New businesses open on Government St. in BR

Driving down government street, you may still see signs of blight in front of worn-down buildings.
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 3:49 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2022 at 6:19 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. - Driving down government street, you may still see signs of blight in front of worn-down buildings.

According to business owners, that’s not going to last much longer on some blocks.

“We have D’s Nursery behind us and next to us, there are Barracuda Tacos coming. It really is going to be a lifestyle development for the neighborhood,” said Garrison Neill, owner of Parker Barber.

Neill said the area is buzzing with opportunity.

“We opened it two months ago, this is our third Parker Barber location and so far, we have a team of four, and it’s been great. Everyone is busy. We’re getting a lot of walk-ins, which is great, I mean, it just speaks to what the city has been trying to accomplish here by making this a more walkable district,” explained Neill.

At D’s Nursery, Hannah Davis said Government Street gave the business a chance to grow.

“The small business aspect, the local community, the Mid-City community is amazing. They’re just fantastic people that everyone has been so kind,” she added.

One thing that would help them out, is more parking, said Davis.

“We have a small bit of parking in the front that’s probably only four or five cars, and we have a small lot in the back that maybe would accommodate like, eight cars Max, but there’s going to be 3 businesses here very soon, so it’s not going to be near enough,” noted Davis.

Business owners said parking solutions would help attract more businesses.

“One thing that people are always a little hesitant about is parking and you know, people have said they want Government Street to be like Magazine Street, and if you think about Magazine Street, there isn’t a plethora of parking. In many cases you just must get creative,” Neill said.

Neill added they are trying to turn run-down lots on their block into parking, but are running into issues with neighbors against the idea.

Officials hope the new train connecting Baton Rouge and New Orleans brings in more visitors to the businesses on Government Street.

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