Downtown business repurposes existing buildings - KLFY News 10

Downtown business repurposes existing buildings

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A restaurant called Anne's Table is moving into Downtown Lafayette this week. But the owner says he had to cross some hurdles before getting to this point, because the building needed so much work. A trend with many buildings downtown that is quickly changing.

John Panaro owner of Lafayette's newest restaurant doesn't consider himself a chef but a food scientist.

"I just have a background in chemistry and I started to get invested in food health and nutrition and how they all related to each other," said Panaro.

Panaro's restaurant on the corner of West Convent and Jefferson streets in downtown Lafayette will open on Thursday serving lunch and dinner. And as Panaro will tell you to make his menu only the healthiest foods will survive.

"They all follow the government's guidelines for healthy eating for healthy eating for Americans," said Panaro. And his target clientele is a specific as his menu.

Chef Panaro says moving into a building in downtown is ideal because of its close proximity to UL Lafayette and its high foot traffic, but he says moving into a building down here is not without its challenges.

"I didn't know when you take on an older building there's usually a lot of thing that are going to go wrong and it followed suit." said Panaro.

"Part of what has to happen is to repurpose existing buildings or build buildings where there is simply surface parking lots or thirdly remove and put in buildings that are more functional for today's users," said CEO of Downtown Development Authority Nathan Norris. Norris says that's his focus this year.

"We're in the planning process of dealing with multiple parcels downtown to make that work."

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