First Look: The Ruby Slipper opens in Baton Rouge next week

To Erich and Jennifer Weishaupt, the rest of the world is in black and white, and The Ruby Slipper Cafe is in technicolor.

The popular New Orleans-based institution is bringing its Big Easy charm to Baton Rouge in the Acadian Village Shopping Center, with a grand opening next Wednesday, July 26.

“We hate the word ‘chain,’” Jennifer Weishaupt says. “We’re a neighborhood restaurant, and we want every one of our restaurants to feel like [that].”

The couple have opened five Ruby Slipper eateries in New Orleans, in addition to one location in Orange Beach, Alabama, and another in Pensacola, Florida. The company knew the demand existed for a location in Baton Rouge after receiving plenty of feedback from customers, Weishaupt says, and with recent growth in the area, the timing was ideal.

One of The Ruby Slipper’s specialty dishes is The Costa Rican, with gallo pinto (slow-cooked black beans and rice) over a warm tomato salsa, two eggs any style, spicy chorizo sausage, crispy plantains and avocado

The Weishaupts began the brunch hotspot in 2008 as an endeavor to bring business back to their Mid City neighborhood post-Hurricane Katrina. The Weishaupts are engineer who fell into the restaurant industry by chance, giving them a unique business perspective as restaurateurs.

The interior of the Baton Rouge restaurant has an industrial ambiance, with an exposed ceiling, hanging Edison bulbs and dark wooden tables and booths. The neighborhood vibe is found in the “community tables,” where multiple parties can sit together similar to hibachi-style. The couple’s background is reflected in other elements of the restaurant, like insertable table ends that can be used to accommodate larger parties. The restaurant can seat 114 people, including the outdoor patio. 

In each location, The Ruby Slipper features a mix of local art with traditional New Orleans decor elements, such as chalkboards designed by Smallchalk and signs by Simon Hardeveld.

The Acadian Village location will be the The Ruby Slipper’s first location in a shopping center, as it usually reclaims space from dilapidated buildings. The organization knew the former Pei Wei space was the ideal location for its proximity to other New Orleans-based businesses, such as Galatoire’s Bistro and Acme Oyster House, Weishaupt says.

The name for the cafe came when Weishaupt was inspired by a radio host’s daughter describing how other places paled in comparison to New Orleans after she was forced to relocate after the storm.

“Sometimes there’s no place like home, but it’s the colorful, quirky, fun Oz and not necessarily Kansas,” Weishaupt says.

The menu will be the same as The Ruby Slipper’s seven other locations, featuring trademark entrees like Chicken St. Charles, Bananas Foster Pain Perdu and its signature eggs benedict dishes, along with boozy options like Big Easy Mimosas and bloody marys with bacon-infused vodka.

The Ruby Slipper is at 3535 Perkins Road, in the Acadian Village Shopping Center. Hours are 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekends.

Check out more of the space below. Click the images in the gallery below to enlarge.