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First Look: Chris’s Specialty Foods to debut lunch eatery in June at new Highland location

The next era for Chris’s Specialty Foods? A lunch restaurant, opening in June inside its newest storefront off Highland Road. 

The more-than-30-year-old local meat shop has grown to four locations, with its latest arriving earlier this spring in the former Maxwell’s Market space across from Ruffino’s. The market is already open, with meats, specialty culinary goods, wine bottles and prepared foods available for purchase. And soon, the near-completed cafe will offer plate lunches and seating for up to 50 guests.

“This will be our first time entering the restaurant side of the business, so we’re excited about that,” says Cobin Leindecker, manager of the Millerville location and son of the company’s current owners, Tressy and Randy Leindecker. 

A cafe will open in June inside Chris’s newest storefront off Highland Road.
Chris’s Specialty Foods also offers catering services.

The rotating menu will feature two daily lunch specials, plus a regular menu of po-boys, salads, house-made boudin and other sides. Diners can also grab Chris’s signature deboned chicken, gumbos and more. Wines will be available by the glass.

A fast-casual model focusing on efficiency and quality, Leindecker hopes to draw patrons working around the area looking for an easy, quick bite. 

“(It’ll be) quick, fresh and good,” Leindecker promises.

Chris’s was first opened in Baton Rouge in 1994 by Chris and Twyla Lachausse.

The Leindeckers took over ownership in 2017, but Twyla has been cooking Chris’s prepared foods since the start and is still involved today. Patrons can find her in charge of the kitchen at the Highland location, and Leindecker says Twyla is excited for the opportunity to share her food served up hot. 

Chris’s closed on the former Maxwell’s property earlier this year. Since then, the Leindeckers have been at work revamping the interior to provide more of an open concept that connects the market and restaurant sides. The freezers were updated for a modern, rustic look. Patrons can also shop a selection of beef, chicken, seafood, boudin, pork, turkey, turducken, wild game, boudin and sausages.

 

With its other locations situated in Prairieville, New Orleans and on Millerville Road, Highland Road is fresh territory for Chris’s—hopefully introducing its food to people who have never tried it. 

“We want to bring out Louisiana cuisine to people, and we think this location is going to do that,” Leindecker says. 

Chris’s Specialty Foods’ Highland shop is at 18135 E. Petroleum Drive. Lunch hours are Monday-Friday, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Find more information here.