DiGiulio Brothers planning to expand restaurant, add parking in former Rama space next door

Digiulio Brothers owner Mike Johnson has hired local architecture firm WHLC and general contractors Cangelosi Ward to help him design and plan for the expansion of his popular neighborhood restaurant near the Perkins Road Overpass.

Since acquiring and demolishing the adjacent building that, for decades, was home to neighboring Rama Thai, Johnson says he’s been trying to figure out how best to utilize the new space for additional parking and more outdoor dining space.

Also included in the plans will be an expansion to DiGiulio Brothers’ existing restaurant.

“We need a bigger kitchen so we’re going to try to add a bit more of a kitchen in the back,” he says. “We’re also going to try to address some of the things we don’t have like a waiting room. People need a place to wait, especially when they’re coming to pick up to-go orders. Because one thing we’re realizing is that to go orders are not going away.”

Johnson doesn’t know yet how much new kitchen space he will add to the building or how many more tables he plans to add outdoors. Currently, the restaurant has eight tables occupying part of its gravel parking lot, not including tables under its covered patio.

Johnson says he’s trying to balance the need for additional space with the desire to keep the neighborhood ambience of the eatery.

But he’s hoping to move forward soon.

“My goal is to be done by the start of football season,” he says. “We’re trying to piece it all together now to figure out how to make it work.”

This story originally appeared in Daily Report‘s May 10 edition. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.

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