Churchill's

Churchill’s Wine and Cigars is moving into a space in Citiplace after plans to relocate the business to Acadian-Perkins Plaza were derailed by neighborhood opposition.

Churchill’s Wine and Cigars plans to move from its Jefferson Highway location into a space in the Acadian-Perkins Plaza currently occupied by Claitor’s Law Books.

The liquor store, cigar shop and bar filed a request with the East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Commission to rezone part of the shopping center to allow for a bar and lounge. The commission is set to vote on the rezoning at its Oct. 18 meeting.

Mark Dennis, the owner of Churchill’s, said he had been looking around for a new location. The shopping center at 7949 Jefferson Highway that has been home to the business is undergoing changes. Pearson’s, a luggage store that has anchored the property, is going out of business and an Ochsner specialty clinic is moving in.

“This was kind of the favored spot that the team liked,” he said.

Jon Claitor, who owns Claitor’s Law Books and Acadian-Perkins Plaza, said his plan is to move his printing operations and management operations to a space he owns on North Boulevard. Churchill’s would then move into the 9,500-square-foot space and renovate it. About 850 square feet in the space will be rezoned for the bar.

Dennis said the new space will be larger than Churchill’s current location, which will allow the business to carry more wines and accessories, such as glassware. He isn’t sure yet how the bar space will compare. “We’re more driven by retail than the on-premise sale side,” he said.

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About 12 people currently work at Churchill's and the move should lead to more hiring. "We've already looked at one extra person," Dennis said.

Claitor’s would move its retail bookstore into a 1,700-square-foot space in the shopping center that had been occupied by Golden Needle Tailor Shop. “We are not moving out of the center,” Claitor said.

Churchill’s is set to sign a letter of intent to move into Acadian-Perkins sometime this week.

Churchill’s has operated its Jefferson Highway location since 1997.

Plans are to open the new location "as soon as we can," Dennis said. "At least on the retail side, we hope to be open by the end of the year."


Email Timothy Boone at tboone@theadvocate.com.