POSTED: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 4:36pm
UPDATED: Sunday, September 8, 2013 - 10:49am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — It's nothing new that Baton Rouge is a football community with some of the most dedicated fans. Now, the college sports bar that overlooks Tiger Stadium is celebrating 10 years of food, fun and of course, tailgates
It’s been 10 years since Walk-On’s opened its doors for the first time. A decade later the founders have turned a college project into a regional empire.
Co-founder Brandon Landry tells NBC33 News that back in the beginning no one thought they would succeed. Now, he says he’s living the American dream.
"We figured out pretty early in our career that we were not going to be in the NBA so we needed to figure out another way to make some money," noted Landry.
And now their lives are anything but simple.
"It’s pretty crazy,” said Landry. “It was an idea that we formed on a napkin on the way back from a road game at the University of Tennessee."
Walk-On’s was recently voted Americas favorite sports bar by ESPN proving they have made quite an impression on the community.
“It’s been incredible watching the company grow from this one store to the 11 that we have now and with catering that's an even cooler experience, too," said Veach Tucker.
Veach Tucker has watched Jack and Brandon from the bleachers back in college and now he is a key part of their team.
“I’ve done everything from being a bartender and a waiter,” noted Tucker. “Now I am the regional beverage manager.”
And as Brandon sees staff walk in and out of all of their locations, he can't help but look back and be humbled by who he’s met over the past 10 years.
“When servers and bartenders come and work for us through their college days they are just trying to pay their rent and pay their bills and look at them ten years later,” said Landry. “These kids that are coming tonight that worked for us 10 years ago, some are now doctors and lawyers.”
Now after what started merely as an idea has turned into endless opportunities for the duo.
“We looked at each other and said what the heck we have gotten ourselves into,” noted Landry. "It’s been 10 great years and hopefully we can have 10 great more."
Brandon says they are looking at a few other locations within the state to expand. They have even been contacted by Mississippi and now Las Vegas to grow their business.