Lafayette, United States, Baton Rouge discussed on Discover Lafayette

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I wanted to look back on the history of Chameleon Boulevard since you're situated there. I don't know if you're familiar with all the sped Back in nineteen fifty to the city of Lafayette recognized. That Pin Hook Road. Couldn't handle all of the traffic. The next twenty nine years feasability studies were conducted to determine the best placement of a grudge over the Romanian to effectively move traffic. And I can tell you as an aside when I moved here in eighty three I. I couldn't figure out how to get around laugh so finally just to share this with you. In nineteen eighty-one there was a route study by domain Zaba own associates recommending the Camelia Boulevard route on August fourth a bond issue which included the Chameleon Boulevard extension was voted and approved on but then a citizens group called save. Our subdivision was formed to oppose the construction on March eighteenth. Nineteen eighty-three mayor. Douglas Strap announced his recommendation to the city council. That quote we construct a four lane river crossing at the table of art on the south side of Lafayette so environmental and Engineering Studies were done citizens. Continue to protest In one thousand nine hundred five the Camilla Boulevard project was included in a bond referendum and approved. Lafayette voters fast forward to Nineteen ninety-three alternatives. Were still being looked at but in April of ninety three the report recommended construction and more environmental assessments were done in nineteen ninety. Six Lafayette Consolidated Council adopted a resolution directing that the committee boulevard bridge become a top priority in ninety nine and January contractors began moving homes from the corridor in two thousand one in August. The contract for construction of bridge and the section of Roadway between settlers trace boulevard and Cambridge. Dry was awarded in on September eighth two thousand three a ribbon. Cutting ceremony was held to declare the bridge officially open. So you probably were not aware of all of us not being you know in the Lafayette area but this was a major controversy. And right where you're situated in. Once it opened people just went. Oh this is nice you know. Yeah so you're situated right there in the middle of a great area of Lafayette and yet I know things have kind of come to a halt as far as dining in and the whole restaurant industry if we can pick back up our conversation about what's going on nail. Yeah that was. We actually did a ribbon. Cutting the on the tenth anniversary two in fourteen at the restaurant to to to to celebrate the the bridge which has just been huge for Local Denison in Lafayette Transit and opening up. Wait easier ways to get to young's Ville two just anywhere get anywhere and all the other places that just exploded so it was the biggest thing I think ever happened yet looking back how it was a to to to where it is now is river ranch perception when we first got there was you know it. It's the best community or mixed development. Whatever they call it. I've I've ever been in still today going around country in different places. I'm like just blown away by the way they built. It is just perfectly done and Steve. The architect and Robert Gaggle right here. It's the quality safe. It's it's it's just really well done so in. Every body told us the best location you know anywhere by the river and as we were lucky enough to to buy a coup to Sean New Orleans. Out and twenty thousand out to be. I think they will. They will they went. Does this for like nine months. Gosh when they knew they read the writing on the wall and and being that the Donald Link was a friend and In in his father in law's would come the restaurant Baton Rouge. They knew that we would be able to to make it work so we bought by the mom out and it was a huge success. Difference if you can touch on that what did you bring? You know to turn that around. What was it that well Rodrick brought it out? We'll restaurants restaurants differ so many different ways personality. Wise culture will. What's your message? What are you? What are you trying to achieve? And we headed down rouge with something Special Ed With Lsu you know. The local ties the energy that we brought music The lie all the all the things that that that I brought all the are the intangibles or the outside of the food. It's more about the energy in the fun. And the lighting the way we set up tables and the way we set up a private parties in US. Energizing the place and we brought. We brought that to a place that just whether they're the way looked at it was. It was all about the food shop driven. They WanNa Kinda hippie kind of place and just you know you have to. You have to. You have to match the community. That just didn't did not do that. They didn't have a good friendship with with the community. You really have to distinguish yourself. Do you know every town has has multiple different restaurants. You have so many places you go you see one time. I laugh yet. It's different as were I noticed is the most restaurants or casual dining Many white tablecloth restaurants. And that's