Downtown Lafayette will have several new businesses opening in the coming months.
Right now, it’s common to see construction crews scattered along Jefferson Street. Renovations are underway at the old Filling Station. Spoonbill Watering Hole and Restaurant is taking over the popular spot.
“A lot of people are starting to create and do things with the buildings that were vacant,” said Stephen Verret, owner of Spoonbill.
“We’ve got Rock’n’Bowl across the street, Dat Dog, Pop’s Poboys… all these people trying to do things with these old businesses that kind of had failed businesses,” Verret said.
Business owners believe in order to thrive downtown, they have to have a balance between day and nightlife.
“Now, you can be here from breakfast to dinner if you want to and through nightlife,” said Verret. “I think that’s what’s really cool about downtown now. Everyone is participating and making this a great place to be.”
Verret says when new businesses come in, owners try to maintain the history and vibe of the original building. The goal is to take the venues to the next level.
“Just to watch the resurgence of businesses coming in and wanting to put money into downtown and time and effort,” said Verret. “That’s what’s really cool.”
Chad Lege agrees. He manages the Omni Center, a multicultural event and art center on the opposite end of Downtown.
“2018 has seen a real up-tick in businesses,” said Lege. “Just in our block, we have The Pearl, which is a music venue; we have an Indian restaurant coming.”
Lege says most downtown businesses support one another and work together to help the area grow.
“Downtown has been a great place to have families and friends come out to experience downtown during the day, and then you can come out and dance or get a drink and what not,” said Lege.