He said he and his franchise partner, Miles Holley, wanted to bring a great sports bar to Ascension Parish, so families and friends of all ages can come enjoy the game while getting some of the best food around.
The wildly popular Baton Rouge-based franchise, Walk-On's Bistreaux and Bar, has officially opened Ascension Parish. The Airline Highway location in Prairieville welcomed customers at the grand opening on Monday, March 26. The opening marks the 15th location in Louisiana and the 18th overall.
Franchisee Kevin Harrison said he's excited to bring Game Day with a Taste of Louisiana to Prairieville. He said he and his franchise partner, Miles Holley, wanted to bring a great sports bar to Ascension Parish, so families and friends of all ages can come enjoy the game while getting some of the best food around. They held two soft openings and a VIP event on Saturday ahead of the official grand opening Monday.
"The response has been overwhelming," said Harrison. "Everybody's excited to have a Walk-On's over here. The whole atmosphere was electric, and it was an amazing couple of days."
In addition to a huge variety of food on the menu, Walk-On's also offers around 50 different beers on tap. Harrison noted that some are seasonal and rotated out throughout the year, meaning there's almost always a new brew to try.
"We're very proud of the craft beers that are Louisiana-made, so we try to highlight a lot of those beers, and that gives us yet another Taste of Louisiana," said Harrison.
Walk-On's co-owner Brandon Landry said the restaurant has grown tremendously since the first location opened at the gates of Tiger Stadium 15 years ago. He said back then people thought they were crazy when two walk-ons from the LSU basketball team set off to open a restaurant.
The franchise is now renowned for its signature Louisiana-style menu served up in a game-day atmosphere. But customers can see where it all began by simply looking at their beverage napkin, which still features the original drawing for the building, minus the kitchen. Landry said they were so knew to the restaurant game they forgot to draw the kitchen on the plan.
"We were 23 or 24-years-old at the time, and it was just what was important to us at the time," said Landry. "It was nice TVs, cold beer, and hot girls."
But Landry said over the years, the concept matured with them. The family-friendly bistro is now much more food-centered with food making up the vast majority of its sales. He called the business a not-so-typical sports bar, in that they offer a wide array of food options, all made from scratch and cooked up fresh to order. The menu features a massive selection that caters to the whole family.
Landry said Walk-On's is a taste of Louisiana in more ways than one. Of course much of the food is cajun-inspired cuisine, but it's also the culture and atmosphere inside. And it doesn't get much more Louisiana than having New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for a business partner, after he and his wife bought into the business in 2015. Landry said he'd been a Saints fan his whole life, and when Brees called him to partner in the business it was a dream come true.
"Whether you're a Saints fan or not, if you're a good guy fan, you're a Drew Brees fan," said Landry.
He said he couldn't ask for a better business partner. Landry said Brees' leadership and teamwork skills that can be seen on the field are evident through his business as well. The quarterback is much more involved in the business than many may realize, and Landry said they're thrilled that Brees is a part of their team.
Managing partner Stick Newchurch said they're staffing 200 people at the restaurant, meaning the new lunch and dinner spot is also creating new jobs in the parish. Applications can be found online or picked up in person.
Newchurch added that it's a great time for opening a sports-themed restaurant with LSU Baseball in full swing and the Final Four just around the corner. With 72 televisions in the restaurant, Walk-On's is the perfect spot to catch any game that's on.
The new restaurant is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until midnight. For more information or to check out the full menu, visit walk-ons.com.
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