Katy-area "sports bistreaux" hopes to redefine sports bar concept

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 1/6/22

For sports fans, it’s easy enough to stereotype what a sports bistro should look and be like. Fast food, usually fried, made in a scratch kitchen, with televisions everywhere around the place …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Katy-area "sports bistreaux" hopes to redefine sports bar concept

Posted

For sports fans, it’s easy enough to stereotype what a sports bistro should look and be like. Fast food, usually fried, made in a scratch kitchen, with televisions everywhere around the place and team pennants everywhere else. A place where serious fans gather when they want to watch their team and, perhaps, get out of the house for a bit.

A relatively new Katy-area bistro, Walk-On’s, is working to change that stereotype, aiming for a family-friendly place for sports fans and non-fans alike, with a more upscale menu.

“We’ve got a little bit of everything for everyone, especially in the food,” Steve Canedo, the restaurant’s general manager, said. “Our concept is a family concept. We’ve got games for kids, and our extended menu has a variety of foods. We have a scratch kitchen where our food is a bit upscale.”

And while the restaurant has a sports atmosphere, it’s intended to focus on a broader, more general audience. Walk-On’s brands itself not as a sports “bistro,” but “bistreaux,” because it is headquartered in Louisiana and its founders, Brandon Landry and Jack Warner, are former LSU basketball players. The two became friends during their playing days and decided to go into business together. The chain today has locations in nine states, including Texas.

A walk-on, for the non-sports fan, is a college student athlete who “walks on” to join his team, and does not have a scholarship.

“We have lots of couples who come here, and groups of people who are not sports-focused,” Canedo said. “That’s where we separate ourselves. It’s not just a sports bar for the guys. It’s a family-oriented place where everybody feels comfortable, no matter who they’re with.”

The Katy location, 23213 Grand Circle Blvd,. is the second restaurant in the Greater Houston area. It opened last October in smoother circumstances than its counterpart in Spring.

Canedo, who has been with the company for just over three years, was involved with both openings. The Spring location, Canedo said, opened in the heart of the pandemic.

“On the third day of training, our corporate office had to pull everyone out and stop training,” Canedo said. The restaurant did open, though like with many restaurants at the time, it offered curbside service only.

The Katy location strives to have a local ambience. One can see football helmets from all but one of the Katy Independent School District teams when entering the restaurant. Fans of the newest high school, Jordan, can expect to see a Warrior helmet on display there soon. The restaurant has had spirit events for Paetow High School and one of the elementary schools.

“I’d like to work with all the schools,” Canedo said. “We definitely want to reach out to them to see if there’s something we can do.”

Canedo said Katy has been on the restaurant’s list of potential locations for some time, in part because of the school district.

“It’s an up-and-coming area, a nice area,” Canedo said. “It’s great to be here.”

Canedo said he’s learned that there are many LSU alumni that live in the area.

“I’m assuming that was a good reason they wanted a restaurant here,” Canedo said, smiling.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here