Self-serve tap room opens on bustling Burbank corridor
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The area near Burbank Drive and Lee Drive in Baton Rouge is nearly unrecognizable from just a few years ago. It’s home to hundreds of student apartments, along with several new restaurants and other businesses in or near the Arlington Marketplace development.
Mid Tap is the city’s first self-serve tap room. The bar features 48 taps that dispense beer, wine, and cocktails through a RFID chip inside bracelets handed out at the door.
“The self-service taproom, it’s a new wave, and we want to bring that new culture to Baton Rouge,” said owner Rick Patel.
Patel spent a year and a half developing the concept. He considered several locations before settling on the corner of Burbank and Lee.
“We went from Mid City to LSU to Arlington Marketplace, and it feels great to see the final product,” he said.
Anchored by Rouse’s Supermarket, the sprawling development features restaurants, coffee shops, and other business like hair and nail salons. Atomic Burger out of New Orleans opened next door, along with another retail strip featuring Rotolo’s Craft & Crust and a retro-themed diner called Hwy 55.
“The last few years, we’ve had a lot of undeveloped land really smack in the middle of town," said Stephen Sommers, founder of The Highland Group, a real estate and marketing firm. Sommers said the proximity to LSU is the main reason developers are so interested in the area.
“It’ll always kind of be the center of Baton Rouge, and anything around LSU will just really hold its value and just continue to grow and prosper,” he said.
At $56.5 million, the sale of Wildwood student apartments was the city’s most expensive commercial deal of 2018, according to the Baton Rouge Business Report. Hundreds of other units have also popped up along Ben Hur Road, but it’s not just the college crowd moving in.
“We’ve got student living dabbled in the mix, but we’ve also got some really great neighborhoods backed up to some of this stuff. Riverbend a perfect example, very close to LSU, but it’s always been a really solid neighborhood,” Sommers explained.
As new neighborhoods go up, the folks behind Mid Tap hope to attract a young, professional crowd. With a full kitchen and good curb appeal, Patel says the location is an asset to his business.
“To start here early is a good opportunity to grow,” he said.
Mid Tap will hold its grand opening Friday, April 26.
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