8 Businesses We Would Like To See Take Over The (Soon To Be) Old Mellow Mushroom Building
Is the property on the corner of Johnston Street and Doucet really cursed?
Based on the multiple failed attempts, one would say the answer is "yes," but we're convinced that the right business hasn't had the opportunity to prove this urban myth untrue.
It was the location of Shoe Town in the late '80s and early '90s. Then it was Toucan's. In the late '90s it became Bootie's—a clear competitor to the Hooter's location that opened up on Ambassador.
After that didn't work, the property remained vacant until around 2009 when Serrano's resurrected the corner with a new building and a new restaurant. It was short-lived. The next effort was from Bako's (sp?), which sank before the boat even had a chance to leave the dock.
When Mellow Mushroom announced they would be taking over the space, we thought "Finally, the curse is over!" But were wrong, as Mellow announced they are closing their doors this Sunday.
So what next? In addition to my crazy idea (and terrible drawing) in the video above, here are a few things that we've heard from our listeners when it comes to what should take over the property at the corner of Johnston Street and Doucet Road.
People have been wanting a P.F. Chang's in Lafayette for quite some time. Having one in Baton Rouge is close enough to know how good it is, but far enough to create a demand for one here in town. People would definitely pack it out when it opened, but could they maintain that high level once the dust settles? Especially not being located around other restaurants or major retailers? Most people say the answer is "yes."
This one is a no-brainer. I haven't ever seen a Chick-Fil-A that wasn't busy, but the only issue that would present itself could be traffic flow and parking lot logistics.
This is a store that I think Lafayette would definitely support. Many people use Apple phones, tablets and computers, but the Apple Store experience is definitely missing from the Acadiana area. The closest Apple Store is in Baton Rouge, and it's always slammed. Friends who work at the Baton Rouge location often mention that they have a good bit of visitors from the Lafayette area when it comes to service at their Genius Bar. I'm all for this and any Apple user in Lafayette would probably agree. The only problem is, this wouldn't be the best location for Apple, since the majority of Apple stores are either inside of, or near shopping malls or other retail clusters.
This one may make the most sense because we know Drago's had plans to move into the market until the deal fell through at Parc Lafayette. The New Orleans staple is very successful and would bring that familiar southern hospitality being that they originated here in this region.
Dave & Buster's
This one has been at the top of Lafayette's wish list for quite some time, but with Dave & Busters opening a New Orleans location recently, our chances of getting one has pretty much taken a nose dive. Wishful thinking is always welcome, but even if the New Orleans location never opened up, the property probably isn't big enough for the layout they would need.
Drive-In Component to The Grand Theater
It's obviously way too hot for a drive- to exist in south Louisiana, but the drive-in is making a comeback in other parts of the country. Could it work here in Lafayette? If it had any chance, why not have it run by the place that already shows movies here in town? But, summer would definitely be the worst time to give this idea a try.
Retail-Dining Walking Mall
This is my favorite idea, and you could combine a few of the above-mentioned concepts into a strip mall of sorts. The key to this being attractive to patrons would be the outdoor element of a fountain, seating, and walking paths from store to store. Ice cream, drinks, pizza, and just about any style of food could work and being that you would be splitting up the space for different businesses the leases would be much more manageable. What's best about this concept is that it would compliment Corner Bar, The Grand, and Johnston Street Java. See the video above for a terrible drawing of this idea.
Premium Local Steakhouse
What if we took a place like Mr. Lester's and put it in the middle of Lafayette? A nice white table cloth style restaurant that aimed at making the best steaks in town. The service would be second to none and it would be one of the top destinations in town when it comes to date night or a celebration with friends and family.
Do you think any of the above ideas would work? If not, let us know what you think it would take to break the "curse" when it comes to the corner of Johnston Street and Doucet?