What’s Old is New Again as The Flats Aims to Bring a Classic Burger Joint Feel to Downtown Lafayette
There's a new restaurant opening up in downtown Lafayette called The Flats; and if tasty burgers are your thing, you're definitely in for a treat.
You may have passed by and seen the newly-painted green building at 427 Jefferson Street in the former Tula Tacos space. A large white logo speaks loudly as the words "The Flats" are comfortably wedged between two illustrated buns—a clear wink at the clever double-entendre in this new restaurant's namesake.
The Flats Burger & Backyard is a new concept from two local families who definitely know a thing or two about good food. Chef Collin Cormier and his wife Jasmyne are behind the Cormier Restaurant group—which includes popular local eateries like Pop's Poboys, Central Pizza, and Viva La Waffle.
Back when the Cormiers were in the food truck era of Viva La Waffle, they crossed paths with Matt and Kissy Blanchard who had returned home from Memphis to run a food truck of their own. Both families would move on from food trucks to brick-and-mortar locations; the Cormiers with their restaurant group and the Blanchards with Blanchard's Barbeque on Pinhook Road.
Around 2020, the two families would come together to scout Lafayette for a location to partner on a burger concept they had in mind but the pandemic would ultimately put a hold on those plans for the next few years.
Fast forward to 2022 when Cormier and his partners at Tula Tacos would make the difficult decision to close its doors in late November, leaving a great restaurant space open in the heart of downtown Lafayette. Since Cormier was already a partner in the taco restaurant, it was an easy opportunity to hold onto the 427 Jefferson Street building and finally pull the trigger on the burger concept he had been holding onto with the Blanchards for years.
As Cormier explained their plans to me, it was clear that he was just as much a fan of the Blanchards as he was their business partner.
When you get a chance to open a restaurant with the people who have YOUR favorite restaurant in town, it’s a no-brainer.
That concept is now beginning to come to fruition as The Flats is now in the hiring process with a target opening date of early to mid-April. Remember that double-entendre I mentioned earlier? Well, anyone who has been in Lafayette for long enough knows that "the Flats" is one of our city's many nicknames due to our lack of elevated terrain.
By the way, from the moment you walk into The Flats, you are instantly surrounded by classic, local Lafayette nostalgia that makes you feel right at home. I won't spoil any of it for you, but see if you can spot the vintage Jim Olivier vinyl.
As far as the other meaning of "flats" goes; well that has everything to do with the burgers that The Flats will be serving up.
Over the past few years, smashburgers have seen quite a resurgence as social media has been flooded with these tasty burgers.
While bloggers, influencers, and social media "chefs" have flooded platforms like TikTok and Instagram with this "new craze," these juicy smashburgers are actually pretty old-school; made by smashing the ground beef onto a hot griddle, which gives them a crispy crust and enhances their flavor.
What's cool about smashburgers is that they're not loaded with a ton of fancy toppings and sauces. Instead, they keep it simple with classic ingredients like cheese, pickles, onions, and special sauce. It's all about letting the flavor of the burger shine through.
If you've been to any of Cormier's restaurants, it's very apparent that simplicity is one of his signatures and that will be no different when it comes to The Flats. The Blanchards and the Cormiers are taking a less-is-more approach to this classic burger concept that will be perfect for the area—wedged right between Central Pizza and the newly-opened Sunday's Soda Fountain.
In addition to their signature smashburgers, The Flats will offer a chicken sandwich along with patty melts and house-made chips and fries—perfect for the specialty dip bowls and flavors that are sure to keep customers coming back.
One of the coolest things about The Flats is the fact that both beer and premium cocktails will be "on draft" making them quick and easy to serve along with frozen drinks that will certainly compliment the menu and quench any thirst.
Again, I don't want to give away too much here, but I'll just tell you to be sure to follow The Flats on social media for any and all "off the menu" surprises.
While there are plenty of places to get a great burger downtown, the district hasn't had its own bonafide burger joint since Frankie Burger's short run (in the same building, ironically) over a decade ago. When speaking on the restaurant, Downtown CEO Anita Begnaud highlighted The Flats' one-of-a-kind patio and alleyway that will surely be hit with those who love a backyard vibe.
We’re excited to add The Flats to downtown’s ever-expanding restaurant offerings. Matt & Kissy Blanchard and Collin & Jasmyne Cormier are creative and successful restauranteurs who are passionate about elevating the food scene in Lafayette, creating places for people to gather, and generating more foot traffic in our city center. We are wishing them well and can’t wait to enjoy a burger on their incredible patio!
So, if you're looking for a great burger option to add to your list of local restaurants, be sure to add The Flats to the list and stay tuned as they'll be announcing their opening date soon.
Keep up with The Flats on social media @theflatslafayette and on their website at www.theflatslafayette.com