Inside the new Somewhere Neighborhood Bar, now serving food and drinks downtown

There’s a new “somewhere” to go in downtown Baton Rouge. The concept aptly named Somewhere Neighborhood Bar opened quietly last week at 214 Third St., promising “cheap drinks, nice people and good times.” 

The destination’s creator Daniel Unda is no stranger to the downtown service industry. Unda has worked in the area for almost 20 years and also currently serves as general manager at Capital City Grill. He says the idea was to create a neighborhood bar atmosphere while giving back to some of the younger employees he’s worked with at Capital City Grill. 

“I’ve seen them grow since they were like 18 years old, and some of them are graduating college,” Unda says. “When you get to a certain age, you don’t want to wait tables anymore. You want to move on, make more money and do more grown-up stuff. … (The bar) is literally an homage to them. I wanted them to have a bar where they can grow and make some money—and, selfishly enough, to be able to hold on to them for a couple more years.” 

Finding the right location and settling on the right, quippy name took time, though.

“I couldn’t find a location for almost a year,” Unda says. “My wife kept shutting down my (name) ideas. … One day, I was talking to my wife and I was like, ‘I just need to find somewhere. I need to find somewhere to put this bar.’ And, I kept saying ‘somewhere, somewhere, somewhere.’ She was like, ‘You say that all the time. Why don’t you just name the bar that?’” 

Somewhere occupies the former space of Boudreaux & Thibodeaux’s, which recently moved down Third Street. Unda says it took a lot of work to transform the space from a dive to a moody, chill hangout spot. Today, the interiors feature lighted signs, colorful graffiti-inspired art, dark furniture and industrial details. 

There are plenty of stools lining the bar and tables and booths for friend groups, after-work gatherings and even first dates, Unda says. The spot also hopes to attract sports fans with its 75-inch TVs along the walls. Toward the back of the bar, there’s a pool table and a lounge area, which Unda says will soon be turned into a gaming area with consoles like a Nintendo Switch and a PlayStation. 

Somewhere will also feature a specialty cocktail menu with drinks inspired by and named after Unda’s team, including The Addison, The Dee Dee and The Aidan—to name a few. 

“Every cocktail was named after one of the servers that started with me like five or six years ago,” Unda says. “I call them my children. Every single one of them has a different description of their personality on (the menu). So, it’s a little homage to who they are.”

There’s also a fun bar food menu that the younger bar staff tested out and helped create. The goal was to offer a tasty selection of items bargoers would crave after a few drinks. The lineup includes everything from grilled cheeses paired with a side of spicy tomato soup to pepper jack-filled spinach dips partnered with Cool Ranch Doritos instead of the standard tortilla chip. 

“Everything on that menu has been picked by them,” Unda says. “One of the things I realized a long time ago is that I’m 40, and I shouldn’t ever build a bar with my target audience to be 40-year-olds. It’s wherever somebody in their 20s wants to go hang out and eat. Trust me, I might die if I have a spicy chicken sandwich.”

Unda adds that he hopes to host Ladies Night, Service Industry Night and more as the bar gets into the flow of being open. Unda also is working on a Tuesday special for tequila deals and tacos. So far, the bar has already introduced Whiskey Wednesdays with $5 off Four Roses Bourbon and $1 off all other whiskeys.

Unda says Somewhere is not just his bar since many people have helped him with this new venture. He credits people like his staff who came from Capital City Grill along with Capital City Grill owner Rick Volland who gave Unda ideas, advice and tips for renovating the space. 

Unda is also thankful for other bar owners in the downtown area, like Dustin Malina of Squeaky Pete’s and Aaron Franklin of Dark 30, who have also helped guide him through the journey of opening a bar of his own. He says his goal, along with other business owners in the area, is not to compete, but to make downtown more of a destination for a night out.

Somewhere is open Monday through Thursday, from 5 p.m. to midnight; and Friday and Saturday, from 4 p.m.–2 a.m. Unda says the bar will be closed on Sundays until football season rolls around so customers can enjoy NFL games. It is at 214 Third St. Find more info here.