Phil’s Oyster Bar set to re-open in Southdowns Shopping Center _lowres

Advocate file photo -- Phil's Oyster Bar, which was on Government Street before moving to Concord Avenue then closing, will re-open in the Southdowns Shopping Center.

Phil’s Oyster Bar, a popular Baton Rouge restaurant for more than 50 years, is set to reopen later this year in the Southdowns Shopping Center.

Anthony and Jordan Piazza, the sons of Phil’s owner Gus Piazza, said they will open the restaurant at 4335 Perkins Road in the late summer or early fall. Ironically, Phil’s is going into the space formally occupied by Thai Kitchen, which recently moved to 4550 Concord Ave., the last location for Phil’s. The Piazzas joked that the two restaurants ended up trading spaces.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring Phil’s Oyster Bar back to Baton Rouge. We have been planning this for years and we look forward to serving fresh seafood to our customers in a place that our Dad would be proud of,” said Anthony Piazza.

The Piazza brothers said they will serve all the popular items from the old menu, using the same family recipes, as well as adding some new dishes.

They plan to have a 3,500-square-foot restaurant with a private “back room” like Phil’s old location at 5167 Government St. The back room at the Mid-City location was a favorite dining spot for businessmen, politicians, sports figures and visiting guests, such as Jessica Simpson.

“The restaurant business is in our blood,” said Jordan Piazza. “We want to do this as a tribute to our Dad and because we truly love the business.”

Phil’s, known for its raw oyster bar and generous portions of fried seafood and plate lunches, was founded in 1950s, attached to Phil Tuminello’s seafood market. Gus Piazza started working as a manager in the 1970s, while he was attending LSU. He bought a stake in the restaurant in 1975. The restaurant moved from its Government Street location to a larger space off College Drive in 2002 and remained there until Gus Piazza’s retirement in June 2007. Piazza died five months after the restaurant closed.

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