On The Greaux – The building boom continues in Lafayette


New Name, Familiar Feel for Shenanigan’s
April 21, 2009, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Restaurants | Tags: ,

Bennigan’s on Ambassador Caffery is now Shenanigan’s.  An employee told me the name switch happened last Tuesday – and that most of the menu is the same familiar Irish fare.  However, some former Bennigan’s items are off the menu.  This move is not a huge surprise.  Last summer, Bennigan’s parent company filed for bankruptcy and 150 corporate-owned stores closed.  According to Newsweek, about the same number of stores stayed open – they were franchise stores.  Most analysts agree this is one of the worst times ever for casual dining chain restaurants after boom times earlier this decade and throughout the ’90s. 

Ownership at the Lafayette restaurant is not changing.  The Advocate reports Rick Pastorek owns seven restaurants across the state that will be transitioning from Bennigan’s to Shenanigan’s.  The article also states other franchise owners are also making the switch along with building a new distribution network.

If you’d like a great in-depth look at what may have paved the way to Bennigan’s downfall, check out this Newsweek article.  The store in Lafayette has always seemed popular – especially during the annual St. Patrick’s Day Blarney Blast.

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Papa Murphy’s Headed to Lafayette
April 16, 2009, 11:30 am
Filed under: acadiana business, Restaurants | Tags: ,

papamurphysTake-and-bake pizza chain Papa Murphy’s will open a store in Lafayette in 2010 according The Advocate. Carell Grass runs locations that are already open in Baton Rouge. The paper says Grass’ company hopes to open stores in Lafayette along with St. Tammany and Jefferson Parishes. The article says a location for the Lafayette store hasn’t been decided. Take a peek at Papa Murphy’s menu here.  Papa Murphy’s was created by merging two regional pizza chains in the Northwest in 1995.  Today the company has over 1,100 stores in 32 states and Canada.  Ten locations are already open in the Baton Rouge area.



Bella Figura Crosses the Street
April 15, 2009, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Restaurants | Tags: , ,

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After months of speculation, it looks like Bella Figura really is moving out of River Ranch’s City Club complex.  The Italian restaurant has applied for a $70k + permit to renovate 4,200 square feet of space at 2207 Kaliste Saloom Rd., that’s in the new shopping center at Kaliste Saloom and Martial.  I’m assuming Bella Figura is taking over the space where Hub City Diner once housed its second location – which closed a few months ago. 

There have been rumors for a while that Bella Figura was not doing well in City Club.  Crowds thinned when the restaurant moved from its first location further down Kaliste Saloom near St. Pius a few years ago.  Marcello’s now operates an Italian restaurant / wine market at that site.  No word on what will replace BF or when it will open.  Long-time Lafayette restaurateur Jack Ainsworth owns Bella Figura.



$600k Building Permit

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Can you imagine forking over more than half a million dollars just to get a building permit?  That’s how much it is costing Our Lady of Lourdes to just get the o-k to build a new hospital on Ambassador Caffery.  The hospital was issued a $120 million building permit April 2nd.  Lemoine is listed as the contractor.  The new campus will be located on Ambassador between Verot School Rd., and Kaliste Saloom Rd. on Lafayette’s south side.

Here’s another crazy number – Lafayette regulations state the combined hospital / medical office complex have 1,396 parking spaces.  Plans call for about 1,500 slots.  Parts of the facility could open in 2011.



Office Depot Progress on La. Ave.

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Lafayette’s third Office Depot location is moving forward at the new Louisiana Avenue / I-10 shopping center. The Target-anchored center is almost full, with JCPenney, PETCO and other smaller stores now open.

Office Depot filed for a $200,000 permit to build-out the new store (the walls and roof are already up, this will outfit the stores with shelves, counters, etc.). Office Depot already has stores on Pinhook Rd. and Johnston St. Lafayette’s lone Office Max closed about a year ago when that chain closed a slew of stores.



My Cirlce K has re-opened!!!
April 11, 2009, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Acadiana Retail, real estate, Uncategorized | Tags:

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After a few weeks of construction, the Cirlce K at the corner of St. Landry and University is back open for business. The very busy store has been remodeled and features all new fixtures, a modern look and a walk-in beer cooler. This store sells quite a bit of alcohol on weekends, and I’m sure the owners are glad to be open for Festival International. Store workers say they opened early – around noon on Good Friday. Most of the other Circle K stores around Lafayette have been recently renovated – and the rest are in line for work.



Martin & Castille South
April 11, 2009, 7:49 pm
Filed under: building boom, New Commercial Development

Martin & Castille's new facility

One of Lafayette’s oldest funeral homes is expanding on the city’s south side.  Records show Martin & Castille is planning a $2.6 million funeral home facility on Steen Road – that’s just of E. Farrel, down the road from STM.  Martin & Castille operates funeral homes on St. Landry Street near downtown, and in Scott.  The company’s website says the new Farrel location will open in the fall of 2009.  A full-service chapel that seats 250 is included in the plans.