Baton Rouge Galatoire’s closing in the works for more than a year
Though Galatoire’s Bistro announced late Friday it was abruptly shutting its doors to make way for a new restaurant tenant that will take over its space in the Acadian Village Shopping Center, Galatoire’s owner John Georges had been looking for someone to take over the space for more than a year, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.
At least three restaurant groups entertained talks with Georges, according to Daily Report, some more seriously than others. One included a powerhouse trio of local restaurateurs: Ruffino’s owner Ruffin Rodrigue, Raising Cane’s founder and CEO Todd Graves and Walk-On’s co-owner Brandon Landry, who briefly toyed with the idea of developing a steakhouse concept in the space, according to Rodrigue, who says the talks were only preliminary.
In a statement Friday, Galatoire’s says it has “sold its lease options” to a new group that is planning an “upscale casual restaurant and bar.”
Mestizo expanding with additional seating, private event space
Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine is undergoing an expansion of 800 square feet to add 55 additional seats to the restaurant and a private banquet space for events.
Owner Jim Urdiales says the expansion should be completed by November, in time for the restaurant’s 20th anniversary. At the same time, he plans to update the menu and wine list to further enhance the restaurant, which currently has seating for about 120.
With the expansion and upgrades, Urdiales is looking to elevate perceptions about dining or booking an event at a Mexican restaurant. He says no other Mexican eatery in Baton Rouge will be able to offer a comparable event space or higher level of dining experience.
Urdiales says the restaurant will stay open during construction.
Tio Javi’s reopening July 15 with new kitchen, condensed menu
Nearly eight months after buying Tio Javi’s from the family of late Baton Rouge restaurateur TJ Moran, Chris Bachman, who also owns the nearby Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, is making changes to the Mexican restaurant on Constitution Avenue.
Tio Javi’s has been closed since July 1 for renovations, and plans to reopen July 15 at 11:30 a.m. with a new kitchen and condensed menu, says Carlos Betancourt, who operates the restaurant.
The revamped digs and food items are all part of Bachman’s vision for the restaurant, says Betancourt, who was previously a chef at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for 12 years and worked with Bachman under Moran.
Betancourt says the kitchen is still undergoing extensive renovations, all of which aim to highlight the restaurant’s traditional approach to Mexican cuisine.