‘My time is up here’: Owner says if not sold, Baton Rouge restaurant, music venue Chelsea’s Cafe will soon close _lowres

Dave Remmetter

A Baton Rouge favorite could close by the end of the year.

Chelsea’s Cafe, a local music venue, restaurant and bar, is currently up for sale, according to owner Dave Remmetter.

The owner says Chelsea’s hasn’t sold yet, but he does have a group of interested parties that he is hopeful will take over the business.

If Chelsea’s doesn’t sell, the venue will shut down. Dec. 31 will be its last day open.

Chelsea’s moved from State Street to underneath the Perkins Road overpass nearly 10 years ago. The State Street location’s final day of business was Dec. 31, 2005.

Remmetter said although he has had a great run at Perkins Road, he has faced roadblocks renegotiating the lease.

Remmetter has also become busy with other business projects, as part owner of The Radio Bar on Government Street, Bin-Q Liquor on Perkins Road and the upcoming new Mid City Beer Garden, which just went into construction phase on Government Street.

“I have had a great run in this location,” Remmetter said of Chelsea’s. “Over the last couple of years, I’ve been dealing with a leaky roof, and I’ve been having a hard time renegotiating the lease. Chelsea’s got me in this business. I have to thank my parents, my staff and my clientele. I’ve struggled with it for awhile, though. It doesn’t define me, and I have to shift my focus.”

Once the Beer Garden was approved for rezoning, Remmetter said he started thinking about selling Chelsea’s.

Remmetter said he is currently in negotiation for selling his business. The new buyers might want to keep it the same, because the restaurant and venue has become such a large part of the culture in Baton Rouge.

“I don’t want the employees to find another job,” he said. “These new owners would possibly keep it the same for a period of time. I know they just want to get in and do it. I’d like to sell it and have my employees continue to work and make a paycheck.”

“I pride myself on the fact that we have cool businesses in Baton Rouge,” he said. “Not just Radio Bar and Chelsea’s, but places like DiGiulio Brothers and Beausoleil. We fit into that mold, to see it disappear ... it would be tough.”

This month’s parties and shows will still go on as scheduled.

For more information, visit chelseascafe.com or call (225) 387-3679.

Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter @MatthewSigur.