Dig Baton Rouge

Rising Star

White Star Market delivers an amazing space for the neighborhood and beyond

For a couple of years now, Baton Rouge has been awaiting the opening of White Star Market—our very own food hall. With eight food vendors and a bar, this food hall gives us all the incredible food and drink we can handle. Driving down Government Street for the past couple of years, we were able to watch the project progress, anticipating the deliciousness we knew would live inside those walls. With the Market’s opening in May, we were not disappointed.

“The biggest challenge by far was the weather. During construction we lost 6-9 months in total due to rain, floods, snow and other obstacles,” said Clark Gaines, developer of White Star Market.

In the bigger picture, WSM is just one notch in the long list of big happenings in Mid City. The neighborhood is booming with new and renovated businesses, redevelopments in transportation and promises for much more.

“We hope White Star continues to be a driving force in the emergence of Mid City into Baton Rouge’s most exciting area,” said Gaines.

The Market is part of a larger development called Square 46, a 25,000 square foot building that will house more retail spaces, offices, and apartments. It’s the first of its kind for Baton Rouge and it brings us—Mid City specifically—closer to the fun and functional amenities of bigger cities. For now, what we have is WSM and it’s the perfect one-stop-shop for dinner, a power lunch meeting, or a cocktail between friends.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and interest in our project,” said Gaines. “We believe the team of chefs, owners, as well as our management & hospitality team, are phenomenal and their collective mission is to deliver a great experience to our guests every single day.”

The space as a whole has an industrial warehouse aesthetic with metal, wood, and exposed ductwork. The Market has plenty of seating with tables and chairs and some vendors offering barstools in their booths as well. Each of the nine vendors brings their own brand’s look and feel to their space. There are colorful painted murals and chalkboard art menus to liven up the entire hall and let you know what to expect from each vendor.

“The great thing about our concept is that our chefs can constantly adapt and change their menus or even their concepts as tastes and trends change,” said Gaines. “We will never get stale.”

As for the food and drink offerings in WSM, lack of variety is not an issue. You’ve got Jay Ducote’s long-awaited Gov’t Taco, mobile operations that have set down roots with Dat’z Italian and Fete au Fete, spots we already know and love with Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar and The Big Squeezy, Asian street food favorite Chow Yum Phat, downhome dishes from Michael Mangham’s Southern Plate, and beverage options with Rêve Coffee Roasters and Mouton bar.

White Star Market gave us a taste of their offerings with a limited menu opening just for Mid City’s Hot Art, Cool Nights event on May 11, and a ticketed event on May 16. The doors officially opened on May 17 to much fanfare. The Market is even open for breakfast, featuring menus from Rêve Coffee, The Big Squeezy, Fete au Fete, and Mike Mangham’s Southern Plate. For hours and more information, visit whitestarmarket.com.

Illustration by Season Vining

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