A neighborhood watering hole with an eclectic menu sums up the ethos of The Overpass Merchant, the gastropub launched three years ago by Curbside Burgers founder Nick Hufft and business partner Lon Marchand. Located in the Perkins Road overpass spot once occupied by Zee Zee Gardens, the Merchant’s intention has been to replicate the easy accessibility of its predecessor—a Baton Rouge institution—while updating the food and drink experience for millennials and foodies.
There are plenty of interesting beers, wines and spirits behind the bar, and Chef Jonathan Breaux’s globally-inspired dishes give diners reason to linger and return.
“We’re a neighborhood restaurant,” Hufft says. “We know what we’re good at and what our repeat customers enjoy. If you asked us exactly what our cuisine is, I couldn’t tell you.”
Breaux’s specials have continually evolved to include poké and ceviche as well as oysters from the East and West Coasts—all cool counterpoints to the fixed menu’s belly-warming fare. There’s also a featured hummus each week, a plate lunch special every weekday and a weekly soup created by Breaux—a passionate soup maker who serves up summery gazpachos, smoked shrimp and corn, tomato bisque, and coconut curried cashew, a crowd favorite.