Around Town

Around Town: The Lab expands to Downtown

by Leslie Turk

River Ranch coffee hot-spot opens in lobby of AcA mid-May

The Lab Handcrafted Coffees and Comforts in River Ranch will open a second concept inside the Acadiana Center for the Arts lobby, taking over the vacant bar space in mid-May. The expansion will make The Lab‘s products and craft more accessible to a wider population.

Photo courtesy The Lab

However, owner Thomas Peters tells ABiz customers should not expect the AcA location to be a duplicate of the River Ranch spot.

For Peters, coffee is more than just a beverage; he says it‘s an experience that evokes the senses. Peters believes his concept will be a nice addition to the existing coffee scene in the Downtown area.

"We‘re not trying to compete with others but rather to complement the mission of AcA and The Lab. We‘ve been working on this for eight months with logistics," Peters says.

The Lab served up its specialties during Festival International as a test run of sorts and a taste of how operations would run. "We will be ready for business in mid-May. As for the exact date, you‘ll have to stay tuned to our social media," says Peters.

Hours will be Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. for hot and cold coffees and teas and fresh organic juices. Initially The Lab will serve 24 blends of tea and Stumptown coffee out of Portland, Ore. Plans include the possibility of a grab-and-go lunch menu of fresh, pre-prepared meals from a local chef.

In the past, the AcA has used contract services in the space such as The French Press and Jefferson Street Pub to operate for special events, but now The Lab will operate as an independent, fully leased space from the AcA.

"The Lab has a strong, solid brand. They work hard to make coffee an art form, so it‘s a natural pairing to come into our space," says Katie Choate, development director for the AcA.