Jay Ducote to open Gov’t Taco brick-and-mortar in 2020

Jay Ducote is looking to move his Gov’t Taco concept from its current White Star Market space into another Government Street building, which would open sometime in 2020.

Ducote wants to renovate an existing 2,800-square-foot space near the intersection of Government and West Ardenwood Drive, according to a permit application filed last week. The restaurant would share a larger existing building with Cypress Coast Brewing Co., which plans to open in early 2020, the brewery told Daily Report.

Once plans are approved, Gov’t Taco would vacate White Star, where it’s been operating since the Mid City food hall opened in spring 2018. Ducote says he’s grateful to White Star for the opportunity it has afforded him to cultivate a loyal customer base, noting the operators have known “for the past few months” about his plans to leave.

“We used White Star as an incubator to test the concept, and it’s shown that, over the past year-and-a-half, the public has enjoyed it,” Ducote says. “The plan is to stay there until we move into the brick-and-mortar spot.”

Fueling the planned move is the local food personality’s longer-term vision for Gov’t Taco, which includes an expanded menu, bar program and larger kitchen to accommodate in-house catering services—all of which, he says, requires a bigger space.

Citing Mid City’s resurgence, Ducote narrowed his search to Government Street, looking for spaces “up and down” the busy thoroughfare before coming across the building.

“When we had the chance to be in the same row as Baton Rouge staples like Superior Grill, Fleur de Lis Pizza and Anthony’s Deli, we felt we belonged there,” he says.

Depending on the performance of his first full-service restaurant, Ducote hopes to open more locations, though he hasn’t started looking for other real estate options.

This story originally appeared in the Oct. 25 edition of Daily Report.