225 Magazine [June 2022]

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Features local restaurants and bars are 20 Which hosting trivia night a Zachary cheerleading academy 29 How welcomes all


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Garth-quake! THE ‘225’ CREW was lucky to experience the Garth Brooks earthquake firsthand, as both contributing writer Olivia Deffes and contributing photographer Jordan Hefler were in the crowd documenting his April 30 show in Tiger Stadium. Turn to page 34 to read our rockin’ profile of Brooks—and one of the most memorable concerts in Baton Rouge history.




[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com


Just dance I’VE NEVER BEEN a good dancer. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love to dance. There is nothing quite as magical as bouncing in a field or swaying in your favorite venue as the music of your favorite artist reverberates from the stage. Missing out on festivals and concerts these past two years has felt, at least to me, like the greatest hole in life. But something really special happened around Louisiana this spring. Live music came back to life. For real, this time. I know we’ve had bits-and-pieces opportunities to see live music since March of 2020. Maybe a Live After 5 concert, or a singer-songwriter performing on a restaurant patio here and there. As amazing as each of those experiences is, we’d still been missing events like the Baton Rouge Blues Festival. We’d lost our chance to road-trip to things like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Festival International de Louisiane. But not only did those events return in full-force this spring, venues like Chelsea’s Live, Manship Theatre and Raising Cane’s River Center are now bringing touring acts to Baton Rouge again. My personal artist-of-the-year has been Fred again.., a pop and hip-hop music producer who released a pair of albums in 2021 called Actual Life. Each track samples people or sounds from his life—a call with a friend, a random construction worker he met while walking down the street, a poem Issue Date:with June 2022 Adtheproof that resonated him. Some of songs#2 will make you • Pleasetorespond by e-mail fax with your or minor revisions. want dance, whileor others areapproval slower, softer piano-driven • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

tracks. They explore mental health and loneliness, and they just ooze beauty and sadness. Fred records his vocals on his iPhone rather than in a professional studio, because he wants them to sound gritty and unedited. It’s music built for the TikTok generation, for sure. But it’s also music built for a world that just endured a life-shattering pandemic together, a world that right now is craving nothing more than raw connection. Fred’s most famous song is “Marea (we’ve lost dancing),” which samples a Zoom conversation he had with a musician friend, The Blessed Madonna, during the pandemic. During the call, she tells him, “We’ve lost dancing. We’ve lost hugs with friends and people that we loved. All these things that we took for granted,” she says. “But what comes next will be marvelous.” Those words haunted me when I first heard them, back when I was still missing live music. But as this spring’s concert lineup drew nearer, I started to look at them differently. I started to think about the “what comes next” part. What came next was me, standing in Tiger Stadium this spring during Garth Brooks’ show, feeling utterly in awe of the crowd. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be swallowed in a sea of people, all singing the same words to the same song, pouring our hearts out together. There were so many incredible moments that night, beautifully documented in this month’s cover story by contributing writer Olivia Deffes and photographed by superstar music photographer Jordan Hefler. But the one that will forever stick out to me were the words Brooks said to us as he closed out the night: he told the crowd to be kind to each other. To love each other. To me, that’s what music has always been about. It’s common ground, something we can all share. As I dance at shows this year, I’m going to remember Brooks’ words. And it’s going to be marvelous. To dancing,

Garth, online In addition to our print cover story on Garth Brooks, we have some behind-the-scenes video interviews with the country star on our social media pages. Follow along on Instagram (@225batonrouge) and TikTok (@225magazine) for more.


A podcast rec If you’re a music fan, check out the Netflix series and podcast Song Exploder. I love the podcast, where musicians dish on the backstories behind some of their most famous or special songs. It has more than 200 episodes and counting, from artists as varied as The War on Drugs, Cheap Trick, Fleetwood Mac and Billie Eilish.

Jennifer Tormo Alvarez 225 Editor

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This summer will be

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Issue Date: June 2022 Ad proof #2 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

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with our newest

r e m m Su Style s

Publisher: Julio Melara


Editorial Director: Penny Font Editor: Jennifer Tormo Alvarez Managing Editor: Laura Furr Mericas Features Writer: Maggie Heyn Richardson Digital Content Editor: Dillon Lowe Staff Photographer: Collin Richie Contributing Writers: Cynthea Corfah, Olivia Deffes, Tracey Koch, Benjamin Leger, Dana Muller, Domenic Purdy, Zane Piontek, Poet Wolfe Contributing Photographers: Ariana Allison, Wesley Faust, Sean Gasser, Amy Shutt


Sales Director: Erin Pou Account Executives: Manny Fajardo, André Hellickson Savoie, Jamie Hernandez, Kaitlyn Maranto, Audrey Taunton Advertising Coordinators: Devyn MacDonald, Brittany Nieto


Director: Taylor Gast Editor: Lisa Tramontana Content Strategist: Allyson Guay Multimedia Strategy Manager: Tim Coles Account Executive: Judith LaDousa


Marketing & Events Assistant: Taylor Falgout Events: Abby Hamilton


Business Manager: Tiffany Durocher Business Associate: Kirsten Milano Office Coordinator: Sara Hodge Receptionist: Cathy Varnado Brown


Production Manager: Jo Glenny Art Director: Hoa Vu Senior Graphic Designer: Melinda Gonzalez Graphic Designers: Emily Witt, Ashlee Digel


Audience Development Director and Digital Manager: James Hume Audience Development Coordinator: Ivana Oubre A publication of Melara Enterprises, LLC Chairman: Julio Melara Executive Assistant: Brooke Motto Vice President: Penny Font Chief Operating Officer: Guy Barone Chairman Emeritus: Rolfe H. McCollister Jr. Circulation/Reprints 225.928.1700 email: circulation@225batonrouge.com 9029 Jefferson Highway, Suite 300, Baton Rouge, LA 70809 225-214-5225 • FAX 225-926-1329 225batonrouge.com

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©Copyright 2022 by Melara Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved by LBI. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Business address: 9029 Jefferson Highway, Ste. 300, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. Telephone (225) 214-5225. 225 Magazine cannot be responsible for the return of unsolicited material—manuscripts or photographs—with or without the inclusion of a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. Information in this publication is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed.

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F E E D B AC K / / W H AT ’ S O N L I N E / /

Readers reply

Two of our most-commented digital stories


Tastea food truck brings Korean corn dogs to Baton Rouge



First Look: Refreshed and reimagined, iconic Juban’s set to reopen




In new exhibit, Broadmoor Senior High School students shed light on classroom conditions:


“Interesting project. Great job by the students and teacher.” —@sean_gasser_media, via Instagram


Interstate widening will cause growing pains to the Perkins Road Overpass District

“No school in the United States of America should be in this condition.” —Bea Vaughn, via Facebook “Broadmoor High is slated for rebuild or extensive renovations in 2027. No mention of this. Why? Of course there is a long line, but there is only so much money. That said, perhaps the principal and superintendent should be held accountable before we jump to race being the main factor in why this is the case.” —Ben Benton, via Facebook

“Crying, screaming, sliding down the wall at the fact that I missed this.” —@courtlholden, via Instagram “Love the flower planets!” —@aproctorceramics, via Instagram

Analytics and comments are from April 1-30, 2022. Comments have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

CONNECT WITH US facebook.com/225magazine

The Second Annual Flower Fest bloomed with “out of this world” floral creations:




Childhood comes and goes in a blink. We’re here through the stages of your life, with the strength of the cross, the protection of the shield. The Right Card. The Right Care.

