Uncle Earl’s, a neighborhood bar on Perkins Road between College Drive and Acadian Thruway, is expanding its footprint in hopes of generating additional business.
The roughly 2,300-square-foot bar, co-owned by Brian Ott, is tucked away in a small strip of businesses next to Juban’s Restaurant.
The bar has previously been blocked from view on Perkins Road by the Golden Needle tailor shop.
Now Uncle Earl’s is expanding into Golden Needle’s old location, which will give the watering hole a prime location facing Perkins Road.
The Golden Needle is moving into the Acadian-Perkin’s Plaza near the former location of the Caterie Deli & Saloon, which burned down in 2010.
“We’ve always wanted to be on the front end of Perkins,” Ott said. “If you don’t know we’re here, then we’re kind of hidden.”
The owners plan to ask the Planning Commission in December to rezone the location to CAB-2, which is reserved for bars. In order to appease members of the highly organized Southside Civic Association right across Perkins Road, developer Jon Claitor said he would seek to downgrade the zoning of the former Caterie location from CAB-2 to CAB-1, which is a designation for restaurants.
Claitor also owns the building that houses Uncle Earl’s.
Carole Ann Brown, a board member for the Southside Civic Association, said she was satisfied with the compromise because it results in “no new gain of CAB-2 in the area.”
Generally speaking, she said, her association opposes new bars along Perkins Road for safety reasons.
“We want to keep it a traditional neighborhood environment and not a bar district,” Brown said.
Metro Councilman John Delgado, who represents the area, said he doesn’t anticipate much opposition to the rezoning.
“Any time developers and the homeowners association can come to an agreement, I’m a happy camper to support that,” he said.
Uncle Earl’s, named for former Gov. Earl K. Long, has been at its current location since 2007.
The expansion will allow the addition of 24 new beer taps, and lounge space with more seating for food, Ott said.
The bar has a menu provided by Three Bones Catering.
Claitor said he has a few other tenants lined up for the development.
On the other side of Uncle Earl’s, a cupcake store called Cupcake Allie is opening Nov. 15. The shop will feature cup cake creations with flavors spanning traditional red velvet to the more adventurous “sweet potato bourbon.”
The vacant property which formerly housed the Caterie, a popular night spot, was expected to be reopened as the Catarie last year, with a slightly different spelling and similar concept, by a couple local business owners.
But Claitor said those plans fell through, and he is now negotiating plans to open a seafood restaurant in the space.
He wouldn’t name the business owner, but he said a deal is “pretty imminent.”