Developer plans rooftop bar for Government Street
BATON ROUGE – Plans for a rooftop bar where a vacant and blighted building on Government Street now stands are one step closer to reality.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Commission voted 8-0 Tuesday to approve a zoning change for the project, which has been pitched by developer Cornelius Quarels.
The bar would be opened in a vacant building at 1700 Government St.
"This location is already blighted," Quarels told the commission. "They have bars already in the area."
Quarels recently opened The Main Lobby—a cocktail lounge with a rooftop bar—in the building previously occupied by Hound Dogs, a dive bar on Main Street in downtown.
A commissioner and neighboring business welcomed plans for the Government Street location, which is located across the street from the Electric Depot.
"He came and talked to me about the plans… and I think it’s a great idea," said Mary Alford, who owns Alford Safe and Lock in the next block.
"I had the opportunity to visit your establishment, (The) Main Lobby, this weekend. It was really nice. It made me feel like I was in Austin or Houston, Texas," Commissioner April Hawthorne said before making a motion to approve the zoning change.
Quarels told WBRZ he may call the bar District 10, in honor of the Metro Council district in which it’s located. He said upgrades to Government Street and other businesses that have opened recently spurred him to invest in the area.
"I’m from New Orleans. I’m used to having a bunch of bars in the area, a lot of things in one area," he said. "People love to barhop and go back and forth."
The Metro Council will vote on the plans during its July 20 meeting. Quarels said he won’t announce an expected opening date until all plans are approved.
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