BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Downtown Baton Rouge and people living in and around it, have waited nearly 50 years for a grocery store just steps or miles away. Matherne's grocery store was scheduled to open Monday, Jan. 5th. Instead, owner Ernie Matherne said they used the day to officially stock shelves and that they are a few weeks behind.
"You're remodeling a 100 yr. old building. There are a lot of unknowns under the slab, and just a lot of delays, just one thing after another," said Matherne.
The full-service grocery store and pharmacy is expected open on its official opening date of Jan. 22nd.
Meanwhile, upstairs in the 440 building on 3rd St., there are 65 apartments with many that are already rented out. Many of those tenants have started moving in with some minor problems.
"Every new building has a few issues they have to work out and they're aware of it, a few electrical things they're working on and stuff but they're very cooperative and working on it," said Ronnie Scott, who was the first tenant to move into the building.
Downtown Development's Davis Rhorer says US Agencies will go at the top of the 440 building bringing in 100 jobs. They're expected to move into their new offices by February.
Matherne said he expects their official grand opening ceremony to be held in March. Rhorer said the grocery store downtown will help secure a residential lifestyle and hopefully help bring in more of the private sector to downtown.