Downtown Raising Cane’s set to open next week

The first Raising Cane’s restaurant in downtown Baton Rouge will hold its grand opening at 9:30 a.m. May 22.

The restaurant’s general manager, Stormi Persick, made the announcement at Tuesday’s Downtown Development District meeting. Persick said 45 people will work in the restaurant at the corner of Third and Florida streets.

The 3,000-square-foot restaurant will have a unique design, specifically to reflect downtown Baton Rouge. The restaurant will not have a drive-through window, but it will offer carry-out or dine-in service. It will be open late-night for people coming from the Third Street entertainment district.

In other business:

  • Plans to turn a section of River Road from a four-lane undivided road to three lanes with a bike path were discussed. Laurence Lambert, a principal with Stantec engineering, said the section from Florida Street north to Hollywood Casino will be changed as part of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s “right-sizing” program. DOTD will pay for the work, which should be completed by spring 2015.

As part of the work, Lambert said, bike paths that tie into the IBM building and Capitol Park will be built.

  • Commissioners heard from Mark Hudson, who bought the McMahon house at 310 Convention St. about two weeks ago. Hudson and his wife, Debbie, plan to renovate the building into The Grand Lady, an apartment building. The initial phase, which Hudson said will be completed in seven to nine months, involves turning the home into seven apartment units.

The Hudsons will live in one of the units, while the other six will be for rent. A second phase will put six apartments around a New Orleans-style courtyard in the back of the home. Norman Chenevert, an architect and DDD commissioner, is working on the renovations of the home, which was built in 1905.

“They’re going to turn it back to what it looked like originally,” Chenevert said.

  • Courtney Hunt, the secretary for the recently formed Downtown Civic Association, discussed the group. The civic association is for residents living in the city’s Central Business District, which also includes the Riverview and River Palms condominiums.

Hunt said there are about 80 residential units in the CDB, but that number will increase dramatically over the next couple of years because of projects like the residential tower next to the IBM building, the 440 on Third mixed-use development at Third and Main streets and the redevelopment of the Commerce Building. The association allows downtown residents to focus on issues like parking and public safety, while allowing them to meet in a social setting. The organization is working on a website, but it has a Facebook page.

  • Aristocracy, an upscale clothing store, is now open in the Kress at Third and Main building. The business recently moved out of Towne Center at Cedar Lodge into the space on Main Street that had been occupied by the Kress Gallery. Aristocracy specializes in high-end menswear, vintage clothing, along with one-of-a-kind women’s clothing and jewelry.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate