First Look: Lotus Lounge brings tropical flair and intimate vibe to Government Street

Baton Rouge is home to a menagerie of bars. There are the craft cocktail creators at Olive or Twist and Hayride Scandal, and dozens of beers on tap at places like Happy’s Irish Pub, Mid City Beer Garden and more. But there are few options for the more tropical-minded drinker, outside of a daiquiri from a drive-thru.

Until Lotus Lounge.

From the owner of Soji Modern Asian, Lotus Lounge brings cocktails into the 21st century in the same way the restaurant it is attached to brings Asian cuisine together from across the continent. Opening Wednesday, March 2, at the Government Street restaurant, Lotus Lounge specifically puts a Baton Rouge twist on classic tropical and tiki cocktails.

Acting as the bar-side of Soji, Lotus Lounge brings a classy aesthetic to the tropical drinking game, combining modern neon lighting with a more traditional tiki bar with woven bar stools and wood carvings that bring you right to the Polynesian islands, and foliage that makes it feel like you’ve stepped into another world.

When bar-goers come to Lotus Lounge, they have the option to drink at the bar, a table in the lounge or a larger VIP table seating eight to 10 people. Striving for a more intimate experience, owner Chase Lyons explains that he doesn’t want to deliver a crowded bar with long wait times.

“We want our guests to enjoy a very relaxing, stress-free atmosphere,” he says.

The intimate experience continues into the drinks, all handmade with some involving up to 10 ingredients. Lotus Lounge’s menu brings classic tiki cocktails like the Painkiller, Zombie, Mai Tai, Pisco Sour and Saturn together with signature takes on tropical drinks. Two of the featured drinks are the Bitter Bee—with honeysuckle vodka, honey syrup, lime, mint, demerara sugar and Angostura bitters—and The Floor is Guava, complete with Rhum Agricole, green chartreuse, Italicus, cinnamon, vanilla syrup, fresh ginger and lime.

“Beginning with our initial beverage menu at Soji, tropical cocktails have always been a huge inspiration for us,” Lyons says. “Many of our house cocktails have been ‘plays’ on fun and inventive tiki cocktails, and we love the idea of creatively using fresh citrus and juices in fun glassware.”

Lotus Lounge’s Missionary’s Downfall (left) and Painkiller (right)

Lyons says the team also plans to provide a rotating small plate menu inside Lotus inspired by Polynesian cuisine.

When Soji first opened in the summer of 2018, Lotus Lounge was an exterior bar. “It was hot,” Lyons explains.

“Now, we have transformed this exterior space into an interior, tropical paradise with a hidden, speakeasy vibe,” he says. “Tiki has grown in popularity in recent times, and I loved the idea of opening a tiki bar in Baton Rouge.”

Lyons felt that integrating Lotus Lounge into Soji would be a perfect place to test out this proof of concept, feeling that the two brands play off of each other well.

“We are very excited to offer our guests another reprieve from everyday life and a true ‘getaway’ experience with the same attention to detail Soji has delivered,” Lyons says. “We look forward to many more nights inside the Lounge toasting to life!”

Beginning March 2, Lotus Lounge is located inside Soji at 5050 Government St. and will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to midnight.