Beausoleil has been a Baton Rouge staple for years. New owner and local restaurateur Stephen Hightower wasn’t going to let that change.
When the restaurant closed for several months this summer and Hightower took ownership, the City Group Hospitality team got to work transforming the restaurant.
City Group renovated the inside and expanded the patio area along the right side of the building’s exterior. They renamed the place Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine and updated the menu to match. While many of the original beloved dishes are still served, Hightower and his team decided to focus more on seafood.
“Coastal cuisine allows you to work with a lot of food,” Hightower says, ”from the French coast to the Italian coast to our coast.”
The new menu includes truffle-fried oysters, lobster rolls, a fried flounder sandwich, and entrees like a hearty cioppino accented with squid ink linguine and fennel cream sauce. For meat lovers, there’s the Beausoleil Burger with caramelized onion jam or the bone-in butter-cured ribeye entree with foie gras and black garlic compound butter.
And in the spirit of its other projects like City Pork and Rouj Creole, City Group has revamped the restaurant’s interior with a design that polished and fresh.
“We figured we’d put our City Group Hospitality spin on things,” Hightower says. “We just wanted to give it a fresh new look.”
The rooms have been painted white to allow natural light to bounce off the walls, and the chairs and booths are now upholstered in green.
The most eye-catching feature is the raw bar. Located to the right of the entrance—where the restaurant’s original, compact bar area once was—the colorful, airy space greets diners as soon as they arrive. It has been opened up to offer more bar seating and a glass window providing a view of the oyster prep.
Local artist Ellen Ogden custom-painted much of the art in the restaurant, including a mural of oysters and paintings inspired by Louisiana’s festivals. Keeping with this theme, Cajun cooking memorabilia and decor cover the walls, including antique dinnerware and vintage-style art.
The new patio is fenced in and has wicker chairs with large umbrellas for shade.
“It was a natural move, especially with the pandemic,” Hightower says of the outdoor seating. “It gives people a comfortable, safe space.”
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