A New Orleans company is looking to put a pizzeria and bar in the empty Stella boutique space in the former Perkins Road Hardware development.
P&J Diners Inc. has a purchase agreement on the building, which also houses Pure Barre, and has applied for a zoning change that would allow for a restaurant serving alcohol for The Ice House & Coal Fire Pizza, said Chris Young, the attorney handling the application process for P&J.
Young said the concept is similar to one operating in New York that P&J got permission to duplicate in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. He said it is not a franchise or part of a chain. In addition to pizza, the Ice House plans to serve craft beers, wine and liquor.
Young said construction has already begun on the New Orleans location on Magazine Street. The Baton Rouge location could open in the 2,400-square-foot space by the end of the year.
One potential snag, however, could come when the Planning Commission considers the request later this month. One of the tenants in another building in the development emailed the Planning Commission’s office opposing the rezoning based on parking concerns.
Kyle Wilkinson, the local franchisee for Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, told the Planning Commission that parking at the development is already very tight, and a restaurant and bar use for the space will make the situation worse.
Wilkinson, who declined to comment Tuesday, noted in the email that only Schlittz & Giggles, Rock-n-Sake and Jimmy John’s have an agreement with the state Department of Transportation and Development to park behind the site under Interstate 10.
He said that even if a bar and restaurant draws patrons from nearby neighborhoods, there will inevitably be Ice House customers who park their cars there.
Young said he plans to argue that parking concerns are not part of a rezoning request when the commission takes up the issue on at 5 p.m. May 20 on the third floor of the Governmental Building at 222 St. Louis St.