White Star Market, Baton Rouge’s only food vendor hall, has been open for less than a year and has already seen quite a few vendor changes.
- May 2018 – Southern Plate closed right after the market’s opening, being replaced by Counterspace bakery
- November 2018 – Jolie Pearl moved out. Chow Yum Phat took advantage of the bigger counter and opened Yuzu in their previous space.
- March 2018 – Counterspace leaves to open a stand-alone location
- April 2018 – Fete au Fete, the only creole vendor in the market, closes and is being replac by Mac & Moon, a macaroon-focused bakery
- April 2018 – Chow Yum Phat gets a standalone space but plans to keep their White Star space open
None of this is any reflection on the market. In fact, it’s the entire purpose of food halls. They provide a way for food concepts to open quickly (and close quickly if need be) with significantly lower start-up costs than opening a
The end goal for many vendors, however, is to build a big enough following to leave the market and open a stand-alone spot. The scary side, of this method, is that once you take that leap, the built-in crowd that White Star provides is no longer in front of your counter.
These changes are exciting and healthy for the Baton Rouge food scene, but I do worry for visitors seeking out that great dish they had last time; it very well may not be there when they arrive – RIP Fete au Fete Shrimp and Grits
If you are not one to keep up meticulously with food news, (no worries, we have you covered here!) I encourage you to always enter a food hall with an open mind. Take a walk and check out every vendor – you never know what you might find popping up or shutting down, but there will always be something fresh to try.
Follow White Star Market on Instagram for all their vendor news and daily specials.