Scaled-down sports bar ideally suited to revitalizing downtown
The “Best Sports Bar in North America” is on the move again, and this time its owners have their sights set on downtown Baton Rouge.
Walk-On’s Halfcourt, a scaled-down version of the popular Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, has begun construction in the Lee Overton Building next door to Happy’s Irish Pub, another concept created and owned by Baton Rouge-based Walk-On’s Enterprises, Inc.
“We’ve been investing in the revitalization of downtown Baton Rouge since 2005, when we brought Happy’s and Roux House to the area,” said Brandon Landry, co-owner and founder of Walk-On’s Enterprises. “Walk-On’s Halfcourt is a perfect fit for downtown, bringing a much-needed sports bar along with all the great eats and sights Walk-On’s is known for.”
Walk-On’s has been leasing the 2,500-square-foot space from Overton for several years, waiting for the right time to develop. Landry said they will completely renovate the property to match the look and feel of the existing Walk-On’s, borrowing several features from the new prototype Towne Center location that opened in March.
“Walk-On’s Halfcourt will be roughly a third the size of our Towne Center location, and we’ll also be scaling down our menu to about 20 of our signature items due to limited kitchen space,” explained Landry. “We’ll also be opening up the back-end of the restaurant to ‘Happyland’ behind Happy’s, to add outdoor dining and entertainment to the mix.”
The smaller version of Walk-On’s – voted “Best Sports Bar in North America” by ESPN in 2012 – will serve as a model for future development in similar downtown sites and airports, where demand for the concept is building fast. Landry also plans to test new menu items and other innovative ideas at the Halfcourt restaurant before rolling them out to the larger locations.
When it opens this fall, Walk-On’s Halfcourt will join the original Walk-On’s on Burbank Drive across from LSU, the Towne Center location and sister properties in Lafayette and New Orleans. Walk-On’s Enterprises also includes Happy’s Irish Pub — where “Happy’s girls make happy boys” – and Walk-On’s Catering, a concept driven by the popularity of its namesake’s unique Louisiana menu.
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” — 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.