To recap: 2017 saw nearly two dozen new restaurants and bars in Baton Rouge, and 2018 is gearing up to be another white-hot year for the culinary scene. Here are the restaurants to follow or look out for in the new year, as well as a few local favorites with planned expansions.
The long-awaited Mid City food hall at Square 46 on Government Street is finally slated to open in early 2018. White Star’s latest release revealed the hall’s final tenant is cocktail bar Mouton, joining the ranks of others like Jay Ducote’s Gov’t Taco, Jolie @ The Market, Chow Yum Phat and Reve Coffee Roasters.
The October closing of The Draft House downtown had us all waiting to see which new tenants would take the coveted Third Street spot, and big name partners from Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar and Kalurah Street Grill have teamed up for the challenge. This sports bar and grill, nicknamed BTR, has been undergoing renovations for weeks and should be opening any day now.
From the same team behind the Bengal Tap Room comes Cecilia and The Loft at Cecilia, a traditional Creole restaurant with an upstairs events space in the adjacent building to the Bengal, formerly Restaurant IPO and upstairs bar The Office. These two should be ready to go within 2018’s first quarter.
This full-service, wood-fired neapolitan pizza concept comes from Ozzie Fernandez, co-founder of LIT and Izzo’s, to the former location of Goüter on Government Street. The pizzeria will bring house-made cheeses, creative flavor profiles, craft cocktails, small plates and eventually brunch, but Fernandez is taking his time to get everything just right. Expect it sometime this year.
This small beer label is aiming to open as a brewery in Mid City by summer 2018, bringing signature flavors like Lemon Hefeweizen and Réveil Coffee Porter.
Baton Rouge-based brewers Le Chien Brewing aim to open a brewpub in Baton rouge this year. Owner Brett Dunham told Business Report last month, “Our concept will be different because we’re not distributing out. This will be more like a brewpub or a tap room. It’s something no one has done here.”
A former Jiffy Lube on Perkins Road near College Drive is currently transforming into a new retail and wholesale bakery from Kalurah Street Grill pastry chef Kaila Kay and chef Kelley McCann. The shop is slated for a spring opening.
The team behind LIT and Izzo’s are coming in hot into 2018 with a slew of new locations set to open. You’ll be able to find dual LIT and Izzo’s locations at City Square at Highland Road and Bluebonnet Boulevard and near Cabela’s in Gonzales and solo LIT locations in Central and Zachary’s Americana residential development opening throughout the first half of the year.
Following a booming inaugural year, Southfin and owner Trey Williams have separated from the City Pork family and will be growing independently in 2018. Look for a new location at 747 Corporate Blvd. across from Towne Center, aiming to open by Lent in mid-February.
The beloved New Orleans burger joint is eyeing a spring 2018 opening after owners purchased land at Ben Hur Road and Burbank Drive near LSU. Expect its signature milkshakes, Atomic Burger, Green Chile Burger, Jamburger and Mushroom Swiss Burger.