The owners of the popular City Pork and City Slice restaurants are opening a new eatery in Perkins Rowe in a long-vacant space that had been occupied by Applebee’s.

Perkins Rowe also announced Tuesday that Apricot Lane will open a women’s boutique in a nearly 2,000-square-foot spot in the east side of the development, between Z Gallerie and Francesca’s. The store, which is set to open in the spring, will take over the space that had been occupied by Yipsy Boutique.

Stephen Hightower, managing partner for City Group Hospitality Co., said the Perkins Rowe restaurant will be a new concept for the company. The company has three City Pork restaurants in town, a catering business and a City Slice pizza parlor by LSU. The restaurant is set to open in May.

“We’re excited about the menu prep so far, but we’re still putting it all together,” he said. “My vision is to build a restaurant company that can be more versatile. We’ve built trust in our other concepts and we want to bring a more cutting-edge culinary tradition to Baton Rouge.”

The Applebee’s spot, which faces Bluebonnet Boulevard and is next to Orvis, has been empty since June 2016, when the casual dining chain closed the location. Officials with Perkins Rowe had said finding the right tenant for the 5,735-square-foot space was crucial. Hightower said he negotiated with Perkins Rowe officials for more than a year.

Ben Graham, managing director of SVN – Graham, Langlois & Legendre LLC, who brokered the lease said it was a good deal for both City Group and Perkins Rowe. City Group gets a high-profile location in south Baton Rouge that already has a usable kitchen in good shape. Perkins Rowe gets a strong local tenant with a good following, he said.

“Perkins Rowe is a dynamite development,” Graham said. “They’re going to be right on the street with great visibility and parking up front.”

The City Group restaurant is one of two new restaurants coming to Perkins Rowe this year. Jinya Ramen Bar will open a location this spring in the old VooDoo BBQ space next to the development’s movie theater.

Perkins Rowe has 375,000 square feet of retail space, featuring tenants such as Barnes & Noble, Cinemark and The Fresh Market. It also has 135,000 square feet of office space and more than 225 apartments and condominium units.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.