BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Baton Rouge has seen some growth and loss with closures and openings throughout the year. Whether it’s the closure of several beloved donut shops, the opening of retail giants like H&M, or the possibility of Amazon setting up shop, it seems the commerce environment is shifting in the Red Stick.
Here’s a list of the top local business stories, to review what happened in 2019 and what’s to come in 2020:
The landlord of the Sammy’s Grill locations in Baton Rouge and Prairieville has filed eviction suits against the restaurant for unpaid rent. According to the suit filed in East Baton Rouge Parish, the restaurant owes over $50,000 in unpaid rent for October and November at the Highland Road location.
Is Baton Rouge losing its only Krispy Kreme? Officials say the Plank Road location is temporarily closed because of renovations expected to be done by this year. This Krispy Kreme episode is to be continued...
Months after voters decided to create a new City of St. George, a number of businesses chose to annex themselves into the City of Baton Rouge.
Tabby’s Blues Box, the famous juke joint founded by late Baton Rouge blues legend Tabby Thomas, is being revived by Thomas’ son at Red Stick Social in the Mid City neighborhood.
Waitr had pulled out of low-performing markets and reduced its workforce in 2019. While the food-delivery service didn’t leave any Louisiana markets, 20 percent of the layoffs were in the state.
A franchise holder of a Walk-On’s in Covington had been fired after posting a racially-charged rant on Facebook about some Halloween trick-or-treaters. Hargrave posted a video from his doorbell camera showing what appears to be several African American children helping themselves to handfuls of Halloween candy Hargrave left on his front porch. That’s despite the fact Hargrave says he left a sign near the candy instructing each child to take just one piece of candy.
Remember the Popeyes chicken feeding frenzy over the summer? The sandwich item is now a stable on the menu, but Popeyes announced in August that it had run out of the chicken sandwiches nationwide. The tweet from the company had quickly sparked a fierce debate on social media as to whether the sandwich was better or worse than rival fast-food chain, Chick-Fil-A.
The mystery of what might happen to the Cortana Mall could be solved. Daily Report reported that “plans are in the works to repurpose the soon-to-be-vacant Cortana Mall into a regional distribution and fulfillment center for Amazon.” The Mall of Cortana has seen a declining retail base for years and the few remaining tenants have since left the mall.
A new riverboat has set sail on the Mississippi River, and will soon make routine stops in Baton Rouge in 2020.
Anthony Saia, co-founder of a longtime Italian deli in Baton Rouge, has passed away, died this year. Anthony and his wife Marie founded the deli in 1978. Anthony had left management and daily operations to his family before his death.
Baton Rouge is now on the list of cities signing up on the bike-share trend. Gotcha, the bike share vendor, launched its fleet of bikes in July 18 after several delays.
Need a ride? Uber expanded its services into every parish in Louisiana in July. Before, Uber operated in some of Louisiana’s largest cities, but rural and suburban communities were previously left behind until lawmakers passed the statewide ride-sharing bill. The new law replaced the previous regulations and was signed by Governor John Bel Edwards in June.