|Walk-On’s founders Brandon Landry, left, and Jack Warner, right,
with Lafayette manager Tony Caballero
Walk-On’s, the wildly successful sports bar and “bistreaux” with three locations in Louisiana, including one on Kaliste Saloom Road, is among 12 finalists for the Best Sports Bar in North America contest sponsored by ESPN Mobile. Founded in Baton Rouge by two former LSU basketball players, Walk-On’s New Orleans — the only reputable sports bar within walking distance of the Superdome — is the location in the running for the ESPN title. According to the Baton Rouge Today website:
With more than 150 flat-screen TVs, Walk-On’s has become the go-to destination for great food in a great sports-themed atmosphere. Walk-On’s is the place to go to cheer on the local teams, and to enjoy all the biggest sporting events of the year.
Walk-On’s has already been voted Best Sports Bar in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans, so it’s fitting that it is the only Louisiana restaurant among the North American finalists.
The Baton Rouge blog site notes that Walk-On’s in New Orleans has played host to several fêtes for major sporting events, including the BCS National Championship, the SEC Championship and more. The New Orleans location also served as a hub of events for the New Orleans Bowl in December when UL’s Ragin’ Cajuns took home their first football bowl championship in school history.
Jack Warner and Brandon Landry were 23 and 22 years old, respectively, and on their way back from an LSU basketball game when they had an idea. Despite neither having a background in the service industry, they began to draw up plans for a bar, the kind Tiger jocks like themselves would adore. To educate themselves on the tawdry tales of service industry life, they went to work at several different bars and restaurants around Baton Rouge, from Chimes to Mellow Mushroom. Landry says they worked as bartenders, barbacks, servers, in the kitchen, and every job you can imagine in both back-of-house and front-of-house except management. Whatever they did, they did it right: Walk-On’s is a phenomenal success.
Voting to determine the four finalists for ESPN Mobile’s Best Sports Bar in North America ends Oct. 2; check back at www.theind.com to find out if Walk-On’s makes the cut and get ready to vote it into the top spot.