Duke's to open second location in Denham; many restaurant changes along Range Ave.

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Almost nine months ago, Range Ave. was inundated with water.

"It was doom and gloom at that time," said Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry.

Businesses in Denham Springs carry the city when it comes to revenue. Eighty percent of those businesses are on Range Ave. If one takes a drive down Range Ave., it seems like life is back to normal, but a closer look still shows some boarded up windows and businesses struggling to return.

For starters, the Piccadilly right off the interstate is not reopening. Instead, it will now be the second location for Duke's Restaurant, the same Duke's whose first location in Watson opened about 18 months ago. Part owner of Duke's, Duke Landry, says Piccadilly's lease was up, they took on about a foot of water, and the building just fell in their lap.

"It's going to take some remodeling. We're thinking maybe three months if everything goes well, but it'll have the same cypress on the inside," said Landry.

Further down Range Ave., the Shell gas station took on several feet of water in August. Now, it's still closed. But Mayor Landry says Shell is planning to rebuild bigger and better. Behind it, the futures of the Wendy's and Subway across the street are still questionable.

"Wendy's, they have taken the sign down, as had Subway, but they're not willing, they're not interested in selling their property at this time, so I'm not sure if they already have a buyer or if they're just waiting to see what may happen," said Mayor Landry.

Further down Range Ave., a Captain D's restaurant will open within the next six months. The Whitney Bank across from it was torn down and they're rebuilding. The future of Popeye's is still unknown.

Mayor Landry says Sonic's owner said reopening is delayed while they fight with insurance and FEMA. Closer towards Florida Blvd., there's construction underway for another new eatery, the Salad Station. Back towards Bass Pro, the Rotolo's is calling it quits, but Mooyah Burger plans to open within a few weeks. Also opening in a few weeks nearby are two new restaurants, Sarita's Mexican Grill and a hibachi diner, Takumi Grill.

"Overall, I'd have to give Range a B+ or an A because it's really coming back and it's coming back strong," said Mayor Landry.

About 85 percent of Denham Springs' antique district has returned to what it was before the August flood.

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