Feb. 18, 2015 12:12 AM
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The former Trynd building on Vermilion Street is now Century Irish Gastropub.

The former Trynd restaurant and bar Downtown has reopened yet again as Century Irish Gastropub, featuring a simple menu filled with traditional Irish food with a Cajun flair.

The Vermilion Street building’s owner, local restaurateur Nidal Balbeisi, who also has the neighboring Agave Cantina in Downtown Lafayette along with the area’s numerous Zeus Cafés, reopened the location in early February with a limited menu — in time for the first Mardi Gras parades and the immense foot traffic that came with them.

Balbeisi says the concept for an Irish gastropub came about because none is available in the Lafayette area.

“My chef comes from that background,” says Balbeisi. “I’ve been looking at things that he did, and I think it’s a bit more laid back and the food is popular. We have mixed a little bit of Cajun in, too. We have to have a little bit of Acadiana in it.”

The one-page menu favors a more straightforward selection with Irish delicacies like shepherd’s pie, along with chef salads and chicken pot pie. Balbeisi says the atmosphere will also be more casual than the building’s previous concepts.

Over the years, the stately building — a former Masonic temple — has seen several reinventions after Balbeisi originally purchased the property from Stanley Lerille at the end of 2010 and then transformed Stan’s Downtown from a nightclub into the ambitious Italian fusion culinary adventure that was Trynd Café and Nightclub. After Trynd failed to take off and closed its doors in 2012, Balbeisi leased the top floor of the building to Justin Menard and Joe Speyrer who then established Bolt Nightclub, a predominately gay venue, while keeping the bottom floor available for private functions under the name Soirée. “It’s more laid back than before,” says Balbeisi. “People would view it as upscale, and you have to be really upscale to attend and people Downtown want to be more laid back. It’s going to be more casual, but as always we’re going to focus on it being a little bit above casual. I think it’s going to work much better.” — Wynce Nolley

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