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Reviving North Baton Rouge at center of discussion during elected officials' town hall meeting

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BATON ROUGE – North Baton Rouge was the focus Thursday among EBR council members making a big push for revitalization. But members and business owners say they have a long way to go to make that a reality.

“We don't have any grocery stores, big chain grocery stores, in district 7. We don't have any restaurants in district 7,” council member LaMont Cole said during the Zoom town hall meeting. “We want to see our small business owners have an opportunity."

One thriving businesses that recently opened up in the area is Memphis Mac.

“We have the savoriness of the Memphis style rib, but we always finish it off with the molasses-infused brown sugar here in Baton Rouge,” said owner Carlos Thomas, who opened up his barbecue shop in February.

“The busiest day is definitely rib day. It's a steady flow. But it's interesting because we're getting busy every day, which is good,” Thomas said.

Thomas said he chose the location off of Chippewa St. for a reason.

“We want to be a part of this community,” he said.

That was the focus of the town hall meeting, bringing in more businesses like Memphis Mac and economic development to North Baton Rouge.

“We are doing certified sites in North Baton Rouge to look for possible manufacturing opportunities to grow jobs,” said Jerry Jones with Impact North Baton Rouge, the group hosting the town hall. “We just left a site a couple of days ago for a food-manufacturing site, so there's a lot of efforts being taken place."

But everyone agrees this is just the start. Impact North Baton Rouge is partnering with Retail Strategies, a firm that helps grow retail in an area. The company is working on a list of what businesses would work in North Baton Rouge and where.


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