Drago’s Seafood hasn’t given up on a Baton Rouge location just yet.
Although it’s been three years since the city got wind that the popular New Orleans restaurant was scouting Baton Rouge for expansion, owner Tommy Cvitanovich says he’s still actively searching for the right spot.
“We’re always looking. Baton Rouge would be a natural fit for us,” Cvitanovich says. “(Visit Baton Rouge CEO) Paul Arrigo is my biggest cheerleader. Every time he passes by something available he texts me, and I drive by whenever I have the opportunity.”
Drago’s is a bit larger than the average eatery, so Cvitanovich is looking for a space big enough to accommodate his restaurant. He notes that even Drago’s smallest location—in Lafayette—is 8,700 square feet.
A few years ago, Drago’s was deep into negotiations for the former Fox and Hound location on Corporate Boulevard, but Cvitanovich says the deal fell through.
More recently he looked into Galatoire’s Bistro, which closed in Baton Rouge last week. Unfortunately, the building is far too close to one of Drago’s biggest, but still friendly, competitors.
“Galatoire’s is right across the parking lot from Acme,” he says. “We have the classiest competition in Acme Oyster House, so I wouldn’t do that.”
Cvitanovich hasn’t given up, though. He likes to Baton Rouge area because many of his friends and family live here.
There was talk in 2015 that Drago’s was considering building a location on Highland Road near the Country Club of Louisiana, but those talks never materialized, Cvitanovich says.
Drago’s, best known for its chargrilled oysters, currently has four locations, including its newest restaurant in Lafayette, which opened last year. Other locations are in Jackson, Mississippi; New Orleans and the original location in Metairie, which founder Drago Cvitanovich opened in 1969.