BRQ Seafood and Barbeque will open a second location later this year in Denham Springs, the hometown of co-owner and executive chef Justin Ferguson.
The new restaurant will take the place of the former Voodoo BBQ & Grill off Range 12 Boulevard near Bass Pro Shops. The BRQ team is planning a complete renovation, with seating for some 130 patrons and a full bar, Ferguson says. Construction will begin in a few weeks, and the opening is set for September.
The expansion comes as BRQ’s original Baton Rouge location prepares to celebrate its first anniversary on June 6. With the success the restaurant has enjoyed so far, Ferguson feels his staff is ready and the time is right to expand, and he’s had his eye on Denham Springs, where he grew up and now lives, for a while.
This will be the 11th restaurant opening Ferguson has spearheaded. After working as a chef in Chicago, Ferguson returned to Baton Rouge to open Stroubes Chophouse as executive chef. He also opened Superior Seafood in New Orleans and several concepts in Chicago. But Ferguson has had his eye on Denham Springs for a while.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Ferguson says. “I have a rule that it usually takes eight months to a year to get a restaurant to where I feel comfortable with the management team and the staff. I feel like we’re in a really good place right now.”
Ferguson says he hopes to provide his BRQ staff with more opportunities to grow in the restaurant business and bring something special to his hometown with the second location. The Denham Springs area is growing and a new local establishment will be good for the community, he adds.
As an industry veteran, Ferguson realizes that in south Louisiana’s highly competitive food business, you can’t afford to be complacent.
“With restaurants, you’re either growing or you’re dying,” he says. “The restaurant business is hard. It’s a labor of love.”