Well, the rumors are true. Drago's Seafood Restaurant is set to close its doors on February 17th, according to owner Tommy Cvitanovich. Located at 3151 Johnston Street, the New Orleans-based eatery, renowned for its charbroiled oysters, has been serving the community since September 15, 2017. However, the upcoming closure has stirred up discussions about the corner of Johnston Street and Doucet, where numerous other restaurants have previously shut down.

Despite the closure of Drago’s, the area continues to thrive with local landmarks like Judice Inn and the recently opened Moncus Park nearby, along with a shared parking lot with the Grand 16 movie theater. Corner Bar, located adjacent to Drago’s, remains successfully open, giving some challenge to the notion that "nothing works" at that location, but this is the latest in a line of restaurants that have ultimately shut down.

Facebook, Foodies of Acadiana
Facebook, Foodies of Acadiana

The decision to close Drago's in Lafayette comes amidst a wider trend of financial difficulties faced by restaurants in the area. Cvitanovich cites a combination of a slow start, the impact of COVID-19, and soaring food and operating costs as key factors in the decision. "We came to Lafayette with great confidence that we could enhance the seafood offerings in Acadiana,” Cvitanovich stated. “Unfortunately, the current economic conditions can only support so many restaurants and the only option left is to close the Lafayette location.”

The closure of Drago's adds another name to the list of more than 20 establishments that have shut down in the past year. Cvitanovich expressed gratitude to the Acadiana community and local partners for their support over the years. Employees of the Lafayette location have been offered positions at Drago's other locations in Baton Rouge and Metairie. Gift cards will be honored at the Lafayette location until February 17th and can be used at other Drago's locations thereafter.

The announced closure of Drago’s has social media buzzing about the future of what may open next at that location. Red's continues to expand just up the street and Jet Coffee recently scooped up the Johnston Street Java space when they announced they would be closing down. Add to that Moncus Park's recent opening and the ongoing success of nearby establishments proves that the area continues to attract traffic, leaving the community to speculate on what type of business could next occupy this notorious corner spot. Whether it will be another restaurant or a completely different venture (car washes have already been proposed) remains to be seen.

Add your suggestion to the hat by sounding off in the comments and let us know what you think should go there next.

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