01MK7641 11/21


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com



Half of your healthcare is in the stories you share with us. Because before you’re a patient, you’re a person – and what you’re thinking, feeling, and hoping for can help us to personalize your recovery and improve your outcome. ololrmc.com/WeListenWeHeal


Radio reprise

WRKF Radio Drama Club founder and artistic director Timmie Callais and Radio Drama Club sidekick Brian Pope

WRKF Radio Drama Club



xxxx cutline here


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

ONCE UPON A TIME, before 24-hour news cycles and infinite streaming and social media, America got its entertainment jollies from weekly radio shows. Performers, many of whom would go on to work in television, voiced-acted their way through scores of original comedies and dramas, each ending with a don’ttouch-that-dial cliffhanger that kept audiences rapt. The Golden Age of Radio of the ’30s and ’40s may seem like an antiquated art form today, eclipsed by our heavy reliance on the visual. But not so fast, says Timmie Callais, founder and artistic director of the year-old WRKF Radio Drama Club. The auditory arts troupe is producing original radio dramas that air on occasional Sunday evenings on the Baton Rouge public radio station. “We listen to podcasts, we listen to audiobooks, and in natural disasters, which we’re very familiar with, we tune into radio,” says Callais, WRKF’s membership director by day. “It makes sense that listeners would find radio dramas appealing.” And they have. The WRKF Radio Drama Club wrapped its first season this spring with a well-received six-part limited, original series called “The Time Team.” The family-friendly show depicts the adventures of a timetraveling scientist named Dr. Bungles, and two children and their mom. In each episode, the characters travel to a different period in history, where they interact with famous figures and learn something about life and love. The Radio Drama Club’s second season, which starts auditions this month, airs this fall with a series of standalone episodes that will air on WRKF on occasional Sunday evenings at 8 p.m. Broadcasts are also available on YouTube. The first episode of the second season, “Scuderi a La Scala,” will dramatize the life of soprano Sara Scuderi and her years of performing at the famed Milanese opera house, Teatro alla Scala, Callais says. More than 20 local singers and actors make up the Radio Drama Club, each playing recurring or ensemble roles. Callais writes and co-produces the shows, and plays the part of Dr. Bungles in “The Time Team.” Music is fundamental to the Radio Drama Club’s variety show format, says music director Beth Bordelon, a Baton Rouge voice instructor and co-founder of Red Magnolia Theatre Company. Bordelon created the club’s opening jingle and chooses music to fit each show’s theme. She also collaborates with regular musical guests. “I have found this experience to be incredible, and very different from theater,” Bordelon says. “There’s so much talent in Baton Rouge, and there’s nothing like being in a room with people who just want to be creative with one another.” Callais’ childhood in Cut Off, Louisiana, provided inspiration for his interest in radio. He entertained himself with Golden Age broadcasts, including the comedy My Favorite Husband, which then starred Lucille Ball, and the Orson Welles 1938 production of War of the Worlds, which spooked nationwide listeners who missed its disclaimer about a real-time Martian invasion actually being fictional. Inspired by the film Back to the Future, Callais also invented an imaginary time travel game he and his cousins enacted on lazy afternoons. It was the precursor to “The Time Team.” Callais writes each script over the course of about a month, after which the actors meet by Zoom for a virtual table-read. Callais makes adjustments and the group rehearses again, finally meeting face to face for the official taping. The show is edited to fit a 60-minute format. Acting for radio drama stretches a performer’s skills, Callais says. “What’s different about this kind of acting is that you’re imagining everything,” he says. “Every ounce of energy you’re expressing has to come through the voice. It’s really an incredible experience.” Facebook.com/ TheRadioDramaClub —MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

W H AT ’ S U P / /

Welcome back, (real) tomatoes LOCAVORES ARE WONT to wax on about the superiority of seasonal produce, but nothing exemplifies their claim better than the seasonal tomato. The flavor of a locally grown or backyard tomato bursts with mouthwatering umami, its meaty flesh singing with the warmth of summer. And this month, Louisiana’s fresh tomatoes are at their peak. “June really is the best month for local tomatoes,” KEY TERM says Darlene Rowland, executive director of BREADA, which operates the Tuesday, Thursday and One whose diet is dominated by Saturday Red Stick Farmers locally grown or produced food. Markets. “We start seeing them in late May, but June is when they’re really plentiful. In fact, June is probably our best month for produce across the board.” Fresh tomatoes are the culinary Everest of green markets nationwide, but especially so in the Deep South, where they signal the return of white bread sandwiches with creamy mayo, caprese salads and simple sliced tomatoes served as a Sunday dinner side. “People start asking (by April) when we’re going to have tomatoes, because there’s nothing else like them,” Rowland says. Numerous Red Stick Farmers Markets growers are selling fresh tomatoes throughout the month. Look for slicing tomatoes in different sizes and colors, cherry and grape tomatoes and lots of heirloom To celebrate the return of tomato season, the varieties. Red Stick Farmers Market will host its annual Buyers always seek out so-called Creole Tomato Me Crazy celebration in conjunction with tomatoes—and they’ll see plenty of signs for them— the market on Saturday, June 18, from 8 a.m. to but agricultural experts say the term is a general 12 p.m. Along with plenty of fresh tomatoes, the reference to tomatoes grown in the region, and not event features family-friendly activities and cooking a specific variety. demos. breada.org


11 THE DAILY AVERAGE number of fatal, unintentional drownings in the United States. More children between the ages of 1 and 4 die from drowning than any other cause except birth defects. The U.S. also sees an average of 22 nonfatal drownings per day, which often result in long-term disabilities. Louisiana has the third highest rate of unintentional drownings in the nation, behind Alaska and Hawaii.



Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Drowning Data

Keep kids busy

—LSU President William F. Tate IV during the late April press conference announcing that the first phase of work to restore and improve the University Lakes system will finally kick off this summer. The $32 million Phase I includes improving the water quality and reducing the flood risk of the COURTESY LSU six-lake system. Dredging City Park, MEDIA CENTER College, Crest, Campus and Erie Lakes along with a portion of University Lake will be a major component of the Phase I work.

• Collect nonperishables and other supplies to be distributed to VOA’s homeless outreach program, foster homes and low-income senior facilities. voagbr.org • Clean out closets and donate items to Connections for Life, a thrift store run by women rebuilding their lives after prison. connectionsforlife.net • Sort and package food at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, where teens 14 and older can serve without an adult. brfoodbank.org


SUMMER BREAK CAN be a frustrating time for parents eager to keep their kids occupied beyond screens. Volunteering for a local charitable cause is a great way to help young people stay engaged and active. But there’s an art to picking the right activity. Nonprofit organizations often have strict age requirements for volunteers, or they ask adults to serve with kids. But many are making it easier to engage young people. “We’ve set up different opportunities for collecting supplies for the people in our programs, which kids can do at home,” says outgoing Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge vice president and chief communications officer Allison Traxler. “There are also opportunities to serve our clients directly.” VOAGBR operates several different facilities in Baton Rouge that support adults with developmental disabilities, low-income seniors, children in foster care and other individuals. With a little planning, it’s easy to help young people find ways to give back. Here are a few ideas.


