Ready to try something new for lunch?
If you are familiar with the jazz music venue Arpeggios Lounge & Event Center, then you know exactly where to go from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.
If not, head down to 204 N. Main St., Opelousas to get your new lunch fix.
Carmen Johnson, part-owner with her husband Thurman Johnson, let us in to see what they are offering and what inspired this local jazz hot spot to take on fine dining.
"It was a part of the revitalization of downtown, Opelousas," Johnston said. "We wanted to make a music venue and expanded on that. Right now, we have music every 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday of the month, and lunch."
Preserving history and more
Arpeggios Lounge & Event Center is a blend of casual dining with luxury touches. Tables have black tablecloths and flowers; the sound of jazz fills the room. Lunch dishes are prepared by local chefs.
“Katrina Poullard, or ‘Chef Katt,’ is from Evangeline Parish," Johnson said. "She is local and has a flare for local taste. Her mixes are very flavorful. For example, she developed our house dressing, the roasted garlic and Parmesan vinaigrette.” I wouldn’t say we have a certain style, or fall under any category. We just serve what we enjoy.”
A family cuisine
“Our lunch menu is deliciously different from the normal lunch flare," Johnson said. "It represents Opelousas locally, our state of Louisiana, touches from my family and my husband’s family cuisine."
“The garden green salad is ‘Mommie’s Garden Green Salad’ because that is something that my grandmother always loved," Johnson said. "She always had a fresh salad with every meal, mostly stuff she grew in the garden.
"My husband’s father, something they enjoy cooking together is chopped steak, so we offer the ‘Thibodeaux’s Chopped Steak.’ We have the ‘Mingus Beef Burger,’ named after jazz musician Charles Mingus. Our 'Rockefeller Reserve Cream Cake’ is based on the Rockefeller Reserve state wildlife area where you can go crab and fish.”
A unique building
Another thing that sets Arpeggios apart, Johnson said, is the building itself.
“This building has been in operation for 50 to 60-years in one way, or another. It’s been a general store, a drug store, a restaurant and a bar, it was even a house of evening for the women,” Johnson said. “It’s been a lot of things and that gives character to the building. The ceilings are the original ceilings; each different color represents a different room that it used to be at one time.”
Arpeggios might expand in the future by adding an outdoor courtyard, a connection between their two spaces, more music performances, and dinner options.
“Opelousas is a great community and a wonderful place to live, we are growing and we are working on change,” Johnson said. “At Arpeggios, we offer something unique and exciting for people in the area.”
Learn more at www.facebook.com/ArpeggiosLounge.