Dig Baton Rouge

(Possible) Bye-Bye Chelsea’s Café

By Hannah Womack

The rumors are true—Chelsea’s Café will close December 31 unless someone takes over. Owner Dave Remmetter said he is sad to let Chelsea’s go, but has decided to focus on other areas of his life. Remmetter is a part of other local businesses like The Radio Bar, Bin-Q Liquor and the upcoming Mid City Beer Garden. According to Remmetter, there is one company interested in buying Chelsea’s, but has not committed yet. If a contract is not signed by the 31st, Chelsea’s will not be open on the first of January. However, if purchased, the potential buyer has said they would not change anything (YAY!).

Remmetter said he had been battling with building issues for the past two years, mainly the leaky roof. He said the landlords of the building do not see eye to eye with him on everything, and that has been exhausting to deal with. Remmetter made up his mind in the middle of October to put Chelsea’s up for sale.

“It has been a tough decision, but I am going to let it go and see what happens,” Remmetter said.

He said he thinks, and has high hopes, of Chelsea’s selling before the end of the month.

“It’s a great place, and an iconic restaurant of Baton Rouge. I am mostly sad about losing my staff, I love those guys,” Remmetter said.

The staff and whole atmosphere of Chelsea’s is comforting and fun to be in. Remmetter said his employees and customers have been great, and he is thankful to everyone that has helped Chelsea’s be the popular place it is today. Chelsea’s possibly closing is a big shock to Baton Rouge. The staff will probably have to answer a lot of questions and concerns, Remmetter said.

When Chelsea’s moved locations from State Street to Perkins nearly 10 years ago, there was a revolt from the city. A Facebook group was created to “save Chelsea’s,” and hashtags going around all social medias; even some bumper stickers were spotted. Let’s see what happens when the town catches wind that Chelsea’s might be gone for good. Chelsea’s has been a part of Remmetter’s life since he was 23-years-old. Although it is hard for him to give it away, he is confident with his decision to sell.

“The powers at be made it clear for me to make my decision,” Remmetter said.

Chelsea’s is prevalent not only restaurant, but also bar and music venue of Baton Rouge. Without Chelsea’s, bands will not be performing as much and local music will be more difficult to discover. Various musical groups perform at Chelsea’s almost every night of the week. Artwork is sold there as well. Baton Rouge will lose a lot of its culture without Chelsea’s. Even tourists always give this place a thumbs up.

So go get your grilled cheeses and tomato basil soup before the end of this year, folks! Thanks for being great, Chelsea’s Café.

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