Lava Cantina closes downtown restaurant, will continue hosting private events

    Editor’s note: This story has been updated since original publication to correct the name of Ian Vaughn, which was incorrectly spelled.  

    Lava Cantina Downtown has ceased its regular restaurant operations for an undisclosed period of time, owner Ian Vaughn confirmed via text message Thursday.

    “We’re not performing at a level we can be proud of, and therefore we want to refocus on our operation in Perkins Rowe, roll out new training initiatives, a new menu and entertainment experiences,” Vaughn says.

    In the meantime, Vaughn says he is using the downtown space on 3rd Street as a venue for private parties. He’s also offering staff at that location the option to transfer to one of the other Lava Cantina restaurants in Baton Rouge, Texas or Colorado.

    The rock’n’roll Mexican restaurant was formerly the site of Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar. Vaughn, who previously worked with Raising Cane’s, assumed full operational controls of the site in late 2016. The purchase was part of Vaughn’s plans to expand the restaurant within Baton Rouge.

    “Nothing is changing” with Lava Cantina’s other location in Perkins Rowe, he says.

    Vaughn says his team will determine whether to reopen for normal restaurant operations at a later date, pending improvements in “service, menu and overall experience.”

    “Once we can show the level of improvements needed for our business, we’ll make other considerations.”

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