Construction to begin on Baton Rouge’s newest barbecue and seafood restaurant

    Construction is set to begin this week on BRQ, a new barbecue and seafood restaurant that former Stroubes executive chef Justin Ferguson is opening at 10423 Jefferson Highway, near the Louisiana Culinary Institute, in the spring.

    Ferguson says he hopes to get into the new building and begin preparing for the restaurant’s opening by mid-March. His goal is to open by May 1.

    BRQ will offer dishes reflecting regional barbecue flavors from the Carolinas; Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; and Memphis, Tennessee. The meat will be smoked, and sauces will be made in-house and served on the side. The menu also will consist of grilled seafood, prime steaks and sandwiches.

    Ferguson says BRQ’s accompanying catering business is already up and running. “It’s really just to get out there—get the name out and get going,” he adds.

    In the meantime, Ferguson has hired a general manager and is searching for the right management team for his new restaurant. He says plumbing and electrical work will begin this week. The slab will be poured next week, and then the restaurant will go vertical.

    Grand Construction Co. of Baton Rouge is listed as the project’s contractor.

    Construction is expected to cost roughly $800,000, according to permits. BRQ will span roughly 6,032 square feet and will be constructed on a site that formerly housed two commercial structures, both of which have been demolished.

    The permits also say the restaurant will seat at least 184 people. It backs up to the Louisiana Culinary Institute, whose owners are Ferguson’s partners in BRQ.

    Ferguson says he’s one of the institute’s original students and has maintained a great relationship with the owners since graduating in 2005. 

    No stranger to running a kitchen, Ferguson says he will run BRQ’s kitchen and oversee the day-to-day operations at the new restaurant. He previously worked at Superior Seafood in New Orleans and was corporate executive chef at Ideology Entertainment in Chicago.

    —Alexandria Burris

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