Spanish Town grocery store plans outlined

The new owners of Capitol Grocery will change the name of the Spanish Town store, extend the hours for part of the week, deliver groceries and serve a Sunday brunch.

Taylor Blanche, who recently bought the business with his fiancĂ©e and brother, told the Downtown Development District’s board on Tuesday that Spanish Town Market will be making the changes in the coming months in advance of the store’s 100th anniversary next year.

He said the store will sell and deliver essential grocery items and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on Sundays, which are typically not as hectic for the business.

The store, which has served Spanish Town residents for decades, will expand its 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. hours by one hour in each direction from Thursday through Saturday. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Blanche said.

Blanche said the first order of business is making the building handicap accessible and making repairs to the sidewalk, which has gotten a lot of wear from delivery trucks over the years.

Davis Rhorer, executive director of the Downtown Development District, told the DDD board and attendees that Plan Baton Rouge consultant Andres Duaney identified the store as the most important part of the historic Spanish Town neighborhood.

In other business:

DOG-FRIENDLY BUSINESSES: The DDD is putting together a map showing which downtown businesses and locations are dog-friendly and where pet waste bag dispensers are located. Businesses that welcome dogs and put out water and treats should contact the DDD for inclusion on the map.

The idea came from Gayle Carnahan, whose company Nu Vieux manages the pet-friendly Hotel Indigo downtown.

LITERARY INITIATIVES: DDD board member Van Mayhall Jr. said the ongoing effort by a DDD committee to promote Baton Rouge as the literary capital of the state has identified several key initiatives. They include a website promoting the literary history of Baton Rouge, an online template to promote the creation of local book clubs, an inventory of local resources for Baton Rouge authors and the addition of an awards component to the Louisiana Book Festival.

Mayhall said winning the Louisiana Book Festival award for fiction or nonfiction, for example, could be “a huge leg up for anyone who wants to get published.”