News Briefs

The popularity of Baton Rouge's Tsunami and Lafayette's on a spending roll.

Tsunami BR's terrace bar too popular?

Tsunami's new Baton Rouge sushi restaurant sits atop the downtown Shaw Center, and last Friday, Aug. 26, Baton Rouge-based Daily Report said that the LSU Museum of Art had ordered Tsunami to stop serving drinks on the Shaw Center for the Arts' terrace. The online news service, an offshoot of the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, cited unnamed sources for the story, because LSU reps and Tsunami's owners weren't talking about the dispute. (Tsunami owner Michele Ezell did not immediately return The Independent Weekly's call for comment.)

"Sources say LSU ordered the popular sushi restaurant and bar to stop serving drinks because some patrons had become drunk and rowdy, littering the area with beer bottles and damaging the arts center," stated Daily Report. The news outlet also cited sources claiming the owners of Tsunami and representatives of the museum now have a tense relationship over the matter, "partly driven by a dispute that started small but escalated as each side puffed its chest."

"Tsunami has become a key to downtown development, attracting a diverse crowd of punks and politicians that usually don't mingle in Baton Rouge," continued the story, which also reported the findings of a readers' poll on the fate of Tsunami's improvised terrace bar. According to the poll, and readers want the terrace bar reopened. In the online poll, 91 percent of 1,367 respondents said the LSU Museum of Art should continue letting Tsunami serve alcohol on the terrace, with 9 percent against it. ' LT

Sales Tax on a Roll

Now halfway through 2005, taxable sales in Lafayette Parish are continuing at a feverish pace, outperforming 2004 by 7 percent. From January to June of this year, almost $2 billion in taxable sales have been recorded. At this time last year ' 2004 ended in record-breaking sales of $3.85 billion (a 3.6 percent increase over 2003) ' the six-month increase was merely 2.2 percent.

In June 2005, sales came in at $362.2 million, rising 8.6 percent above the $333.5 million in June of last year, according to figures from the Lafayette Parish School Board's Sales Tax Division. The miscellaneous services group ' which includes hotels, bowling alleys, movie theaters and dry cleaners ' escalated a whopping 30 percent, followed by manufacturing and lumber/building materials groups, which rose 9.4 and 9.25 percent, respectively. ' LT