Willie’s Restaurant and Bar, a locally owned seafood and smokehouse eatery, is moving from the Industriplex area to Coursey Boulevard this summer.

The restaurant will open near the corner of Coursey and Sherwood Common Boulevard by mid-July, said Will Chapman. Chapman owns the 6-year old restaurant with his wife Kayte and his younger sister Emily Hazelwood.

The new location will give the owners greater visibility, as well as more seating. About 50 people can sit down at Willie’s currently, the new building will have seating for a little over 200.

“We’re kind of restricted what we can do and the people we can serve,” Chapman said. “Me, and my sister and my wife, we want to be entrepreneurs and spread our wings a little bit. We want to bring this concept to Baton Rouge, and there’s no better way than being right in the middle.”

Because Willie’s is currently located at 11950 Cloverland Ave., it does predominantly a lunch business, outside of crawfish season, with a focus on seafood po-boys, hamburgers and smoked meat dishes. Chapman said the plan is to change the menu for the new location, to drive more dinner and bar business. He’s keeping the new items under wraps. “We want it to be a surprise to regulars,” he said.

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