A Neopolitan-style pizzeria from the creators of Lit Pizza and Izzo's Illegal Burrito is opening in Mid City Baton Rouge next week.
Rocca Pizzeria will open its doors for dinner service at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25. with limited seating. The restaurant at 3897 Government St. will open for dinner the first few days, then expand business hours the following week, according to co-owner Ozzie Fernandez.
Normal business hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
In addition to wood-fired pizzas, Rocca Pizzeria will offer small plates, sandwiches and an in-house dessert program. The menu will feature locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant also will have a bar with craft cocktail program, wines and a dozen beers on tap.
"It's been a long journey," Fernandez said. "A lot of sweat and hard work went into this. I have a tremendous team compiled here, helping me to push that vision. It's been awesome."
Fernandez said more locations of Rocca Pizzeria are not out of the question, but for now, he and co-owner Gary Kovacs are working on opening an additional four Lit Pizzas and two more Izzo's.
For more information on Rocca Pizzeria, visit facebook.com/roccapizzeria.
BouillaBabes move pop-up to Hayride Scandal
BouillaBabes will serve its sandwiches and small plates in a new location, starting this week.
The Baton Rouge-based pop-up restaurant and catering company owned by chefs Jamie Brown and Sydney Harkins will launch at 6 p.m. Friday at Hayride Scandal, 5110 Corporate Blvd.
In addition to sandwiches and a seasonal daily special (Friday's special is grits and grillades), the menu will feature three small plates (red bean hummus, smoked salmon dip and Tunisian deviled eggs) available daily at the whiskey and craft cocktail bar. A new sandwich, The Violette (with black forest ham, provolone and cranberry Creole mustard on a croissant), also has been added to the menu. Dishes range from $7-$12.
After this week, BouillaBabes will set up at Hayride Scandal on Thursdays and Fridays, starting at 6 p.m. However, nights could be added, and hours could expand in the future, depending on clientele.
The opportunity to move to Hayride Scandal came after the chefs catered the bar's End of Prohibition party.
"Our style of food fit what they're doing," Brown said. "It seemed like a good fit, and we took the chance."
From August to December, BouillaBabes had sold food from Corporate Brew & Draft, a beer bar on Citiplace Court.
The long-term goal is for Brown and Harkins to do a pop-up concept for special events at Hayride Scandal. Think ticketed events with five courses and cocktail pairings.
The move to Hayride Scandal isn't the only thing keeping BouillaBabes busy. This week, Brown and Harkins hosted a date-night cooking class at Red Stick Spice Co. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, they'll also serve food during Boozie Brunch at Cane Land Distilling Co., 760 St. Philip St. That's on top of the catering and party gigs they also are booking.
Still, Brown doesn't mind all that business.
"With this move," Brown said, "we have more opportunities to showcase what we can with our food."
For more information on BouillaBabes, visit facebook.com/bouillababes.
Hanley's Foods to appear on 'Billion Dollar Buyer'
In the CNBC show "Billion Dollar Buyer," billionaire hospitality mogul Tilman Fertitta gives young entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their products to him. And one Baton Rouge business will get a shot next week.
Baton Rouge salad dressings company Hanley's Foods will be featured on episode, airing at 9 p.m Wednesday, Jan. 31. To celebrate, Hanley's will host a viewing party from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday at Rotolo's Craft & Crust, 411 Ben Hur Road. The party will feature a menu that caters to Hanley's Foods dressings, complete with a Sensation pizza and appetizers.
CEO and co-founder Richard Hanley said Fertitta and the show came to Baton Rouge in September for a tour of the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator program's facilities, where the dressings are made. Sure enough, Hanley's Foods was invited to Houston to possibly close on a deal. Those interested in answers will have to wait until Wednesday's party to find out if Hanley struck gold.
No matter the outcome, Hanley said the experience was a huge one for the business.
"It's the opportunity of a lifetime, to be able to possibly work with the largest restaurant and hospitality group in America," Hanley said. "To have that validation is amazing, but to even be on the show means a lot. Now, we have experience working with a company of that magnitude. It sets us up for success."
Hanley's Foods is the first Baton Rouge company to be featured on "Billion Dollar Buyer." For more information on Hanley's Foods, visit hanleysfoods.com.
Restaurateur Wayne Stabiler buys Leo's Rollerland
Wayne Stabiler, owner of The Little Village and Stab's restaurants as well as Palermo Ristorante, purchased the Leo's Rollerland and Iceland buildings at 1717 Airway Drive, which closed at the end of 2017.
Once the ice skating rink shuts down after Easter, Stabiler said he'll use the spaces for his catering and disaster relief business. Stabiler bought Walk-On's Enterprises' catering business just before Christmas, which will fold into his Catering Cajun company.
Along with corporate events and private parties, Catering Cajun has established a niche for itself in the disaster business, working with utility companies across the U.S.
"We've grown to be one of the largest full turnkey disaster service companies," Stabiler said, mentioning that the company handles everything from meals to providing showers and laundry service for workers helping to restore power after disasters.
ICYMI: City Pork coming to LSU, Big Squeezy opens in Bocage
City Pork Deli & Charcuterie will open a restaurant in the LSU Design Building this spring. The cafe in the Julian T. White Design Atrium will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering signature sandwiches as well as house-made charcuterie and cheese boards.
The Big Squeezy, a cold pressed juicery, has opened its location in the Bocage Market, next door to the newly reopened Dearman's. The Big Squeezy also has locations in downtown Baton Rouge and near the Perkins Road overpass. Another location inside the upcoming White Star Market food hall on Government Street is also in the works.
Timothy Boone contributed to this report.