The Rum House owners buy land for parking

The owners of The Rum House have purchased 0.63 acres to help alleviate parking problems at their popular new Perkins Road restaurant in Baton Rouge.

“Additional parking was not in the business plan right away,” said Michael Buchert, one of the owners of The Rum House. “We’re knee-deep in this restaurant and opening another location in New Orleans.”

The Red Dog Diner is set to open up on Magazine Street before the end of the year, next to the first Rum House location. The restaurant won’t have the Caribbean theme of Rum House, but will be an old-world-style French farmhouse, serving gourmet comfort food and a selection of boutique wines.

Island Time Properties LLC, a partnership made up of The Rum House’s owners, bought the land near its Perkins Road location for $515,000 from Gettom LLC in a deal that was filed with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s office Tuesday.

Buchert said the land is behind the nearby McAlister’s Deli. It has room for roughly 80 vehicles.

“Parking has been an issue we have had,” Buchert said. The Rum House originally had 52 spaces it shared with surrounding businesses, but the restaurant has exceeded the expected number of customers since it opened in April, causing parking spillovers. “We didn’t expect these crowds right at first,” Buchert said.

Buchert, a Baton Rouge native, said parking wasn’t an issue when The Rum House opened its first location on Magazine Street several years ago. But while street parking in the neighborhoods near that restaurant work, that’s a solution not suited for the Perkins Road area.

Plans are to eventually pave the overflow parking lot. It could eventually become the home for another restaurant, Buchert said.