Chef Peter Sclafani and Kiva Guidroz have signed a lease for the former Rum House building on Perkins Road and plan to open a new restaurant in early 2021.

While Sclafani and Guidroz are partners in three Portobello’s Grill restaurants, the new property will be different. “It will be loosely based on P-Beau’s (in Denham Springs), but it will be updated for the new space,” he said. “The courtyard area outside will be the focal point and the food and drinks will match that.”

While it’s too soon to say what the menu will feature, Sclafani said the plan is to offer craveable, Louisiana-inspired dishes.

Rum House closed in May, one of the first local restaurants to shut down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Caribbean-themed taqueria had built up a following in the six years it had been open.

Sclafani said he wanted to wait a few months before committing to the Rum House space, but he was afraid the property wouldn’t be available for long. “It fit in with the plan we wanted, so we decided to go for it,” he said.

Top stories in Baton Rouge in your inbox

Twice daily we'll send you the day's biggest headlines. Sign up today.

DNA Workshop, which designed Soji and Rock’n Sake, will serve as the architect for the new restaurant. Xdesign will help with the name and branding.

Sclafani and Guidroz have spent the past few months updating Portobello’s, introducing new menu items and remodeling the properties. Business has done “really well” even with the seating restrictions that are going on in an attempt to control the spread of the pandemic.

“It’s such a weird time,” Sclafani said. “You ask yourself do you really want to open a new restaurant, but we find a way somehow to succeed.”

Along with the new property, Portobello’s and P-Beau’s, Sclafani is executive chef and co-owner of Phil’s Oyster Bar.

Email Timothy Boone at