Food news around Baton Rouge: New Andy’s location, Government Street road diet and more

Andy’s Frozen Custard to open a second Baton Rouge location

Andy’s Frozen Custard filed an $850,000 permit on Tuesday for construction of a second Baton Rouge location, this one on Highland Road, near the intersection with Old Perkins Road East.

Andy’s opened its first location in February 2021 on West Lee Drive, and was hailed as pandemic-safe because of its easily accessible drive-thru service. The new 2,250 square-foot shop will also offer walk-up and drive-thru service, with no indoor seating.

The contractor for the new shop is Michael McFerren of Stonewall, Louisiana. The Missouri-based frozen custard shop has more than 100 locations across the country and three in Louisiana, including Lafayette and Shreveport.

Serop’s Express closes College Drive restaurant

The College Drive location of Serop’s Express has closed, and owner Vasken Kaltakdijian is looking to lease the 2,600-square-foot building, according to Mark Hebert of Kurz & Hebert Commercial Real Estate.

Kaltakdjian decided to close the restaurant to better focus his resources on the brand’s other Baton Rouge-area locations, says Hebert, who is marketing the location, via email. Hebert says the closure won’t affect any of the six other Serop’s and Serop’s Express restaurants.

The building is for lease, but Hebert says a sale is not off the table.

Ruffino’s founder honored posthumously for philanthropic efforts

The late Ruffin Rodrigue, a former LSU football player and founder of Ruffino’s restaurants in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, was honored with the Julia Woods Dickinson Heart and Soul Award at the Best Dressed Ball in October. Recipients of the award embody the qualities of a philanthropist who devotes their time and energy to giving back to the Baton Rouge community, according to an announcement from Ruffino’s Restaurant.

Rodrigue, who died in November 2020, is remembered for his larger-than-life presence and his advocacy for Louisiana restaurants. Rodrigue’s legacy can also be seen in the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society he co-founded, which raises money for children’s health and nutrition programs. He also served on Gov. John Bel Edwards’ COVID-19 advisory board on behalf of the restaurant industry.

Rodrigue is survived by his wife, Alison Rodrigue, and children, Ruffin Rodrigue III and Margaret Rodrigue, who accepted the award on his behalf during the Oct. 29 ball at the Raising Cane’s River Center.

Government Street businesses hope renovation spurs more foot traffic

White Light Night, the Mid City art festival planned for Nov. 19, will be many Baton Rouge residents’ first look at the newly redesigned Government Street. Business owners along the corridor hope the pedestrian-friendly makeover will lead to more foot traffic and increased sales.

Luke Lognion, co-owner of Circa 1857, touts the improved ease for people who want to park at, say, Electric Depot, then walk among the other businesses.  “We’ve seen a definite increase in foot traffic since (the redesign) has been completed,” he says, adding that the medians across from Circa were completed quickly, so the work itself didn’t cause significant problems for his business.

On the other hand, Sean Braswell, owner of Simple Joe Café, hasn’t noticed any difference in the number of people visiting his restaurant. “I’ve noticed less (vehicle) traffic on Government,” he says. “I haven’t really seen a large increase in foot traffic or bike traffic. We’ve pretty much stayed the same the entire time.” Read the full story.

More food news:

Fred’s expanding with plans for beer garden

Catering businesses see holiday uptick but face shortages, higher prices

ICYMI: Developer plans to open lounge in former Hound Dogs location by end of year

These stories originally appeared this week in Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.

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