Editor’s note: This story has been revised since its original publication to clarify the state of the project and provide additional details.
Plans for a Curbside Burgers brick-and-mortar restaurant at 4158 Government St. are still in the embryonic stage. However, a city-parish board may have improved prospects for the eatery with its decision to grant a variance for a commercial project at that Mid City address.
“I love Mid City and Mid City has supported me since day one. I’ve always had my eye on that area for years,” Nick Hufft, the owner and executive chef of Curbside, says. “Yes, we are looking into that commercial space at 4158 Government, but I don’t have a lease signed or plans finalized.”
Building codes for Government Street call for storefronts to be no more than 15 feet from the roadway, with parking lots located behind buildings on the street. On Monday, the Board of Adjustments granted a variance for a project at the 4158 Government address, allowing the structure that would neighbor Calandro’s Supermarket to be built 80 feet off the roadway.
Chris Shaheen, an agent with Saurage Rotenburg Commercial Real Estate who represents Blaise Calandro, the landowner, says the project does not conflict with the pedestrian-friendly intent of the codes.
Plans call for a build-to-suit restaurant with patio seating outside and potential space for local food trucks to assemble on Wednesdays, Hufft says.
Shaheen says the parking lot needs to be in front of the restaurant so area food trucks can utilize Calandro’s existing right-of-ways. Plus, if a parking lot were behind the building, the property’s trees would need to be removed, Shaheen says.
Hufft says the Capital Heights community has shown support such a project. The development still needs Planning Commission approval, a process that could take at least three weeks.
Along with his latest project, Hufft is balancing two others set to get underway in the new year. Hufft will be serving Curbside’s burgers on the menu at Barcadia, which is set to open in January in the building at 3347 Highland Road that previously housed Serranos. Hufft also hopes his food truck, which has been sidelined by repairs, will be up and running again in January.
“Right now, my focus is on the opening of Barcadia and getting the truck back up and running soon thereafter,” Hufft says. —Kelly Connelly