Even though they face lingering workforce and supply chain issues, several Baton Rouge restaurant operators are planning openings this fall.
Original concepts and renewed venues will be rolled out over the coming weeks and months, heralding the continued evolution of the capital’s culinary scene.
Here are a few to watch:
• Lotus Lounge—Carefully crafted tiki cocktails feature prominently in the future Lotus Lounge inside Soji: Modern Asian. Renovations began earlier this week on converting Soji’s lobby and bar into a lounge, intended to feel like a separate concept with its own hours and menu. Owner Chase Lyons said the menu will include six iconic and six original tiki cocktails and a range of small, chalkboard plates executed by chef Soji Thien Nguyen.
• Bistro Byronz—Fans of Bistro Byronz’s original location in Mid City expected it to return to the neighborhood in part of the former White Star Market. The redesigned location is slated to open in early October, said Emelie Alton, CEO of Byronz Restaurant Family.
• Iron Fork Kjun Restaurant and Market– Hoping to open in October, The Iron Fork plans to serve a full menu of Southern fare as well as daily specials for lunch. Half of the concept market will sell ready meals, fresh and frozen Cajun meats, and pork and chicken crackers.
• Proverbial Wine Bistro — City Group Hospitality’s new wine-focused bistro will feature themed boards for lunch, dinner and brunch; aperitifs to share; flat breads; fresh fish; and steaks. In keeping with the name, diners finishing a bottle can write their own proverb on a wine cork and place it in a glass display. The Long Farm spot, once occupied by Wildwood Pizza, will open in mid-October, said Stephen Hightower, operating partner.
• Gail’s fine ice cream– According to Gail creator Nick Hufft of Hufft Marchand Hospitality, artisanal ice cream is slated to open by the end of the year, but Hufft says he’s not rushing.
• Juban’s restaurant– Juban’s deep fanbase was nostalgic when the restaurant temporarily closed during the pandemic, but now they can expect it to open in late 2021 or early 2022 with a refreshed design and a new and old menu. Operating partner Making Raving Fans Hospitality Group, led by Peter Sclafani, Kiva Guidroz and Michael Boudreaux, recently announced the hiring of chef Chris Motto to bring new energy to the Juban reboot.
• Spoke N Hub“Look for this family-friendly City Group Hospitality concept to open at the end of November,” says Hightower. The restaurant in the former Bistro Byronz space will offer a southern menu, numerous terraces and a separate underground bar with its own entrance.
Read the full story of 225 magazine for more restaurants on the way to Baton Rouge. Subscribe for free 225 per day electronic newsletter to keep up with Capital Region food and events.