Voodoo resurrects NOLA spirit downtown
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Last month, Julie and Nathan Pullens brought the flavor and zest of New Orleans cuisine to Picayune when they opened the area’s newest culinary treasure, Voodoo Brew and Grill.
Nathan Pullens, a Poplarville native, and Julie Pullens, a New Orleans native, have been married for five years.
When he’s not tending to his newest establishment, Nathan Pullens works as a drafter for an engineering firm, Julie Pullens said.
For 10 years, Julie Pullens worked as a hospice nurse and was looking for something different, she said.
“It’s sad. I would go to work and cry, then go home and cry,” Julie Pullens said. “It gives you a grim outlook and so I decided to try this. I love cooking.”
For now, the couple resides in New Orleans, but plan to move to the area when their son completes high school.
Julie Pullens said she likes the smaller area and the people here are very friendly.
At the Voodoo Brew and Grill, nothing is cooked in a fryer and every order is made from scratch, Julie Pullens said.
“I took all my home cooking and brought it here,” she said. “I wanted a New Orleans theme and voodoo came from the idea that our food has a variety of seasonings. It’s not the usual type food. People are always asking me what I put in my burgers, which is Worcestershire and a variety of seasonings.”
At first glance, the restaurant’s menu appears to feature routine, popular offerings like burgers, salads, sandwiches and appetizers.
However, chefs in the kitchen are happy to add any ingredients they have on hand to any order, including the addition of red beans and rice to any burger.
Their voodoo club features maple ham, pepper turkey, applewood smoked bacon and American cheese on three slices of bread.
Another of the restaurant’s more popular entrées is the peanut butter bacon burger, Julie Pullens said. The homemade burger is topped with creamy peanut butter and applewood smoked bacon.
The menu also includes pizza, she said.
There is a full bar, which features craft beers, some top shelf alcohol and Tim Smith’s Climax moonshine, which was made famous on the television show, “Moonshiners,” Julie Pullens said.
In the back of the establishment, the restaurant has many entertaining games including pool tables, a boxing machine, a foosball table and darts, she said. A bowling machine will soon be installed and they are trying to organize a pool league on Tuesday nights.
Karaoke is featured on Friday nights and live music on Saturday nights. Musicians play songs ranging from hardcore to country to cover songs, Julie Pullens said.
On Thursday nights, guests can enjoy cult horror movie classics and episodes of the “Twilight Zone” on the restaurant’s projector screen during movie night, she said.
Sports fans can also watch the big games on their ESPN, NFL and SEC networks.
Chef Garrett Owens mans the grill, while Darla Dupree waits on clientele. The restaurant is managed by Dana Taggert.
Since opening, Julie Pullens said there has been a positive response from the community and many families visit the establishment. Wednesday evenings may soon be reserved as family night, she said.
“I want people to feel comfortable and if something’s not on the menu, just ask and we will try to put it together,” Julie Pullens said. “I’ve never been to a place where I felt I could ask for what I wanted or where people remembered their customers. People feel special when you do that.”
The restaurant is located at 112 Elizabeth St. and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until midnight. The kitchen is open until 8 p.m. Happy hour lasts from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For to-go orders, customers may contact the restaurant at 769-926-2330.
For an up-to-date listing of events, follow Voodoo Brew and Grill on Facebook.