with a large and open bar area, overhead TVs for entertainment and bright, colorful designs inspired by the best Louisiana diners.” The sound of zydeco music fills the air and creates an atmosphere reminiscent of traditional bars and restaurants across southern Louisiana, an area that is traditionally known as Acadiana.
Along with the sound of zydeco music,colorful graphics and unique lighting, the restaurant features a party room for family and corporate events.
Neal said, “We have also obtained an entertainment permit and plan to incorporate live music and other similar events to enhance the Beclaws experience soon. Our aim is to provide a fun and relaxed environment that is exciting and family-friendly.”
The owners of BeClaws look forward to growing and serving their new community.
“We would like to be seen as a welcome addition to the local area and a good partner to the community,” said Neal. “We have a number of additions we are looking to make both to the menu and the entertainment experience, and will be releasing these over the next couple of months, so stay tuned. Please stop by for some southern hospitality, and be sure to let us know what you think!”
Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth extended a welcome to BeClaws. “We congratulate BeClaws on their Grand Opening at University Town Center, here in Hyattsville,” she said. “The ambiance, the food and the energy of the restaurant gives Hyattsville a very welcome — and delicious — taste of the Crescent City [New Orleans]. We look forward to watching them flourish here as they deliver a quality dining experience to city residents and visitors alike.”