The name Nick Hufft may not sound familiar, but if you’ve spent any time in the streets of Tigerland, the name Curbside Burgers probably does. Usually, the highly-praised food truck could be seen parked and pumping out burgers for college kids miles around. However, for the last few months, the sight of the food truck has been scarce.
The focus of the food truck powerhouse’s culinary eye has been shifted to something a little more substantial.
Something part bar, part machine.
When Andy Blouin and Sean Malone, previous owners of Serranos Salsa Company, located at Northgate on Highland, announced that the Mexican restaurant that had been opened for over 15 years was closing its doors, Stan Ripp, restaurateur owner and entrepreneur saw room to expand.
Firebelly Concepts, the brand under which Blouin and Malone have other ventures such as Edible Events, has a small partnership with Barcadia and had been in contact with Ripp in the months prior to closing. Ripp saw the opportunity to expand the franchise and was able to utilize an amazing and reliable chef in Hufft, who already has an excellent reputation in the city of Baton Rouge.
Barcadia is still a relatively new chain of Bar + Arcade hybrids that began in Texas, with two locations in Dallas and Fort Worth. New Orleans became the home of the first Louisiana installment of Barcadia, and Hufft immediately took interest.
The bar/restaurant/arcade mishmash holds almost 40 different arcade games, ranging from Pac-Man to Mortal Combat, Beer Pong to Jurassic Park Pinball. There is also a life size version of Jenga that can played on the bar’s front patio consisting of signed 2x4s. The bar is stocked with a vaiety of different beers both on tap and bottled for your convenience whenever your thumbs and pocket change are exhausted.
Hufft contributes to the New Orleans kitchen with his own brand of handmade sausages and sandwich engineering, putting the delicious cherry on top of the fun and drunk confection. Bringing his signature Curbside Burger, KGB, and several notable sandwiches to the menu, Hufft creates Barcadia’s solid savory experience in addition to giving his kitchen staff room to create their own dishes.
Hufft is not unfamiliar to the LSU food scene and the production of both good food and a good time. He began outside of Bogie’s while he was still in school, feeding the drunk and hungry bar patrons of the nearby bars and quickly earned the reputation of serving some of the best food in the area.
Hufft’s name and services spread quickly—his start-up trailer-turned-food truck turned into the famous Curbside Gourmet Burgers, which gained accolades fast. Hufft’s grass-fed burgers struck chords with both the college scene and long-time Baton Rouge residents that were hungry for a delicious, affordable, and very neat food experience. He was even bestowed the title of “Best New Burger in New Orleans” by Eater.com. Now, he will have a hand in both the New Orleans kitchen and the mean streets of Baton Rouge.
The bar is scheduled to open sometime in the summer, but as per most other construction projects in Baton Rouge, there is always some chance for delay. Ripp aspires to continue the tradition of good food and live music that both Serranos and the Northgate area continuously produces, and Hufft is eager to deliver. Daily updates to the restaurant can be seen via Hufft’s Instagram, @curbsidetrucks and is also a treat for any foodie wanting to see Hufft’s creative food adventures.
As for Serranos, its former owners say it’s might not be gone for long.
“Serranos Salsa Company has been the best experience of our lives,” Blouin said, “and we would not have changed it for the world.”
Malone added: “Don’t be surprised if Serranos Salsa Company appears in Baton Rouge again in the future. This is a great concept with quality products and an awesome track record. The history, community service and achievements of Serranos are evident, and our goal is to keep that going.”