'Founding Father' Jay Ducote, left, and 'Majority Whip' Therese Schneider gather at their shop, Gov't Taco.

Sprouts springs in Baton Rouge

If the name Sprouts Farmers Market makes you think of fruits and vegetables, consider that a starting point. The store, which opened Wednesday morning on Perkins Road, is a lot more than that.

Sprouts is Baton Rouge's latest entry into the market for fresh, organic and natural foods. It is a complete grocery store — with a fresh butcher shop and a full-service deli — rather than a specialty store, but it's still affordable, said Kalia Pang, Sprouts spokeswoman.

"Consumers are wanting healthy options at an everyday price, and that's what we offer throughout the store," Pang said. "We have a fresh butcher shop with a full team of butchers who cut fish and meat every single day. We have a full-service deli. ... We're not just limited to packaged goods or our store brands."

The location at the Rouzan development expands Sprouts' reach to 326 stores in 21 states, Pang said. Company owners had a produce stand in San Diego before branching out in 2002. But although Sprouts has expanded from its original vision, it hasn't abandoned it.

Jay Ducote takes on Bobby Flay

Baton Rouge food entrepreneur and "Food Network Star" alumnus Jay Ducote is returning to the network on Thursday, July 25.

Ducote and former "Star" castmate Alex McCoy will compete against each other for the chance to square off in the kitchen against star chef Bobby Flay on his eponymously named series "Beat Bobby Flay."

The show starts at 9 p.m., but the viewing party kicks off at 7 p.m. at White Star Market, 4624 Government St., Baton Rouge, Ducote said by email Monday. The market is home to Ducote's Gov't Taco.

Ducote was runner-up on the 11th season of "Food Network Star" in 2015, and a pilot for his show "Deep Fried America" aired on Travel Channel in 2016.

For more info on "Beat Bobby Flay," go to foodnetwork.com/shows/beat-bobby-flay.

Recently closed

The Shrimp Basket, an Alabama-based seafood chain, has closed both of its Baton Rouge locations after less than two years in business.

The company closed its restaurants at 7242 Perkins Road and 4343 Sherwood Forest Blvd. on Friday. The Perkins location had been open since September 2017 and the Sherwood restaurant opened in early 2018. Both restaurants had been removed from the Shrimp Basket website Monday morning and the sign had been taken down.

The seafood chain is billed to have opened in 1993 in Gulf Shores when "two local boys" decided to begin a casual restaurant, according to the company's site. After the Baton Rouge closures, the chain boasts 29 other locations spread across Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi.

Barcadia, the North Gate bar, restaurant and arcade on Highland Road, is closed. The business, which has locations in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, and in New Orleans, opened the Baton Rouge restaurant in 2015.

Recently opened

Jinya Ramen Bar is now open in Perkins Rowe. The restaurant, located in the space next to Cinemark formerly occupied by VooDoo BBQ, is the first Louisiana location for the fast-growing chain. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A grand opening is planned for July 1. jinya-ramenbar.com.

On the calendar

It unlocked the doors in April, but Red Stick Social is finally having its grand opening celebration. From Thursday, June 27, through Sunday, June 30, the entertainment venue is offering half off bowling specials, prize drawings, life-size beer pong and live music each night. The Jane Lane Duo will perform Thursday, Pocket Change will be onstage Friday and Justin McCain plays Saturday. More information can be found at facebook.com/redsticksocial.

Two Baton Rouge pop-ups are joining forces for a dinner and anime night on Sunday, June 30. The Izakaya & Anime Night will feature a menu of Japanese-Cajun fusion food created by Commonplace, a pop-up restaurant by chef Mia Taylor, and comics and artwork curated by pop-up vendor and podcaster duo Blerd-ish. The anime movie "My Hero Academia: Two Heroes" and episodes of "Toradora" and "Samurai Champloo" will be screened. The Izakaya & Anime Night starts at 6 p.m. at Ginza Sushi Bar, 4215 Sherwood Forest Blvd. Free to attend; food and drinks for sale. facebook.com/blerdish1.

Diners can get a preview of Solera, the upcoming Spanish restaurant and tapas bar opening in the Southdowns Shopping Center on Perkins Road, at a pop-up on Bin 77's patio on Sunday. The menu will feature paella and sangria. The pop-up will run 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Bin 77 in Perkins Rowe. Tickets are $45 via eventbrite.com.