Sign them up for volunteering this summer

“A big part of a university community—when you’re attempting to bring in really talented faculty, students and staff—is: What does that community look like? It’s an extremely important recruitment and retention tool. I’m excited to press forward with this project.”

• Donate surplus fresh produce from neighborhood gardens to a food pantry like Hope Ministries. hopebr.org • Hold a lemonade stand and donate proceeds to your favorite charity. 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022


W H AT ’ S U P / /

W H AT ’ S N E W

Buzz feed

Compiled by Poet Wolfe



Bridging a gap Peep the latest rendering of the University Lakes Project. It shows plans for a bridge between the two largest lakes, running where May Street currently bisects the lakes. The first phase of construction will include dredging five of the six lakes. Sediments from the dredging process will be used to build a park at May Street and Dalrymple Drive. A promenade will connect the park with nearby neighborhoods and the LSU campus. The project starts this summer and will span several years. universitylakesproject.org


M A N S H I P T H E AT R E ' S F U N D R A I S I N G C E L E B R AT I O N JUNE 18, 2022 | 6:00 PM Join us for a night of Elvis inspired food, drink, and curiosities featuring Dwight Icenhower, a five-time world champion Elvis Tribute Artist. It’s time to wear your blue suede shoes and rock-a-hula, baby!

Number of businesses the Baton Rouge metro area has added in the past two year, despite the financial obstacles related to the pandemic. That represents about a 9.5% increase in businesses, according to a report from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. The growth exceeds the national average of about 7%. Ascension and East Baton Rouge Parish ranked the highest in the Capital Region based on percent change, with Ascension adding 383 businesses and East Baton Rouge adding 1,575 businesses. brac.org

Enjoy a Vegas-style Variety Show, Casino-style games, Elvis movie themed spaces, and a paddle raise followed by a “Tribute to the King” concert! Delicious food will be exclusively provided by City Group Hospitality/City Pork.

Flood gates





Rep. Garret Graves (R) recently requested $2 million in federal funds to open the Resilience Lab at the Water Institute of the Gulf. Graves (pictured below) says that the research initiative would work to help prevent flooding, decrease federal spending on future disasters and push for economic development, as well as promote innovations for future infrastructure and enhance current infrastructure in Baton Rouge neighborhoods. The proposal did not pass the funding process due to spending concerns, but Graves plans to submit another request to Congress.

Water Institute of the Gulf





Issue Date: June 2022 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

W H AT ’ S U P / /

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Kolaches for everyone The locally owned Kolache Kitchen—known for its kolaches, empanadas and breakfast tacos—is franchising across the South. After the pandemic initially delayed franchising plans, the restaurant opened its first out-of-state location in Key West, Florida, in April. Now, there’s interest in expanding to the Northshore and Lafayette, in addition to the current Baton Rouge and New Orleans outposts. kolachekitchenbr.com

HELLO summer



UP AND COMING New Capital City restaurants to get excited about:

MID TAP owners Rick and Needhi Patel are still hard at work on their new restaurant and bar, which is planning to kick off private events and a reservation-only soft opening in June. Visitors will have the chance to choose from signature cocktail and wine selections, as well as a selection of upscale Indian cuisine. Smaller bites include wings, a charcuterie board option and an Indian Street Board. Brunch will be a multicultural selection. Owners hope to provide a creative and welcoming environment similar to MID TAP.



Tap 65

Baton Rouge’s popular bubble tea spot Teatery will be opening a second location on College Drive, neighboring Coffee Call. The tea menu will remain the same, featuring drinks like brown sugar, hazelnut and “Partea” milk teas, as well as fruit teas like mango and passionfruit. But the food menu will feature new snacks, like popcorn chicken. The new location is planning to open in July or August.





The Mississippi-born barbeque spot The Shed isn’t the only exciting opening planned for Ben Hur Road. Tailgates, a new sports bar and dog park concept, will open at an undetermined date, according to David Trusty, who brokered the property purchase.

Fresh, locally sourced seafood, select steak cuts and sandwiches are just a few dishes to expect at Copa, a new Cruzan and Creole concept by Caribbean Joe’s Cafe owner Jake Boriel. Chef-inspired Caribbean dishes include jerk chicken with rice and peas, and skirt steak with chimichurri. Breakfast will include various benedicts and other Cruzan dishes. The lunch menu will incorporate Southern and New Orleans-style sandwiches, like slow-roasted homemade roast beef sandwiches. Brunch will be served on Saturdays, with a jazz brunch on Sundays. The Gonzales restaurant is slated to open in August or September.

WINNER This local student recently made history when she was recognized by U.S. Congress. Tillage earned the Gold Medal Congressional Award for her initiative, service and achievement. It is considered the highest congressional award a youth can receive, and Tillage is one of Louisiana’s first high school students to receive the award, according to The Washington Mail. Her volunteering, extracurricular involvement in volleyball, photography and student government, as well as her multilingual exploration of South Africa, helped her stand out.


Kelsie Tillage

225.926.6892 | 7620 OLD HAMMOND HWY. 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com Located on Main Street, The Main Lobby opened its doors in February in the old Hound Dogs location. The addition of a rooftop bar and seating area makes this cocktail lounge an ideal spot to sit on a lovely summer day. Sip on themed cocktails and try appetizers like sliders and seafood egg rolls as you catch an aerial view of the hustle and bustle of downtown. Main Lobby is at 668 Main St.

The Main Lobby

WHAT IS IT about the season’s warmest weather that makes us want to spend time outdoors? Despite the heat, there’s nothing better than having your next meal, cup of coffee or ice cream cone served with an extra dose of vitamin D. Back in December 2020, we rounded up 200+ spots for outdoor dining in Baton Rouge. You can find that list online, but since so many new places have opened since then, we thought it was time for an update. Here are a few restaurants in Baton Rouge with patios and courtyards that have opened since 2021 and will have you opting for the outdoor seats when dining in. Where else do you like to go for outdoor dining? Send tips to editor@225batonrouge.com.


What’s new in outdoor dining?





On the

This little market and cafe opened in August 2021 after a successful stint as a food truck. The cute cottage has an outdoor courtyard that will make you feel like you’re enjoying a meal at a friend or family member’s house. Feast on cool chicken salad scoops or croissant sandwiches as you breathe in the fresh air. Basel’s Market is at 5435 Highland Road.

Basel’s Market

Originally a food truck, Rock Paper Taco opened its first brick-and-mortar location on West Chimes Street near LSU’s North Gates. This taqueria is a great place to get a quick lunch and to take in the outdoors between classes or work meetings. Enjoy unique taco creations while sipping on cocktails and margaritas made from agave spirits out front. Rock Paper Taco is at 166 W. Chimes St.

