The Capital Restaurant Bar & Grill hosts open house

Peter Silas Pasqua
Becky Katz, Sonny Graugnard and Debbie Peltier enjoy the open house of The Capital Restaurant Bar and Grill Wednesday night.

The Capital Restaurant Bar & Grill hosted an open house for dignitaries and friends Wednesday night before officially opening Friday.

Owned by Donaldsonville native Jarvis Green, a defensive end with the New England Patriots, the establishment is located in the former Treasure House located at 209 Railroad Ave.

"I wanted to do something special for the city," Green said in June. "I did it for the town of Donaldsonville."

The name represents the city that served as the state capital of Louisiana from 1830-1831.

"I wanted to do something nice with the building when I bought it," Green said. "There is a lot of history in this building and we want to add to it." 

Originally a horse stable, the building features a ceiling of lamella truss. Built in 1927, it served as the bus depot before it was a jewelry and antique store.

Although this is Green's first venture into the restaurant business, the 6-foot-3, 285 pounder completed a 15-month internship at Providence Prime, an upscale in Rhode Island, before tackling renovations. 

Green, a former LSU Tiger, has owned a retail store in Baton Rouge near LSU's campus called Green's Purple and Gold for the past two years.

"It is a dream that has been in the making for three years," Green's mother Marion Caesar said Wednesday. "God has let it come into manifestation. The last year has really been intense. I am just happy that it finally came."

Caesar had previously lived in Boston in the 1970s, where the Patriots are based and the television show "Cheers" was portrayed.  

"I just had no idea God would end up sending one of my children there," Caesar said. "The public can now come and enjoy a place where everybody knows your name. That is what Jarvis says. I like that. I am going to stick with that."

Caesar said her son has patronized bar and grills from coast to coast while playing in the National Football League and wanted to incorporate his experiences into The Capital. 

"Jarvis just compiled every place he had ever been to and brought the flavor back here for Donaldsonville," Caesar said. "The building is a part of Donaldsonville history and we have a passion for the city."

Mayor Leroy Sullivan enjoyed the atmosphere of the new establishment with city employees. 

"This is a place where you can come and have a good time," Sullivan said. You can enjoy the entire 'Avenue' with the other restaurants around here. It is a great addition.

Sullivan said The Capital is something needed in the city.

"Even with all his success, Jarvis never forgot about home and this is a great thing for him to come back and help to contribute to the development of the community," Sullivan said. 

Prince Davis, who is often seen cooking at local festivals, complimented the cuisine.

"It is delicious," Davis said. "It fits right in. This is a very nice place."

Parish councilman Oliver Joseph, also well known in local culinary circles, commended the central location.

"This is very important to Donaldsonville," Joseph said. "It is something different. We have a restaurant. We have a café. Now we have a sports bar."

General manager Phillip August Jr. said renovations took a while but contractor Nathan Hossley added his personal touch.

"It is beautiful," August said. "Our ultimate goal is to bring more attention to Donaldsonville. To give people another reason to come out to Donaldsonville."

Lead cook David Brown, who has over 15 years experience at establishments such as Jackson Square, Monteleone and Mike Anderson's, said The Capital will offer seven different hot wings, boudin balls, alligator balls, fried oysters, nachos, burgers, cheese fries, loaded potatoes, mozzarella cheese sticks and stuffed jalapenos.

Second cook Jason Clifton said the restaurant will focus on drawing crowds for Monday Night Football.

Although Green was unable to attend the open house due to NFL training camp and may not see completed work till September, his twin brother and bar manager Jason Green was busy getting texts from him every few minutes Wednesday asking about the progress of the event.

"We are just trying to bring it to another level," Jason Green said. "We are going to cater to our customers to keep them coming back. We don't want anybody to get bored with us."

Green's wife said Rakia Green said he often spends time at DHS when he comes home visiting and working out with football players.

"Opening a sports bar in his hometown, that is something he always dreamed of," Rakia Green said. "He wants something for after football and wants to give back. He wants this to be for the people of Donaldsonville."

Sandra Cost, Stacy Giroir, Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr., Tonja Aubert and Carol Lewis sample hot wings.