On October 1st I ventured downtown with my mom for a late lunch at J Gumbos. It is attached and accessible from the Washington Square Building. They are a Cajun/Creole restaurant chain. I was excited to try it because I have never really had Cajun dishes before.
We entered the restaurant from the front door with no issues. The slope into the restaurant was perfect and the door was wide enough for my chair. The entrance into J Gumbos from Washington Square was very accessible with open double doors. I was impressed with the Louisiana/Bourbon Street decor Details like the fleur-de-lis on the wall and the beads of the tables added to the them and made for a warm and welcoming environment.
The staging of the tables was very wheelchair friendly. There were wide open spaces allowing access to the tables. There were some tables not accessible, such as the high bar tables and the tables situated on a raised platform. However, there were plenty of tables accessible for wheelchairs. My chair is higher than most so I did not fit under the table, but I always come prepared with a tray. My only suggestion for improvement in regards to seating is to have a few tables in the accessible section labeled “Disabled preferred seating”, or something like that, so these tables are set aside for the disabled during busy times.
Upon entering the restaurant we discovered you have to order at the cash register and pay there. They give you a number for your table. An employee delivers the food right to your table. There is a self-service drink station, offering soda and tea. I chose the sweet tea, one of my favorites. It was really good. The one huge problem is the fact that my mom had to get my drink. Although the drink station is in an open space, it was unreachable for me. I never eat out alone, so for me this is not a huge deal. However, it would be if I did. The staff was very friendly and accommodating and I have no doubt they would help me out. However, I also understand there are times when they would be too busy to help.
We ordered the Voodoo Nachos and the Crawfish dip, both served with tortilla chips. The Voodoo Nachos, although delicious, were very spicy. I like to say not very “acid reflux friendly”. The crawfish dip had a smooth creamy texture and the blend of spices worked well together. Next time I will be trying the New Orleans Nachos and maybe even a Po Boy.
When the manager brought us our food, we asked about the bathrooms. We inquired if there was a family bathroom available. This is important for those of us who have caregivers of the opposite sex. He stated that there were not, but that the bathrooms were accessible and larger. In Washington Square there are single lockable bathrooms available, so this is not an issue.
In conclusion, I give J Gumbos a solid 5 star for accessibility! The wide open floor plan and easy accessible tables make this eatery a nice hassle free place to enjoy. J Gumbo’s menu is delicious and was easy to read. The ordering process was also easy for those in wheelchairs. My only suggestions are designated seating for wheelchairs during busy times and making sure staff is available to assist with the drink station if needed. I am looking forward to returning and even possibly catching a live music show! Great Job J Gumbo’s!!!