Shortly after restaurateurs Eric Carnegie and Chad Hughes made the decision to open a new casual restaurant and bar concept in the former Crispy Catch on Perkins Road, Carnegie had a sudden brainstorm.
“I was looking at it, and made the comment that the roof was a blank canvas up there,” he recalls. “Chad said, ‘You’re thinking rooftop bar.’ We started looking at it closely and it just made sense.”
Plans for a rooftop bar were quickly integrated in the design for turning the space into the duo’s new local restaurant, Bumsteers, specializing in house-made American fare. Carnegie says he and Hughes got lucky.
As Business Report details in a new feature, outdoor restaurant dining in the form of patios, rooftop bars and sidewalk seating—or “parklets”—is on the rise around the country as restaurants experiment with new profit centers and ways to capture both millennials and families. Al fresco drinking and dining is a hallmark of trendy American cities and European café culture, and if done right, an outdoor dining area can increase a restaurant’s curb appeal and ability to stand out in a crowded field.
However, Baton Rouge has been behind other cities in adopting this, says Dyke Nelson, founder and lead designer of DNA Workshop.
“It’s bizarre the amount of outdoor dining there is in New Orleans versus here,” says Nelson. “From a climate standpoint, it’s pretty much the same, and with the right conditioning, it’s not that bad.”