where we are but we'll white tablecloth but we're also fun and and kind of kind of a casual fund fine dining if you WANNA call it which I knew there was a niche for in Lafayette people. Were looking for a place to call their own. Stephanie Cox such a great job at Ala Fonda in history of of their barber their bar so small you know is just. It's it's it's you know. People were looking for a place to meet with large watch parties and we hit that. We hit that niche and it was It was fun because of the people that I knew in the beginning that we would. You know hurt. Their does is like Charlie. Good to the Charlie. Jeez it but he reached out and I became what I did from a from a marketing standpoint because when I bought it in nothing was January. We didn't open till may look between January and May I lived in Lafayette. You know I basically you've got an apartment. And when every and let people went to charity events what to political events met every new a lot of people already for my connections and we had a following from are bad restaurant but it was it was really It was really just kind of a an easy transition for me because from tip and I have the the Cajun heritage and it was it was fun and the grand opening was huge in the next few years until the gas. Kinda take a little bit Just I don't know of a restaurant that had had an opening that anywhere. I've never seen anything like it. So but the good thing. Is You know even with a with a struggling industry when you find good managers Like I have with Christmas Lotto Greg Harmon Katie. Gd's and Legionella Chefs Estevan. And James. I have a crew that this is so amazing. They keep the consistency in the culture in the funding. The whole deal right that were you know. It's easy to t t to to keep it going so his on staff right now with the shutdown. I've kept almost salary the the people I just mentioned who are on salary so matters. I have my salary managers and chefs in Lafayette Salary. Managers and chefs in the actual takeout. Business is able to pay for their their salaries. You know we'd get into the little. The government help out and all that but but the majority of our our casual right now is takeout with is a lot. It's only maybe ten percent of the sales. Were doing less but it still. It's still enough to help them out. And you know. Our employees are on unemployment. But they're ready to get off and come back to work which we have to figure out how to get them to work to do because we can't open for business the biggest mess if your staff is Servers that are Contract right I mean they're just hourly term. Let a part-time college. You know to college driven market like Baton Rouge you will. You will support. We support you. Support US and we. That's the majority of our of our service. Staff is students and from the area so they may live with their parents. Also they doing doing okay is just. They want to go back to work. Yeah just sitting in their their apartments our homes and nothing to do all day to play. Xbox have beer palm parties or whatever it is it gets old and they they WANNA give they WANNA get back and start having fun more working with people would. They would their born into hospitality industry. I'm even mentioned to me that you're baton. Rouge restaurant is actually busier at this point. Just because I guess the economy's different in Baton Rouge Big Bear. It's there but it's not as big as our economy restaurant kind of flight. The other one is at the weights ron or are they separate. It's Dan Rutz. Helping are more than anything else right now because of the The amount of sales are able to do takeout wise Lafayette has some big nights. But it just you could see the you know what I mean yesterday with the old down a negative for the first time ever whatever this is GonNa be a tough night you know and it was. I mean people are. People are are are getting anxious about their future and their livelihood. And you know they're able to spend and they look at US wearing river ranch. We we buy the best food that service and all that even though we have amazing prices right now with the with the family meals and all the things that we're doing is still perceived as a as a higher expense restaurant that people people are holding onto their dollars right now which I understand. I love your menu. I was looking at the family. Take OUT FOR FOUR. Some great dummy options. I mean this is fantastic. Yeah the Seafood Aaron Cheney. I've never had that thought. God this is probably the time to try things like that that you know. Just to to perk up Middle of the week. But can you talk about what's going on locally You'd mentioned to me that The local restaurant association is looking ahead. you guys work together as a as a team when you look at the industry the region absolutely. We've been a part of the restaurant association from the get-go in Always very involved in the the government part of it at lobbying and all the stuff that we need to do to to make sure industry strong because South Louisiana's known for anything it's known for hospitality restaurants and Food and service in who we are and you know Wong great restaurant town Baton Rouge Lafayette..

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