By Erika Castella
Louisiana-based Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar opened its first out-of-state location in Lubbock this month.
It all started on a napkin. According to the restaurant’s website, owners Brandon Landry and Jack Warner drew the floor plan for a potential sports bar on the back of a napkin. The two played as walk-ons for the Louisiana State University basketball team, which inspired the name of the restaurant.
Veronica Gardenas, staff manager of Walk-On’s Lubbock, said Landry and Warner pitched the idea to a professor for a school project, but received a “C” on the assignment.
“After being denied by six banks, they finally felt a break when the seventh gave them a chance,” she said.
Nearly 10 years later, the Baton-Rouge chain was voted ESPN’s “#1 Sports Bar in North America” in 2012.
The talk of Walk-On’s “southern hospitality” has made its way around town.
The restaurant’s theme emulates the ideal “game day” atmosphere and offers a variety of unique Cajun delicacies.
Texas Tech sophomore and Walk-On’s employee, Hadlea Bothe, said her favorite part of training was trying out several of the chain’s most popular menu items.
“Our bestsellers would probably have to be the boudin balls, the crawfish etoufee and the gumbo – the duck and andouille gumbo,” Bothe said. “Just a few Louisiana favorites.”
A tour of Walk-On’s revealed several exclusive features, including more than 60 TVs, roughly 50 beer taps and custom “pour-your-own” table taps.
Gardenas said the restaurant has only been open for a few weeks, but many customers have already come back multiple times.
“Honestly, it’s so nice to see how welcomed we’ve been by the city,” Gardenas said. “The buzz around town has just been amazing.”
Logan Korchinsky, a senior petroleum engineering major at Texas Tech, was one of the many satisfied customers during Walk-On’s opening week.
“I’m not even exaggerating, this has to be one my new favorite places in Lubbock,” Korchinsky said with a smile. “I mean – I had to wait a solid hour and fifteen to be seated, but I can see it was definitely worth it now.”