“Best Sports Bar in North America” plans September grand opening
Shreveport is getting another sports bar this fall. But this ain’t no ordinary sports bar.
Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar was named “Best Sports Bar in North America” by ESPN. And last month, New Orleans Saints superstar Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, bought into the company as co-owners.
Walk-On’s Enterprises announced today that it has executed a franchise agreement with Shreveport native Chris McJunkins, a 34-year veteran of the restaurant industry. McJunkins, who heads up a partnership group formed for the venture that includes former LSU football star Jacob Hester and former LSU baseball star Todd Walker, becomes the third franchisee to sign-on with Walk-On’s.
“I was first introduced to Walk-On’s in the summer of 2013 when my son’s baseball team played in a tournament in Baton Rouge,” said McJunkins. “Some of us dads went over and enjoyed the bar on the first night. Then we took the entire team, along with the parents, over for lunch the next day. You know you’ve got a winning concept when it’s just as appealing for a group of guys as it is for families with kids.”
Over the past year, Walk-On’s Enterprises has been putting the many pieces in place necessary to support its move into franchising. A new ownership group was formed in January 2014, several new professionals with franchising experience were hired to bolster the corporate support team and a new franchising model and operational procedures were implemented.
The company announced its first franchise agreement this January for a new Walk-On’s in Lake Charles, which is projected to open late this year. Then came the blockbuster announcement with the Breeses.
“It’s been a very exciting year for all of us, and we’re really pleased to be moving into Shreveport with Chris and his team,” said Brandon Landry, co-founder of Walk-On’s Enterprises. “Chris has a great background in our industry, so I’m very confident in his ability to translate Walk-On’s distinctive qualities to the Shreveport market. We’re expanding our brand very strategically and deliberately with truly outstanding franchise partners, and Chris absolutely fits the bill.”
McJunkins began his career in the restaurant industry at the age of 15 as a bus boy for Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant. After graduating with a BS degree in Marketing from Louisiana Tech, he served in multiple levels of management at El Chico, including regional manager, before he left the company to purchase a Cantina Laredo franchise in 2006. He still owns the Cantina Laredo in Shreveport, as well as the Windrush Grill at Provenance.
“I believe Shreveport is an ideal market for Walk-On’s,” said McJunkins. “The combination of great food and fun atmosphere is exactly what we need. I know the restaurant landscape here very well, and I couldn’t be more confident that Walk-On’s will be a very popular destination.”
The Shreveport Walk-On’s will be located at 7031 Youree Drive. It will be approximately 8,000 square feet, with seating for 260 guests. McJunkins anticipates opening in mid-September and, in the process, bringing roughly 120 new jobs to the city.
Walk-On’s currently has four locations – two in Baton Rouge and one each in New Orleans and Lafayette. Earlier this year, Walk-On’s Enterprises broke ground on a new company-owned restaurant in Houma, LA, which is expected to open this fall. Other locations will follow in Juban Crossing and Zachary. Several additional markets across the Southern United States are likewise on the drawing board.
To inquire about franchising opportunities, qualified applicants may contact Walk-On’s Enterprises President & COO Scott Taylor at email@example.com.
Walk-On’s Enterprises is arguably the most distinctive restaurant company in America. Its concepts are fresh, fun and original, from Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar — voted ESPN’s “Best Sports Bar in North America” in 2012 — to Happy’s Irish Pub and Walk-On’s Catering. Additional growth lies ahead, as the company expands on its winning combination of delicious, affordable food and drinks presented in an uncommonly warm and friendly atmosphere. For more information, visit walkonsenterprises.com, or contact Ladd Biro at Champion Management at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972.930.9933.