A brick-and-mortar Curbside Burgers restaurant is coming to Mid City.
A little more than a year after Curbside founder and executive chef Nick Hufft first told Daily Report he wanted to build a restaurant at 4158 Government St., next to Calandro’s Supermarket, construction is set to begin—weather permitting—on a 2,900-square-foot restaurant with 800 square feet of outdoor seating.
There will be 34 indoor seats, 40 outdoor seats and space on the property for food trucks to gather on Wednesdays.
“I couldn’t be more excited to put a brick and mortar in Baton Rouge, in Mid City,” Hufft says.
The Calandro family will retain ownership of the property and will foot the $500,000 bill for construction, property owner Blaise Calandro says. Hufft has agreed to rent the building from the Calandro family, though the lease has not been finalized, Hufft says.
Workers recently tore down the red barn on the property and did some dirt work in anticipation of construction beginning. Blaise Calandro says work been beset by weather delays, including a recent two-week span in which rain scuttled any attempts to work on the site. Hufft says he hopes to open by September or October after construction is completed and he spends about 30 days training his staff.
Hufft says he is particularly excited about having a lighted space for other food trucks to use the property once a month for the food truck roundup.
“That’s where I started,” Hufft says. “That’s where a lot of people start. Not everyone has a million dollars to start a restaurant.”
Construction won’t impact the supermarket, Calandro says, save for a few days when parking may be limited while workers resurface the parking lot.
In December 2014, the Board of Adjustments granted a variance for the restaurant, waiving the requirement that storefronts be no more than 15 feet away from the road and parking lots be built behind businesses. The restaurant will be built about 80 feet off the roadway, allowing food trucks to use Calandro’s right-of-ways. The variance also allowed for several trees to remain behind the property; those would have been removed had the parking lot been located there.
The Calandro family also owns the property across the street from the supermarket, on the north side of Government Street between La Carretta and Wooden Haven Furniture. Calandro says he has had talks with interested parties interested in locating a business there, but nothing has been signed.
Calandro says with all the attention focused on Mid City and commercial construction taking place, the owners believe circumstances are favorable for developing the land. The commercial development follows residential development in the area spearheaded by the Calandros.
“This is the time. It’s like Mid City is starting to show some signs of commercial development,” he says.
As for what’s next for the Curbside truck, Hufft says he will use it mostly for parties and community and corporate events. He is also working on packaging his pork belly preserves he uses for the burgers. Curbside Burgers will continue to be sold at Barcadia, which has offered the patties on its menu since it opened in early 2014.