Take a look inside Light House Coffee

Steve and Amber Elworth opened an ambitious new coffee house concept in early April on Lee Drive in Baton Rouge. 

For many, Light House Coffee will offer a reliable hub to study or get away while drinking a signature lemon lavender cold brew, a pour-over coffee or latte. Others may visit to grub on snacks like a cheddar chive scone or banana crunch muffin. The shop also offers light meal options like prosciutto fig, avocado and garlic herb cheese toasts. 

However, Light House Coffee's mission is bigger than being just another coffee shop. The Elworths have made it their goal to employ displaced people and help refugees seek long-term self-sufficiency solutions by offering programs and teaching specialty courses.

Inside, Light House also offers crafts and wares in a sectioned-off portion called The Hope Shop. There, patrons can buy home goods and jewelry made by refugees. 

Business hours for Light House Coffee are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit facebook.com/lighthousecoffeebr or lighthousecoffeebr.com

Coming in May: Francois Cafe & Grill 

Francois Alzaeem is bringing Bourbon Street to Baton Rouge.

Alzaeem is the owner and chef of Francois Cafe & Grill, a Louisiana-style restaurant that is set to open in mid-May at its new location at 5454 Bluebonnet Blvd.

Francois Cafe & Grill's menu will feature appetizers like crabcakes and jumbo grilled shrimp topped with crawfish sauce; soups, salads and sandwiches; entrees like crawfish pasta, rib-eye, kabobs and fried talapia with crawfish sauce; and all-day omelets.

Alzaeem previously worked in New Orleans during his college days and then in North Carolina before returning to Louisiana. He said his restaurant offers Bourbon Street-style food, or a cultural mix of flavors.

"Some say that the history of Bourbon Street food is supposed to be Cajun or soul or Italian or French," he said. "But to me, it's none of that. (Bourbon Street food) is a divine product. ... They all mix and put out these dishes with exquisite flavor."

The restaurant was located on Main Street in Zachary for about 10 years. Alzaeem and his wife, Maha, decided to move to Baton Rouge because they couldn't find proper help in the kitchen.

"We had great success in Zachary," Alzaeem said. "We had a very good response, but we could not find help. It seemed like Baton Rouge is a better area for it. Whatever we made in Zachary we reinvested in Baton Rouge."

Southfin opens second location

Southfin Southern Poké has opened its second location at 7474 Corporate Blvd., Suite 206. Business hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

About a year has passed since Southfin Southern Poké opened in the Southdowns Shopping Center on Perkins Road. The restaurant offers a menu of chef-inspired and customizable poké bowls and "fin rolls" (think sushi burritos). Customers can choose proteins such as tuna and salmon, then pick out noodles, mixed greens or rice, then top that with a sauce, vegetables and other yummy ingredients.

The Corporate Boulevard Southfin features the same menu as its Perkins Road predecessor. The new location, which was formerly occupied by Popcorn Bistro, is also about the same size. For more information, visit facebook.com/southfinpoke.

Albasha Express opens on West Lee Drive 

Are you near LSU and looking for a quick fix of Greek food? This is a highly specific question, but I have a recommendation. 

Albasha Express opened its new location last month at 990 W. Lee Drive, Suite A. The restaurant is a quick-service version of the local staple, offering gyro and chicken shawarma plates and salads, as well as sides, sandwiches and a few house specialties. Personally, I like the halloumi cheese sandwich, which comes with a feta cheese salad and hummus, but do what you want. Most of the dishes are under $10, too.  

Business hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (225) 771-8731. 

BRQ, Louisiana Culinary Institute launch Bacon & Fig

A Jefferson Highway restaurant is teaming up with its neighbors for a new catering company. 

BRQ Seafood and Barbeque and the Louisiana Culinary Institute announced that they are combining efforts to create a new company called Bacon and Fig Events

The company will concentrate on off-site and on-site catering and events. On-site events will be held at LCI. BRQ co-owner and executive chef Justin Ferguson will lead the menus and staff at Bacon and Fig Events. 

"It's the best of both worlds," Ferguson said in a release. "This is the perfect opportunity to utilize an amazing facility like LCI with great food and hospitality services.

"This is a special time in Baton Rouge. The culinary scene is exploding with new opportunities. We have an amazing team in place, and we are excited to provide these types of services." 

For more information, visit baconandfigevents.com or call (225) 366-6594. 

Upcoming food events you can't miss

  • Celebrate National Homebrew Day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at LA Homebrew, 7987 Pecue Lane, Suite 7G. The store will feature brewers' latest batches available for tasting, food at noon and demonstrations on how to homebrew. facebook.com/lahomebrew.
  • Southern Craft Brewing, 14141 Airline Highway, Suite 4J, hosts Drinko de Mayo at 1 p.m. Saturday. The brewery will have special beers and micheladas available, and Secret Lair Taqueria will provide a salsa bar. facebook.com/socraftbeer.
  • Gov't Taco celebrates Cinco de Mayo at The Radio Bar. The vendor from the soon-to-open White Star Market will serve tacos from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the bar at 3079 Government St., Suite B. Stick around the Mid City bar for Latin Dance Night from 9 p.m. to close. facebook.com/govttaco, facebook.com/theradiobar
  • Barbosa's Barbeque teams up with The Overpass Merchant for a smoke-out pop-up. The event starts at 5:45 p.m. Sunday at the restaurant at 2904 Perkins Road. Expect brisket (mmmm), sides (mac and cheese, please?), pickled onions and that sauce. My keyboard hates me now because I'm drooling on it. facebook.com/barbosasbarbeque.  

Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter, @MatthewSigur.