Deadrick Dunlap ate more than a few meals in Bowling Green while working on a business administration degree at Western Kentucky University. Now, as majority owner and manager of the new Legin’s House of Seafood in Fairview Plaza Shopping Center, he’s serving them.

Dunlap, a Nashville native who was a partner with childhood friend Jordan Smith in the Legin’s locations in Nashville and Goodlettsville, opened the Legin’s location in Bowling Green in September in the former home of the Cake BG Custom Bakery at 600 U.S. 31-W By-Pass, Suite 3A.

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Dunlap.

“I like being back in Bowling Green. I like the college-town feel, plus the traffic is not as bad as it is in Nashville,” he said.

Dunlap, though, is hoping for a steady stream of traffic at Legin’s, which offers lunch and dinner meals featuring such items as crab, crawfish and shrimp along with stir fry plates that include chicken and steak.

“Unforgettable taste is our slogan,” said Dunlap, a 2014 WKU graduate. “The butter is our secret sauce.”

Dunlap explained that Smith started cooking seafood dishes in his Nashville home, and that led to him opening the first Legin’s two years ago.

“People liked it so much that he opened a place,” Dunlap said.

Smith and Dunlap were friends throughout high school, so when they decided to open a seafood restaurant they saw it as an opportunity to pay homage to another friend who was gunned down in 2017 in downtown Nashville.

“It’s a memorial, basically, for our friend Nigel Phil,” said Dunlap, who explained that the eatery’s name comes from inverting the letters in Nigel. “He was shot while leaving a night club. This is a way for us to remember him.”

Dunlap believes he and Smith found a good spot for their first foray outside Tennessee. The 2,500-square-foot restaurant can seat 40, which Dunlap said is a good size for the startup and its staff of four.

The Fairview Plaza, Dunlap said, has the kind of traffic that lends itself to success. Already, he said, the Legin’s crablegs and seafood boil are earning a following.

“We want to start out slow,” Dunlap said. “If we get to where we’re over-crowded, we’ll definitely look to expand.”

Dunlap and his partners are looking to grow the Legin’s brand, he said, with Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Glasgow as possible targets for future stores.

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit

​– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit


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