Local attorney Franz Borghardt is using social media and his Baton Rouge Brunches group to bring more momentum to the local brunch scene.
But Borghardt has plans bigger than monthly brunches—he wants to use the weekend meal to connect Baton Rougeans who might otherwise never meet.
Borghardt first fell in love with the local brunch scene during a stint as a secret brunch reviewer for LSU Law School’s newspaper. He and friends had brunch at different restaurants, discreetly ordering as much of the menu as they could and photographing the plates. He shared his experiences on the public Facebook page, Baton Rouge Brunches.
Since the first Facebook review in November 2015 at Bistro Byronz, the group has sampled many Capital City brunches including Canefield Tavern, Juban’s, Mestizo and Olive or Twist.
“The best part was that the restaurants were of all makes and models,” he says. “All different price ranges and locations. I wanted the reviews to give people an option of what is out there.”
Baton Rouge Brunches has grown from a handful of secret reviewers to now being open to anyone. The Facebook page has more than 1,000 followers, who can RSVP to a brunch on the group’s event pages. Around 20-30 people have attended the most recent brunches.
The group typically brunches two Sundays each month. Borghardt works with the selected restaurants to try to arrange a special, prix-fixe menu for each event.
“We are a great city and have so much to share with each other,” Borghardt says. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from; you are always welcomed at my brunch table.” facebook.com/batonrougebrunch
Borghardt talked to us about the group’s growing popularity, its community impact and more:
Brunch made complete sense to me. Here’s a meal that encompasses the best time frame to enjoy a meal—the in-between time between a late breakfast and an early lunch. It’s the meal that has character and is a state of mind. Brunch promotes excess and bottomless beverages. Rich foods and decadence!
What are the criteria for picking a brunch venue?
If the venue serves brunch and is family-friendly, it’s fair game.
What are your thoughts on how much the group has grown?
I never thought I would have 100 followers, let alone approach 1,000! It really has surprised me. Baton Rouge Brunches has grown in a gradual and organic way. It has really been a great experience to watch it grow.
How do you think Baton Rouge Brunches benefits the community?
Any time people come together and share an experience together, they are better [for] having done so. Baton Rouge Brunches is all about sharing community experiences. People meet people they might not otherwise have had an opportunity to meet.
What do you foresee for the group’s future?
I would like to do an event in 2016 that raises money for a charity. I think doing good for the community would be the next logical progression for the group. Can you imagine something like a “Brunch for the Cure”? The other thing I see happening is the network expanding so that we can expand the brand. Would I love to see the creation of a Louisiana Brunches? You bet!