The Leo’s Rollerland and Iceland buildings have been acquired by restaurant owner Wayne Stabiler for use as staging areas for his catering and disaster relief business.
Stabiler, who owns The Little Village and Stab’s restaurants, said he paid $2.2 million for the two buildings in a deal completed Tuesday. The two buildings at 1717 Airway Drive have 70,000 square feet of space.
Leo’s roller skating rink, which had been open for more than 70 years, closed at the end of 2017. The ice skating rink will remain open until Easter and shut down after that.
“We’re going to get in the roller rink immediately and start construction,” Stabiler said. The deal worked out well, because Stabiler said the operations for his catering business were located near Leo's.
Stabiler bought Walk-On’s Enterprises' catering business for an undisclosed sum just before Christmas. Walk-On's decided to focus on growing its rapidly expanding restaurant business and get out of the catering side. The chain opened its 17th location in Alexandria Monday and officials have said they plan on opening 18 Walk-On's in the upcoming year, including a Prairieville restaurant at 14555 Airline Highway.
Stabiler's currently folding the Walk-On's operations into his Catering Cajun company.
Stabiler has operated a catering business for 20 years. Along with doing the standard crawfish boils, jambalaya, steak dinners and fried seafood for corporate events and private parties, the company has established a niche for itself in the disaster business.
Catering Cajun works with utility companies across the U.S. to feed workers who are helping to restore power after hurricanes, ice storms, wildfires and other disasters.
“We’ve grown to be one of the largest full turnkey disaster service companies,” Stabiler said, handling everything from meals to providing showers and laundry service for the workers.
Right now, about 15 people work full-time for the catering company. Stabiler said he will definitely hire more workers. “We’re growing everything,” he said.
Last year, Stabiler opened Stab's Prime Steak & Seafood on Jefferson Highway. It's across the highway from the upscale Italian restaurant Palermo Ristorante that he opened in 2016.
Stabiler also owns Stab's Steak & Seafood in Central and The Little Village restaurants downtown and on Airline Highway.