Visit a piece of Baton Rouge’s 1920s history at Circa 1857

Some of the features on 1857 Government Street date back to nearly 100 years ago.

In the middle of Mid City’s rebirth, a block on Government Street shows its age and history. But age is just a number to the Circa 1857 complex because its rusty roof and peeling paint add to the charm.

“The architectural features were here. I think it’s the design of the whole complex that sort of lends itself to be that eclectic unique spot to visit,” said Tricia Bruno, co-owner of Yvette Marie’s Cafe.

Bruno isn’t the only shop owner to appreciate the unique complex. Garrett Kemp is an antiques enthusiast and owner of The Market at Circa 1857. He says the buildings’ features date back to the 1920s.

Related content: Pro tips: How to shop in an antique store

The buildings here were all built in the ‘20s. The Guru, which is now our events venue, that used to be an auto mechanics garage. And this building was also built in the ‘20s, this was a pharmacy. So anywhere you see this floor here is original to the building,” said Kemp.

One of the spots in the old pharmacy is Bruno’s Yvette Marie’s Café. This lunch-only restaurant has been here since 2008, so it’s a neighborhood favorite. After taking a bite from the menu, you can wander into one of the other quirky businesses.

“People will come into the complex and spend hours on end just between this store and the other antique store,” said Kemp.

With two antique stores, a café, a home décor shop and an events venue, there is a lot to look at in this creative community.

“You can dine and shop or you can shop and dine. You can find just about anything here,” said Bruno.

These businesses work hand in hand to keep the original quirky vibes alive on this vintage block.

“We all sort of have the same community ideas and want to provide a uniquely local experience to Baton Rouge,” said Kemp.

“We have a lot of unique communities around us. You know – the Garden District. Mid City is really popular right now. So I think that we are that unique experience for all those groups to enjoy,” added Bruno.

If you’re looking for something to do one afternoon, stop by Circa 1857 to explore the history and the lunch menu. Roll by the complex at 1857 Government St.