Bakery Hill is set to become the city’s second dining precinct and “formidable food stop” with the the launch of a new Main Road restaurant next week.
Ballarat chefs Suzi Fitzpatrick and Dean Bray will open Nouvelle Orleans in the former Main Bar just metres from Catfish Thai, Kambei and the refurbished gastro pub The Munsters Arms Hotel.
The launch comes as City of Ballarat prepares to turn Main Road into a one way street between Little Bridge and Humffray Streets and expand outdoor dining and trading areas.
The emerging foodie precinct comes of the heels of the success of Armstrong Street North.
“We knew it was a really fantastic venue and after walking around we went ‘New Orleans’ it’s just got that really great feel,” Ms Fitzpatrick, who has cheffed at Catfish, Creswick’s Farmers Arms and Eclectic Tastes.
“This area that was once not really notable for its food has become quite a food area. We want to work with these venues to build the Main Road precinct into a formidable food stop.”
The restaurant will serve New Orleans cuisine, including the stew staple gumbo and fried rice dish jambalaya, dry aged steaks and have a “cool jazz vibe”.
Live jazz, antiques displays and wall space for Ballarat artists is also planned.
The food will draw on Ms Fitzpatrick and her partner’s French cooking techniques, she said. Mr Bray, a small goods maker, will “marry in” his meat expertise.
“We just want to offer something that’s unique, affordable and we love this soul food feeling. It’s just a really great theme to work under.
“We want people to leave their troubles at the door and come in and just have a really fantastic time, for it be to somewhere they love to go because of the atmosphere.”
Venue owner Glen Stephen will be the building’s “fix-it man” and will continue artisan bespoke restoration of the historic property.
Mr Stephen first opened as Main Bar in 2009 and has been progressively restoring the 1850s shopfronts.
Nouvelle Orleans will launch at 28 Main Road on Thursday, August 3.