Rock Paper Taco

The Chimes 10870 Coursey Blvd. 3357 Highland Road

Cheba Hut 411 Ben Hur Road, Suite A

Caliente Mexican Craving 1072 W. Lee Drive

The Bulldog Baton Rouge 4385 Perkins Road

Brew Ha-Ha 711 Jefferson Highway, #2A

Boru Ramen 1509 Government St.

Bistro Byronz 515 Mouton St. 8200 Village Plaza Court

Bengal Tap Room 421 Third St.

Basel’s Market 5435 Highland Road

Bao Vietnamese Kitchen 8342 Perkins Road


Grab the leash and bring your four-legged friend down to some of Baton Rouge’s dogfriendly dining establishments, including a few aptly named after canines themselves. Most every restaurant with a patio welcomes dogs, with some even offering a complimentary bowl of water for the pups. Here is a small sampling of Baton Rouge’s dog-friendly outdoor venues. Find the restaurants on Facebook

What about your pets?

W H AT ’ S U P / /






If you’re looking for an open-air environment to study, have a casual work meeting or sip a coffee with friends, try Reve Coffee Lab. With tables lining the exterior, there’s no shortage of outdoor seating at this coffee shop. Take in the warmer weather and sunlight as you try iced matcha and flavored cold brews while getting some work done. Reve is at 8211 Village Plaza Court.

Reve Coffee Lab



Recently opened on Government Street, Spoke & Hub definitely knows how to utilize its outdoor space. With seating along the front and side of the restaurant, you can enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner outdoors. Umbrella-covered tables allow diners to soak in the sun with a little shade. The patio area also includes outdoor lounging sofas to enjoy cocktails and appetizers with friends. Spoke & Hub is at 5412 Government St.

Spoke & Hub





Opened in March 2021, SoLou has an outdoor space that is equally as impressive as its indoor seating. Enjoy your meal under sprawling tree limbs during the day, or indulge in dinner under the large, twinkling lights. If the outside area is packed, you can still enjoy the fresh air indoors when the garage-style doors are open. Cool down with a signature cocktail as you snack on complimentary pork rinds before your meal. SoLou is at 7246 Perkins Road.


With brightly painted picnic tables and a lawn overlooking Perkins Road, Gail’s Fine Ice Cream is a great place to go to enjoy a cool cone to beat the outside heat. With 16 flavors of ice cream and coffee drinks created with French Truck coffee, you’re sure to find a sweet treat to enjoy at any point in the day. Take the kiddos out for an after-school snack or just treat yourself to a midday scoop—we won’t judge. Gail’s is at 3025 Perkins Road.

Gail’s Fine Ice Cream

Sip on mimosas and try a rotating flight of pancakes while enjoying the outdoor patio space at Leola’s Cafe. This brunch and lunch spot opened next to Circa 1857 in January 2021. This outdoor space even features a small stage area for musicians to play and a bar for boozy brunch parties. Get there early and claim your patio spot to enjoy the sunny weather of spring. Leola’s is at 1857 Government St.

Leola’s Cafe


Zippy’s Burritos Tacos & More 3155 Perkins Road

Willie’s Restaurant & Bar 11260 Coursey Blvd.

The Smiling Dog 4215 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd.

Tin Roof Brewing Co. 1624 Wyoming St.

Spoke & Hub 5412 Government St.

Southfin Southern Poké 4321 Perkins Road

SoLou 7246 Perkins Road

The Ruby Slipper 3535 Perkins Road, Suite 375

Rock Paper Taco 166 W. Chimes St.

Rêve Coffee Lab 8211 Village Plaza Court, Building 4, Suite 1A

Red Zeppelin Pizza 4395 Perkins Road

Mid City Beer Garden 3808 Government St.

Light House Coffee 257 Lee Drive

Leola’s Café 1857 Government St.

La Divina Italian Café 3535 Perkins Road, Suite 360

Kalurah St. Grill 2857 Perkins Road

Ivar’s 2954 Perkins Road

Highland Coffees 3350 Highland Road

French Truck Coffee 2978 Government St.

Frankie’s Dawg House 2318 Cedardale Ave.

Fat Cow 4350 Highland Road, Suite B1

Curbside 4158 Government St.

Cypress Coast Brewing Co. 5643 Government St.

Cocha 445 N. Sixth St.

City Pork Brasserie & Bar 7327 Jefferson Highway

W H AT ’ S U P / /

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022




W H AT ’ S U P / /


So trivial

By Domenic Purdy

A weekly calendar of local trivia nights TRIVIA IS EVERYWHERE nowadays. TikTok, Twitter and Wikipedia deep dives give us plenty to impress our peers with at parties. But for a duo of trivia companies in Baton Rouge, it is more than an element of social gatherings. Trivia is the gathering.

Let’s Get Quizzical, founded by Michael Hatfield in 2008, hosts events at around a dozen restaurants around town, including The Overpass Merchant, City Slice, Curbside and more. Suspense Games, founded in 2020 by Spenser Hunt and two others,

Hunt says. “So much of what we see at our trivia nights are a group of friends that get together once a week to come to trivia that weren’t seeing each other regularly before.” Here’s a few of Baton Rouge’s trivia-hosting establishments, with options almost every weeknight.

brings trivia nights to Burgersmith and the Smiling Dog, with more venues on the way. Businesses bring trivia groups in as entertainment, similar to how they might book a band. “People need things to look forward to. Trivia nights are just a bright spot and a way to upgrade a weeknight,”



The Overpass Merchant 6 p.m.


7:30 p.m.

Happy hour runs all day on Mondays for trivia, with themes rotating regularly. Previous themes include Disney night and mustache night, complete with faux mustaches and questions about mustachioed heroes.

Pluckers 8 p.m.

Burgersmith (on Perkins Road) 6 p.m.

Topics rotate at this burger joint, including crowd favorites like a Disney-themed evening. Before trivia kicks off, happy hour runs from 4-6 p.m., with half off most drinks. Different prizes each week include cards for free food, as well as gift cards to local shops like Bengals & Bandits.

Rally Cap Brewing Company

6:30 p.m.

The Smiling Dog

Trivia at this brewery generally offers a little bit of everything. But every six weeks, the taproom introduces a themed night.

8 p.m.

Themes change weekly, with past topics including Harry Potter, Marvel and ’90s pop culture. Winners are rewarded with prizes such as gift cards.

6:30 p.m.

7:30 p.m.

City Slice 6 p.m.

This pizza parlor offers weekly general trivia, with themes like Friday the 13th. Prizes include $50 and $25 gift cards for first and second place, respectively.


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THURSDAY Tiger Tavern Daiquiris



Explore a menagerie of pop culture topics for prizes ranging from $5 to $150 gift cards, along with raffles for free beer in between rounds and $6 mugs of domestic beers. Once or twice a month, the wing spot hosts themed trivia on specific topics like anime, Disney or Nickelodeon.

The restaurant also runs Bullshit Bingo, with a slew of prizes and 10 rounds of bingo. Get there early for happy hour that runs till 7 p.m.

Pluckers 8 p.m.

Test your knowledge about sports during the bar's Tuesday trivia. (See Wednesday calendar for more info on Pluckers.)

