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New Orleans-style sports bar opens in Fort Lauderdale

Brandon Landry didn’t expect a class project to become his future – especially after seeing his grade.

“My co-founder and I came up with the idea and did it as a school project… we got a C,” he recalls, chuckling. “That professor has asked me to come and speak to the class for the last 15 years.”

His professor keeps calling him back because the C project became Walk-On’s Bistraux and Bar, a wildly successful franchise with 30 locations and counting. Founded in 2003 by Landry, a former walk-on basketball player at Louisiana State University, Walk-On’s recently opened its 30th location in Fort Lauderdale on Aug. 26. The second location in Florida boasts an impressive menu of food, beer and specialty cocktails served with a unique community spirit.

The franchise is rapidly expanding – Landry mentions between six and eight new locations in the works in the South Florida area alone. Each location will feature the same menu of New-Orleans style food and hold multiple TV’s on every wall to allow fans to watch their favorite teams as they enjoy hushpuppies and gumbo.

Of course, when the New Orleans Saints are playing, all screens are tuned in. The team’s Quarterback, Drew Brees, is Walk-On’s co-owner and proudly represents the brand both on and off the field. He calls it “a great place to bring my family, teammates and business colleagues” and, as Landry mentions, is very involved in the company. “Drew bought into the concept about five years ago. He would stop into our New Orleans location all the time and just fell in love with the brand.” Brees now owns a quarter of the Walk-On’s franchise.

More locally, the Fort Lauderdale location is owned by Craig Colby and operated by his son Tyler as the Bar Manager. Colby’s passion for the Walk-On’s brand is tangible.

“When you walk into one of these, you’re just so wowed,” he says. “This kind of thing is never going to die – nothing can kill restaurants with a social environment like this.”

This sentiment rings true in the community spirit persistent throughout the Walk-On’s brand and its devoted team members. Before each shift, the staff gather in the kitchen for a “rumble,” during which they can be heard throughout the restaurant shouting “Who are we?” “Walk-On’s!” What do we do?” “Win!”

Walk-On’s is also focused on supporting the local community. Landry’s outreach plans involving local charities, schools and little league teams to spread the Walk-On’s wealth where it’s needed the most.

“Sixteen years ago, we had two hands and two feet. We had to hit the streets and get involved with the people that supported us. We never got away from that,” Landry says. “We’re not just the next chain coming to town – we’re going to be a little different.”

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.