White Star Market in Baton Rouge announces it will not reopen after coronavirus shutdown

The White Star Market is a new upscale food court on Government Street (Source: WAFB)
The White Star Market is a new upscale food court on Government Street (Source: WAFB)
Updated: Mar. 31, 2020 at 4:10 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - White Star Market on Government Street in Baton Rouge has announced it will not reopen after the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Baton Rouge Business Report says.

The food hall also confirmed the report via Instagram Tuesday, March 31.

According to the Business Report, Josh Hoffpauir, who designed and co-owns Square 46 (the development anchored by White Star), says he got a letter on March 27 from the owner, Clark Gaines, saying that because of the pandemic, the cafeteria-style eatery will permanently close.

“Based on the COVID-19 pandemic and the proclamations that have been issued, we could no longer operate our food hall at Square 46, nor could our vendors sustain themselves," Gaines said in a statement issued to Daily Report.

Gaines reportedly asked landlords for rent abatement, but was denied.

“Based on Louisiana law and the fact that I cannot operate a restaurant in the leased premises, we had no choice but to terminate the lease,” he said in the Business Report’s story. “All of us are suffering through this catastrophic pandemic, especially those in the restaurant industry like White Star and its hard-working, loyal food vendors.”

Hoffpauir claims he told Gaines they were willing to work with him on the rent issue.

“We sent him an email saying, ‘… we are willing to work with you on rent. We knew this was going to cause issues … we believe we should look at this on a month-to-month basis but cannot agree to six months right now.,'” said Hoffpauir to the Business Report.

Some businesses within White Star Market had already shutdown permanently due to Governor John Bel Edwards’ executive order to close bars and restaurants. One of which was Dat’s Italian, the Business Report says.

Another business within the market, Gov’t Taco, was reportedly planning to leave White Star come summer anyway.

ThaiHey, one of White Star’s newest tenants, also moved to a location in Spanish Town, the Business Report says.

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