Hosting trivia rain or shine, this daiquiri spot offers two-forone double wells, as well as $40, $25 and $15 bar tabs for first, second and third place, respectively.

MORE TRIVIA NIGHTS Suspense Games and Let’s Get Quizzical provide updates, including themes and schedules, for the events they offer on their websites and Facebook pages. Know of another trivia night? Send tips to editor@225batonrouge.com.


Offering various themed nights, like cult classic movies and ’90s pop culture, The Overpass Merchant pairs trivia with specials like $5 frozen Irish Mules, $6 Gail’s spicy chicken sandwiches, and red beans and rice.

Always says she’s fine. Isn’t always. It’s time to talk. The battle against youth anxiety, depression, and suicide begins with a chat. Take the High 5 Challenge, and let’s fight for mental health.

Take the challenge. Join the conversation.

chnola.org/high5 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022


This Month [ J U N E ]

@ BREC FRIENDS + FAMILY INCLUSIVE LUAU Liberty Lagoon June 2 | 7-9 p.m.


BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo June 4-5 | 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

KIDZ FEST Scotlandville Park June 11 | 9 a.m.-2 p.m.


June 24 | 8-9 a.m.


Milton J. Womack Park Ballroom June 18 | 1-4 p.m.





Independence Park Theatre June 25 | 11 a.m.


Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center June 18 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.



BREC.ORg/thismonth BREC does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, veteran status or sexual orientation in its programs and activities.

I N S I D E : Zachary Cheer Academy’s inclusive cheerleading camps

Over/under A plan for the Perkins underpass could revitalize the area, but it faces bureaucratic hurdles first


MANY FANS OF the Perkins Road Overpass District would agree the area succeeds notwithstanding some pretty challenging design conditions. Bars, restaurants and retailers—most of them locally owned—pulse with activity despite a harsh concrete backdrop, noise from two overhead roadways (Perkins Road and Interstate 10) and cramped, poorly marked, gravel parking. The area is also void of landscaping and is flanked by overgrown, undeveloped patches on its northwest side. For years, business owners, particularly in the Perkins Road underpass portion of the district, have mused how the area has the bones to become a model mixed-use destination—if only the city of Baton Rouge would invest in improvements. Now that idea is closer than ever to reality, though bureaucratic hurdles still remain.

PART TWO This is the second part of 225’s coverage of changes coming to the Perkins Road Overpass district. The first story, which details the expected impacts of the Interstate 10 widening project, was published in our April issue. To read that story, visit 225batonrouge.com/our-city.




[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com



1 2

3 4

Rendering of the Merchant District Trail


6 7



1. Beauvoir Park


2. Bet-R-Grocery 10

3. DiGiulio Brothers 4. The Overpass Merchant 5. Chow Yum Phat 6. Rock-n-Sake 7. Pinetta’s and shopping center 8. Zippy’s 9. Magpie Cafe

The Perkins Road underpass organizers created map of the impacted area, which shows how the project would be split into three phases.

In March, a handful of can-do business owners released the first renderings of a landscape plan to revitalize the underpass area. The targeted strip runs in front of businesses like Kalurah Street Grill, Salon Hue and BLDG 5, extending from Reymond Avenue under the overpass at one end, to Christian Street on the other. BLDG 5 owners Brumby and Misti Broussard; Varsity Sports owner Jenni Peters; Moreau Physical Therapy owner Al Moreau; and Chad Hughes, owner of Ivar’s Sports Bar & Grill and the forthcoming Unleaded BBQ, paid for the plan themselves (along with an initial survey of the area) as a way to jumpstart the work. The group raised $40,000 to do so. “We’ve been working on this idea for two years,” Peters says. “The city-parish told us we needed a survey and a plan to get things started, so we chipped in and paid for them ourselves.” The group contracted with Baton Rouge-based Carbo Landscape Architecture to create the plan,

10. Acadian Village shopping center

released in mid-March at a press conference at BLDG 5. The design would transform the area, improving current conditions with a safe, multiuse path that encourages pedestrian and bike activity. Sources of funding are still to be determined for the $2.2 million project, though any public funding would likely come from an enhancement fund within MOVEBR, the city’s transportation initiative. The underpass plan’s main objective is to create better connectivity and safer pedestrian conditions in the popular area. Currently, walkers and bikers are loath to access its amenities by way of the Perkins Road Overpass, with its narrow sidewalks and fastmoving traffic. A safer alternative, the plan proposes, would be allowing users to arrive by way of a new, ADA-compliant Merchant District Trail under the overpass. It would start at Reymond Avenue, flow along Kalurah Street under Perkins Road, and end at Christian Street. New landscaping, lighting and public art would soften

the area’s concrete vibe, making for a pleasurable, inviting environment. Parking in the area is notoriously bad, with cramped diagonal spaces in front of underpass businesses creating traffic jams as motorists arrive and depart. The plan calls for better organized parking, plus drop-off areas that could inspire carpooling and ridesharing. While parking is limited, the plan does not call for additional spaces. The proposed trail features lighting, murals, low-maintenance landscaping, seating and signage. It could spark additional investment in the area, organizers say, and it will connect to improvements that are woven into the interstate widening project happening a short distance away. Those include improved parking in the gravel lots that lie under I-10, as well as a new linear park that extends westward from the current Perkins Road off ramp (set to be eliminated). The Perkins Road Underpass improvements could also connect to the forthcoming LSU Lakes improvements by way of East Lakeshore Drive.

The business owners released the three-phase plan to the public in hopes of gaining momentum, they say, especially now that the adjacent project to widen Interstate 10 is on an accelerated schedule. Though the underpass project is independent from the interstate project, the widening brings challenges to the entire district. Work is set to begin on the first phase of the widening project in February 2023, after which the current parking spaces under the interstate (just southeast of the underpass) will be reduced to accommodate heavy equipment. Landscape architect Jeffrey Carbo credits the business owners for taking on a project with significant community benefit. “I want to commend these business leaders, citizen activists, for taking this on,” Carbo said at the press conference. “This district is of cultural and entertainment significance to Baton Rouge. If you come here on a Saturday, you’d be amazed at the number of people.” 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022



Baton Rouge shouldn’t take its eye off the ball when considering quality of life investments, Carbo added. “We’ve got to begin to prioritize quality of life initiatives,” he said. “(These) initiatives seem to take the backseat, and then we wonder why we’re behind other communities and why our children want to go live in other places.” That might be easier said than done. While an initial plan for the Perkins Road Underpass project has been completed, work can’t begin until a few more boxes are checked, says EBR Director of Transportation and Drainage Fred Raiford. One of the biggest is gaining permission from the Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCS) to create the portion of the trail that crosses the railroad tracks near Reymond Avenue (in the area behind BLDG 5). Raiford says that a second, more detailed survey of the area will need to be completed before the proposal can be submitted to KCS for permission to proceed and add a crossing. Raiford, who has been meeting with organizers from the beginning, estimates that adding the new railroad crossing alone will cost between $750,000 to $800,000.


