Mid City Beer Garden finally opened last weekend on Aug. 30 after a long wait.
Nestled between Mid City and the Garden District on the corner of Government Street and Steele Boulevard, the bar is a new concept to the city that serves beverages and food in a contemporary, open space. Customers walk into a courtyard-like space filled with plants and ample seating with interspersed metal barstools and metal and wood tables. There is an inside bar with pine ceilings and a separate room for private events.
The beer garden is the brain child of owners Brian Baiamonte and Dave Remmetter, who own Radio Bar, and Kelli Paxton, a former manager at Radio Bar. Remmetter attended the University as a general studies major in the 1990s while Paxton is an LSU graduate. The developers had proposed the project back in 2015. Four years later, their vision has come to life.
“They’ve obviously put a lot of time and effort into this, which is great,” said Eleece Aliano, Mid City Beer Garden brand ambassador and special events coordinator. “They’ve actually been looking at a beer garden, I want to say, for about three or four years, and now it’s finally here. We almost started crying the first day we were open.”
Aliano was a bartender at Radio Bar. She was brought over into the operation two months ago to determine the tuning details and how service was going to be. She said it’s been a great ride so far and that her favorite plant in the garden is a candle stick plant that opens during the day but closes at night. She said servers can answer questions about the plants in the garden.
According to Aliano, the bar has 50 beers on draft and another 15 in bottles and cans. Included are local brews like Abita and Gnarly Barley. The bar also offers wine on draft as well as cold brew coffee and kombucha. One thing it highlight is that it is a neighborhood bar so it has non-alcoholic beverages customers can enjoy, like kombucha from local brand Big Easy Bucha.
The bar also offers snacks. You can accompany a lager with grilled bratwurst on a soft pretzel bun or enjoy an IPA with cheese fries or Chelsea’s famous grilled cheese and tomato basil soup, a tribute to a previous restaurant owned by Remmetter. Aliano shares the dish has been a hot commodity.
“We wanted something that is a breathable building,” Aliano said. “An open air space that people can come and enjoy and basically have a beer in Jurassic Park. You know, enjoy the environment, enjoy the neighborhood and enjoy craft beers. We want to make it known that we are a bar and not a restaurant. We are a bar that happens to have a couple snacks.”
The locale is age-restricted to patrons 21-and-up because of the zoning and licensing in the area. However, Aliano said they are fur baby friendly, and dogs are more than welcome. The restaurant is also home to a frog Aliano found on their very first day of business who seems to like the beer garden as well. They are thinking of baptizing him “Hoppy.”
“Our beers change pretty frequently,” Aliano said. “This past weekend, we’ve gotten to experience how Baton Rouge likes their beer, and they like it a lot.”