Samantha and Cody Carroll, who starred together on Food Network’s “Cajun Aces” and opened Hot Tails in New Roads, have returned to Baton Rouge with big plans.
While Samantha takes the helm at Louisiana Seafood as the new executive director, Cody plans to open a second Hot Tails restaurant, as well as a crawfish wholesale distribution center. Both new establishments will be located on Airline Highway in Prairieville.
The new Hot Tails restaurant will be “bigger and badder than the first one,” says Cody Carroll, and will feature a large boiling room with windows so that customers can see the action. The couple opened the first Hot Tails in New Roads in 2010.
The Prairieville location will also be outfitted with a raw oyster bar, a charbroiled oyster station and two private rooms.
“Everything revolves around the kitchen,” Carroll says, “We’re going to have the bar wrap around the kitchen like a horseshoe.”
Construction on the 8,000-square-foot restaurant is expected to start around January, with the goal of opening before the 2020 football season kicks off. Carroll estimates construction will cost roughly $2.5 million.
Next door, Carroll plans to renovate an existing warehouse to become Crawfish District, a crawfish wholesale distribution center that will be outfitted with a state-of-the-art purging system.
The system, designed by Carroll, is nine years in the making and allows the crawfish to sit in water for 24 hours, allowing them to relax and clean themselves naturally. The result is a cleaner crawfish, as compared to crawfish sprayed by hoses, which he says tend to curl tight and hold dirt.
Along with wholesale, Crawfish District will also sell seasonings and be open to the public.
Warehouse renovations are expected to cost around $100,000 and should be ready by December, in time for crawfish season.
“I’ve always loved messing with crawfish and I wanted to bring that to Baton Rouge,” Carroll says, adding he chose the spot in Prairieville, near the parish border, to be easily accessible to families in Prairieville, Gonzales and Dutchtown, as well as Baton Rouge.