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Ultimately, the plan mirrors the city’s interest in creating better connectivity, Raiford says. “It’s really some of the most important infrastructure you can put in place,” Raiford said at the press conference. “The mayor (Sharon Weston Broome) is fanatic about being healthy and connecting residential to commercial or vice versa.” Exactly how the project will be funded remains cloudy. “They’re going to have to submit the project to the city for any enhancement funds under the MOVEBR program,” Raiford says. “This is a good project that touches three council districts (District 10, District 7 and District 12), but council members have many requests they deal with every day.” In late May, members of the Metro Council were given guidelines on the requirements for potential enhancement projects. The discretionary funds total $49 million, Raiford says. Councilwoman Carolyn Coleman (District 10) says she would be willing to submit a three-way request for funding with her fellow council members, Jennifer Racca (District 12) and Mayor Pro Tem LaMont Cole (District 7).



Amount raised by a group of business owners to fund the survey and plan to get the underpass project started. The business owners include Moreau Physical Therapy owner Al Moreau; Chad Hughes, owner of Ivar’s Sports Bar & Grill and Unleaded BBQ; Varsity Sports owner Jenni Peters; and BLDG 5 owners Misti and Brumby Broussard (pictured here from left to right).




Path lighting

Trail design

Wayfinding art

An underpass mood board

Geometric trail pattern

Coleman and Racca both indicated their support of the project at the press conference. “I would definitely team up to make that happen,” Coleman said later. “When I look at that project, it’s the epitome of businesses that are interested in things happening where

they are, and they put their money where their mouth is.” The group of business owners behind the project say they also believe they have the potential to raise private funds to offset the cost, once it’s clear what the city-parish will fund and what will be required to pay for the new design’s

Trail design


The project’s proposal portrays the vision for the district, including these inspirational images

clear,” Broussard said at the March meeting. “We are not interested in a 2-foot sidewalk. That is not what we’re looking for. The idea (is) to build something that there can be a lot of pride around. We just have to get this first step started and quit talking about it.” underpassproject.org

long-term maintenance. They’re partnering with the BREC Foundation to manage private donations. One thing’s for sure, says BLDG 5 co-owner Misti Broussard. The organizers don’t want to see a reduced version of what they’re proposing. “We have made something very


Doors open at 8pm | Show starts at 9pm | Tickets are $20 MUST BE 21 OR OLDER TO ENTER.


JOIN US FOR A 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND LIKE NO OTHER! Stellar music, great giveaways and a spectacular fireworks show are all on tap Friday, July 1 through Monday, July 4. Get in on the fun!

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lbatonrouge.com • 866.261.7777 Must be 21 years of age or older to enter Event Center and Casino. Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets. See mychoice® Center for details. Management reserves the right to cancel, modify or refuse this offer without notice at any time. Offer not valid for self-exclusion program enrollees in jurisdictions which Penn National Gaming, Inc. operates or who have been otherwise excluded from the participating property. Gambling problem? Call 800.522.4700. ©2022 Penn National Gaming, Inc. All rights reserved.




THE LAWN VIEWING PARTY 7pm - 10pm | Free to the public Refreshments and beer available for purchase. ALL AGES WELCOME.



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• AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

summer reading June 1 through August 15

Dive right in with East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s 2022 Summer Reading Program:

Just keep swimming toward fun events and reading rewards this summer! Join us for “Oceans of Possibilities!” It’s going to be splash-tastic! Sign up at your local library branch or online at ebrpl.beanstack.org

7711 Goodwood Blvd. • Baton Rouge, LA 225-231-3760 • www.ebrpl.com •


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com


Cheer leaders


The Zachary Cheer Academy’s Firecrackers team offers an inclusive space for athletes with disabilities

JOIN IN ON THE CHEERS Zachary Cheer Academy hosts summer camps for several cheer groups, including the Firecrackers squad of athletes with physical or mental disabilities. Camps are available for children 3 and up. For more information, email zcacheer@gmail.com.

The Zachary Cheer Academy, which has 10 different cheer teams for ages 3 and up, added its newest team this past year: the Firecrackers, a competitive squad of athletes with physical or mental disabilities.

IN ZACHARY, THERE is a group of cheerleaders bustling with grit. At the Zachary Cheer Academy, 10 different teams spend their days stunting, tumbling and dancing. But its newest team, the Firecrackers, a competitive squad of athletes with physical or mental disabilities, has had a particularly memorable year. ZCA owner Jessica Stott began the team this past year, after ZCA junior coach and Zachary High School special educator Jamie Byrd’s high school students were invited to join Stott’s cheerleaders during Friday night football games. “That turned into running out the flags and cheering with the other cheerleaders during the games,” Byrd recalls. “I realized all these students want is to have friends and be included. Seeing the talent on the sidelines really made me think we could have a whole team.” Stott and Byrd made a call on social media, asking for sponsors through the community. They received enough funding to cover the entire year. “These girls work so hard in every aspect of their life, and cheer is a great hour of just pure fun. Some of the girls just started walking independently a few years ago, and now they’re doing forward rolls,” Byrd says. Zachary Cheer Academy began nearly 15 years ago. At the time, the gym hosted only recreational cheerleading. Since then, the team has grown and ownership has changed hands. Its facility closed during the pandemic due to COVID19 restrictions. That’s when Stott decided to take a gamble and purchase the rights to Zachary Cheer Academy and the building that nurtures the athletes. “I have two daughters that are in cheer, and I was like, ‘Well heck, I’m spending all my time here anyway,’” Stott says. “Although I bought the gym 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022



“I can see their confidence blooming every week. Everyone needs something to be proud of.” —Erin Bentley, the mother of one of the Firecrackers

in the middle of COVID, I told myself, ‘We’ve got this. We’re going to make this work.’” Stott has worked to grow all-star competition opportunities for all 10 of the academy’s teams. The Firecrackers participated in its first competition, the Novice Cheer Abilities division, in March. Although the division doesn’t place teams, the team says it had a blast. Erin Bentley, the mother of one of the Firecrackers, says the team has had a positive impact on her daughter. “I’m most thankful that my daughter and the rest of the girls have something they can put their heart into and be


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

proud of,” Bentley says. “I can see their confidence blooming every week. Everyone needs something to be proud of, and this team does just that.” The goal of the Firecrackers is to offer an all-inclusive space in athletics, Stott says. “We want everyone to be able to experience the joy of being on a team, teamwork, dedication, and sportsmanship,” she says. “Every child deserves their moment to shine, and we can help bring out something special in these athletes.” Because helping them to see their true potential through cheer, she says, is priceless.

The Firecrackers participated in its first competition this spring.

• AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329


EXCEL SERVICES CONSULT Use my online calendar to schedule consultation in person or via video. During our consult we will get to know each other and set clear expectations for both ends.

