What is it about restaurants’ Late Night editions that make you feel like you’re getting away with something? CENTRAL Pizza & Bar will open its doors after midnight this Friday for its inaugural Late Night edition, complete with pizza-by-the-slice and a live DJ.

Friday’s late night will be the first of its kind for CENTRAL, which, due to popular demand, will now open its doors until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

It feels like the new restaurant opened in the center of downtown, but it’s quickly garnered attention and a frequent customer base. 

General Manager Paige Hanson described the newly opened restaurant as having a “Center of New Orleans” aesthetic that attracts both families and the party scene, but it makes for a perfect date night, too.

Its windows open the restaurant to the street with outdoor seating on barstools. Its floors are small, white, hexagonal tile. Starters range from burrata with fresh mozzarella to baba ganoush, and you can’t escape the smell of wood-fired dough from the open kitchen. Not that you’d want to.

Friday’s Late Night will have the restaurant’s usual beverages available, but the food options will change. Late Night will extend the restaurant’s 12-hour businesses hours (11 a.m. – 11 p.m.) until 1 a.m. Those out late Friday will have an opportunity to try a daytime and evening favorite in a new way.

“Late Night is an opportunity for the late-night crowd to get quality food in an environment that is similar to our everyday operations,” said Hanson. “For Late Night our cocktails will remain the same as listed on the menu, but the food menu will be what’s changing. Instead of a full menu being offered, we’ll offer pizza by the slice. We’ll have cheese, pepperoni, and chef’s choice. They will, however, be able to order whole pies of those three choices.”

DJ Digital will play indie-pop during the two-hour event. 

CENTRAL is the latest to join restaurants, coffee shops, and the Lafayette Science Museum in hosting late-night exclusive events, which seem to be breathing new life into downtown and sparking fresh interest in local businesses. The change of pace offers patrons a way to pop into places conveniently, and hopefully keep them coming back.

“We see Late Night as an opportunity to be something that downtown Lafayette is missing," said Hanson. "Great food in a great environment!”