Dearman’s, the popular hamburger joint and soda shop, will reopen later this year in the Bocage Village Shopping Center after it was heavily damaged by an electrical fire in early March.
Dearman’s owner David Van Gelder said a lease has been signed with Hill Properties, the owners of Bocage Village. After the March 1 fire, which caused $500,000 worth of damage, Van Gelder said Hill Properties canceled the lease, a move that put the future of Dearman’s up in the air.
“Everybody’s happy,” Van Gelder said. “We’re very pleased with the shopping center owners, and we’re very grateful for the outpouring of support from the community.”
In a statement, Mitch Richardson, of Hill Properties, said Dearman’s is “clearly a Baton Rouge institution.”
“We are pleased to have Dearman’s back as an important part of our family of tenants — uniquely local businesses which make our shopping center distinct,” Richardson said.
Dearman’s has been in Bocage Village for more than 58 years. Van Gelder has owned the restaurant since 2007. The goal is to have the restaurant reopened by Sept. 1. “That’s when we would like to be in, but it could happen sooner or later,” Van Gelder said. “It depends on a lot of moving parts.”
Dearman’s will be rebuilt “pretty much like it was” before the fire, he said.
“We look forward to many years of providing the great food and family atmosphere so many people have come to enjoy,” Van Gelder said.