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Available for conferences, school/university events, webinars, virtual events etc. Expertise in higher education, leadership, job skills training and college and career readiness. If your organization is interested, please contact me at info@hmofed.com LE AR N MORE BY CALLING US O R VI SI T I N G THE WEBSITE BELO W 225-627-3009 • WWW.HMOFED.COM

Higher Minds of Education 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022


I AM 225 //

Teiadra Quiñones TEIADRA “CALI KILO” QUIÑONES was only 11 when she made her first song. She produced the beat—a remix of Far East Movement’s “Like a G6”—on the free music software Audacity and recorded the vocals through the mic on a pair of headphones. The track displayed “everything that makes a song sound bad,” she says today with a laugh. But it was a start. And from there, the music didn’t stop. Now 24 and better known as Cali Kilo, Quiñones boasts a vast discography of two full-length albums and more than 20 singles and EPs, which have garnered her attention and acclaim both in the local and national rap scene. She’s known for her energy and exuberance both in her live performances and on the verses she delivers in the studio–which combine for a certain je ne sais quoi she calls “Louisiana hot sauce.” “You know when you put that hot sauce on your tongue, and it’s like an ‘Ooh!’ It’s like a kick,” she says. “I got that kick. That’s me. I’m that feeling.” What that kick sounds like is bombastic, punchy and often humorous lyrics laid over a bed of hard-hitting, bounce-influenced beats that Quiñones almost invariably produces herself. In fact, she started off producing before she picked up the mic, drawing on the knowledge of classical music she developed playing trombone and baritone in ensembles at Belaire High School. It was in concert and marching band where Quiñones first felt her love for music, and it was with the computer and beatpad that she developed her ear for hip-hop. Looking back, though, Quiñones says it’s been no cakewalk getting to where she is. Her upbringing was rocky. Her paternal Hispanic heritage—that she’s now proud to represent and incorporate into her music—caught her a lot of grief as a kid. She says she was often bullied in school, gravitating toward sports and music as a way to bridge the prejudice that isolated her from her peers. Today, she says she hears almost daily from people who used to ridicule her, people who congratulate and affirm her as though they’ve been in her corner all along. She calls it the “ultimate lesson” she’s learned over her career: self-reliance, coupled with a dose of distrustful skepticism. That independence means she films and directs all her own videos and, in addition to producing, she spent a long time engineering all her own work before she recently entrusted it to local engineer Audio Abuse. In addition to rapping and producing, much of Quiñones’ day-to-day work comprises directing and shooting videos and photos for other rappers. There’s another element of Quiñones’ heritage she says has been an obstacle: being from Louisiana. Proud as she is to represent Baton Rouge—she has it tattooed across her stomach—she says the rap scene here has a ways to go before it can compete with other hip-hop capitals like Atlanta and Los Angeles. And while she knows the city’s murder rate is no joke, she also feels that, because some of the local music that has reached national acclaim represents the more violent side of life here, the identity the rest of the nation associates with the city exaggerates the violence. She says that leads musicians to overstate that violence because they think it’s what people want to hear from Baton Rouge hip-hop. “It’s aggravating because they think that’s their easy ticket out,” Quiñones says. “To me, rap out here is like realistic fiction.” That’s part of the reason she wants her music to be fun. To make heads bob and feet tap. She wants to provide an escape from the pessimism that tends to weigh down the city’s spirit—and give people that enlivening and rejuvenating dose of “Louisiana hot sauce.” Find her on Instagram at @officialcalikilo

“To me, (Baton Rouge) rap is like realistic fiction.”


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Plan a visit today at latech.edu/visit



225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022




[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com


Garth Brooks rocked Baton Rouge with an earth-shaking quake in Tiger Stadium. And throughout his visit, the country legend proved to be just as down-to-earth B Y O LIVI A DEF F ES // P HOTOS BY JORDA N HEF L ER

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022



“LSU is one of the COOLEST PLACES on the planet.” —Garth Brooks


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com


GARTH BROOKS NEVER considered himself a “cool kid.” As the best-selling artist in the U.S.— and with countless awards and broken records to his name—that may be hard to believe. But it’s true. He’s still in disbelief that younger generations look up to him like he looked up to Merle Haggard and Hank Williams. He finds it hard to put himself in a category with these country greats. Still, for a guy who has played for thousands of people across the world, you’d think by now he’d consider himself a seasoned pro. On the eve of his Tiger Stadium debut, though, he’s a little nervous. He’s afraid of disappointing the crowd. “You don’t win until you play the game,” he says the day before the big show. “The last thing I want to do is come out and disappoint 100,000 people. So my job is to keep that from happening all night.” In fact, there have been 102,000 tickets claimed for this sold-out stop on the Garth Brooks Stadium Tour. LSU is about to host the second-largest stadium show in the United States. No pressure, right? Nervous or not, the historic significance of this show has Brooks fired up. This is a show that will surely put Baton Rouge in the national headlines before the weekend is over. “This is going to be loud. This is going to be stupid. And it’s going to be all night long,” he promises reporters at an LSU press conference the Friday afternoon before the show.

Fast forward a little more than 24 hours, and as one of the thousands of people packed into Tiger Stadium the next night, I saw Brooks’ prediction come true. He serenaded the crowd for more than three hours with 34 songs. And though the show was “long, loud and stupid,” none of us in the crowd wanted it to end. I don’t think Brooks wanted it to, either. Seen from the stage’s big screens, the look of awe on Brooks’ face and twinkle in his eye made one thing clear: This night was just as special to him as it was to Baton Rouge. The love this city shows to Brooks is something he still can’t wrap his head around. Though he’s an Oklahoma State University alum himself, he can’t deny this place owns a special spot in his heart. “LSU is one of the coolest places on the planet,” Brooks tells us at the press conference. “You’re viewed that way from everybody outside because you’re not part of some big conglomerate, yet you’re still national champions. You’re still proud, and your colors stick out. So to get a nod from the cool kids, it’s very sweet.” •

How many times has the average Baton Rouge resident heard Garth Brooks’ voice blaring over speakers? If you regularly attend LSU sporting events or festivals around town, by now you’ve probably lost count. So, when I find out I’ll be interviewing Garth Brooks, I’ll confess: I’m arguably more nervous than Brooks is ahead of his sold-out show. This is the guy who I heard on my parents’ car radio growing up. He’s the voice behind the songs that soundtracked my college years. He’s one of the biggest country music acts of all time. No pressure, right? When he walks into the room for

the press conference wearing blue jeans and a Carhartt hoodie, it hits me. Brooks is a normal guy—who just so happened to sell out a concert in Tiger Stadium in less than two hours. Even with a room full of cameras, he is as casual as ever. He’s so comfortable, it makes me feel comfortable. He jokes with me and the other reporters. He is just as interested in asking us questions as we are in learning about him. He wants to know the name of each person in the room. He even polls us about Baton Rouge’s best pizza restaurants. Yes, the night before one of his biggest shows, Garth Brooks just wants pizza for dinner. By the time he’s admitted he’s nervous about the show, my own anxiety has faded. To know that a big star like him gets nervous too makes the rest of us feel OK. When it’s my turn to speak with Brooks one-on-one, he’s already remembered my name from the press conference introductions. He lets me ask as many questions as I want, and even asks me about my journalism background. He shares he also studied journalism in college. But of course, he says, “this music thing” took off instead. When I thank him for the surreal experience, he gives me a kind smile and a hug. It turns out Brooks is a normal, humble, funny guy. No pressure at all. •

Before the iconic Saturday night in Tiger Stadium, Garth Brooks hadn’t performed in Baton Rouge for 24 years. So, like many at the April 30 show, I had never had the pleasure of seeing him in concert. After navigating traffic, parking and the crowds of tailgaters—yes, the energy on campus was akin to a fall football Saturday—I finally take my seat in the stadium. The audience is

BIG PICTURE: What the concert meant for Baton Rouge

• Visit Baton Rouge invested $250,000 in sponsoring the event, in hopes that the publicity generated from the show would make more events like this possible in the future. • Area hotels broke records, bringing in nearly $1.6 million on April 30. Hotels compared tourism levels to those seen during Alabama game weekends or the Bayou Country Superfest. • With so many traveling to the event, Visit Baton Rouge used the opportunity to promote other events happening, such as Live After Five, and draw visitors to restaurants and shops offering specials over the weekend. • Post-coverage of the show was featured in national outlets ranging from NPR to Sports Illustrated to People magazine. • Hundreds of videos and photos were uploaded to social media following the show. If you live in Baton Rouge, there’s almost no chance you woke up Sunday morning and didn’t see at least one person in your feed reminiscing about the performance.

