An iconic Baton Rouge restaurant is reopening its doors this week.
Dearman's, a popular burger shop located in the Bocage Village Shopping Center, will reopen at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 18. Manager Casey Evans confirmed the reopening on Friday afternoon.
Dearman's business hours will 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Besides those classic burgers, shakes and fries, Dearman's has added a few new menu items (such as a veggie burger), and a new fryer for a its reopening. A few more tables have been added to the restaurant as well. Already, fans have revisited the shop as Dearman's opened its doors on Sunday for a soft reopening.
The restaurant has been closed for nearly two years due to heavy fire damage. In February 2016, Dearman's took on $500,000 worth of damage. The cause of the fire was undetermined.
Delays in reopening stemmed from cancellation of Dearman's lease by Hill Properties, the owners of the shopping center. Notice of the cancellation came less than a month after the fire. Dearman's had been a tenant of the center for more than 58 years, owned and operated by David Van Gelder.
However, by June 2016, a new lease was put into place to ensure Dearman's would stay in the shopping center at 7633 Jefferson Highway.
From summer 2016 and throughout 2017, further delays only hurt the restaurant's chances of reopening. The business had to deal with permitting, cleaning up the area, fixing the roof, and weather.
"At every turn, there was some negative thing holding everything back," Evans said in an interview a few weeks ago. "Now, we're finally getting there."
Throughout the reopening process, Dearman's has been supported by its fans and Baton Rougeans. Some even attached personalized notes to the building during the period of time when the business' lease was cancelled. A Facebook group called "Save Dearmans" was quickly created last year and currently has more than 1,300 likes and followers.
For more information on Dearman's, call (225) 924-1391.