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022



“Thanks for letting us be a small piece of thread in the family and the fabric of the LSU Tigers.” —Garth Brooks


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Number of hours it took for all 102,000 tickets to the show to sell out

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At a press conference at LSU the Friday afternoon before the concert, Brooks answers reporters’ questions.


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com


universally giddy. We are about to witness Baton Rouge history. It’s going to be a big night for everyone. A clock on the big screens in the stadium counts down the last five minutes before the show. Then, Brooks emerges, now dressed more like the country music star he is. He’d traded yesterday’s flatbill ballcap for a cowboy hat and his hoodie for a flannel. He still dons blue jeans, only now they are dressed up with a huge, shining belt buckle. From the moment he takes the stage, he is instantly in his element. The stage’s 360-degree design allows Brooks to see every person who came to see him take the 17,000-squarefoot stage that sits around where the 20-yard line would be on a game day. He hits all sides of the stage as he sings, giving each section of the crowd their own moment. A 60-year-old superstar, he bounces across the floor with kid-like energy. A weather app clocks tonight’s temperatures in the 70s, but the lights and the crowds (and probably the palpable excitement, too) make it feel at least 10 degrees warmer. As Brooks bounds across the stage singing the first notes of “All Day Long,” it doesn’t take long for him to work up a sweat. Even without the sweltering Louisiana humidity or the electric stage lighting playing a part, he’d probably still be sweating—as he pours his soul into every last song.

Record-breaking BROOKS • First artist to consistently land on Billboard’s country chart across five decades, from the 1980s to the 2020s • First-ever seven-time recipient of the CMA Entertainer of the Year distinction • Only artist to ever receive nine Diamond Awards (for albums that attained more than 10 million sales) • No. 1 selling solo artist in U.S. history, with 157 million total album sales • Ticket sales for the Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood made it the biggest tour in U.S. history

Tonight, Brooks is playing like a country legend. But on that stage, I can still see the normal, humble guy I’d met the day before. Even during a three-hour set, Brooks takes the time to pause and talk to people in the crowd. He takes their song requests and reads every hand-drawn sign he can. Somehow, he makes all 102,000 of us feel special. Brooks isn’t afraid to stray from the setlist. He wants to give the people what they want—even if it’s not a song of his own. When a fan asks to hear a George Strait song and a cover of Bob Seger, he can’t resist playing both. When fans request deep cuts from his old albums, he acts like nothing’s ever made him so happy. It makes me think back to something Brooks said the day before: “I was always scared to play stadiums because I would think they’d be cold and distant. I didn’t think you could get that one-on-one connection. But I’ll tell you, it’s crazy how warm a stadium is.” Even though I’m seated high up in the stands, one sign held by a fan on the floor keeps catching my eye. It reads: “6 chemos to go. Thank you for helping us through.” I wonder if Brooks will acknowledge this sign as he did with so many other fans’ signs. And then, Brooks sets his mic down, sits at the end of the stage, hugs the woman and takes pictures with her family. It is a quiet, sweet, intimate moment. After the show, the woman’s sister, Faith George Gliniecki, posts the full video in a public Facebook post. The up-close clip reveals Brooks’ personal message to the woman: “You have all of my strength. I love you,” he says. The video quickly garners more than 300,000 views, with comments like: “What a man. He is just so down to earth, kind, caring. There are just not enough words to describe his humbleness & humility. Garth Brooks, you truly are one incredible human being.” Gliniecki writes, “Huge shout out to Garth for making (my sister) so happy!!” It’s not hard to see why Brooks gets so much of the music industry’s love, praise and recognition. •

All night long, strangers clink their drinks together, high-fiving, singing along and swaying with their arms

Where did our Instagram and TikTok followers tell Brooks he should go to get

the perfect slice of pizza? Misc. Answers ranged from Lit Pizza to Reginelli’s Pizzeria to Costco 4% Rotolo’s Pizzeria 4% Fat Boys Pizza 4% Pastime Restaurant 5% Schlittz & Giggles 7%

Rocca Pizzeria 25%

Pizza Byronz 14%

Fleur de Lis Pizza 19% Red Zeppelin Pizza 18%

around each other. Suddenly, this massive stadium concert feels more like a sing-along with 102,000 of my closest friends. The crowd seems to know every song’s words by heart. It seems hard to believe Brooks wasn’t well-received when he first came onto the country music scene, but this is how he remembers it. Brooks released his first album in 1989 and quickly became a breakout artist to watch. The record peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s country chart, and that same year, Brooks toured as an opening act for Kenny Rogers. If you turned on a country station in Louisiana back then, there’s a good chance you would have heard songs like “If Tomorrow Never Comes” and “The Dance.” While Brooks may have grown up listening to country legends, he liked rock ‘n’ roll too. Boston, Queen and Styx were huge influences, and this showed in his music. “Even though I was raised on all these other guys, I can’t deny that the

Eagles, James Taylor and Bob Seger have an influence on my music,” Brooks says. Back then, he says that made him one of the “bad guys” of country music. He didn’t sound traditional enough. “As time goes on, we’ve become the old-sounding guys,” he says today. “And now the new guys are doing street thump, hip-hop and more pop stuff in there. They’re doing the exact same thing we did. They’re doing the exact same thing (Merle) Haggard did in his time. It’s just new to country music. The one thing that must run true in country music forever is sincerity.” Tonight, it seems funny to think his classic rock influence could have ever made him an outcast. A fan requests a cover of “Night Moves” by Bob Segar, and no one has a problem singing along with Brooks’ renditions of “American Pie,” “Piano Man” and “Make You Feel My Love.” It’s safe to say Brooks—and the country world—have come a long way. 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022


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[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com


the screams after Brooks asks, “Baton Rouge, is it time?” Before the show, Brooks tells me As he plays his promised mix of “old that there are going to be two persongs, new songs and a ton of cowboy formers onstage when “Callin’ Baton songs,” the crowd matches Brooks Rouge” plays live in Tiger Stadium: word for word. Of course, some songs There’s the guy who’s got are louder than others. his “gut sucked in” while But there is one that trying to keep time and hit makes the audience sing DIGIT all the notes. And there’s the hardest. You know the guy who’s enjoying this one. the moment and trying Yes, “Callin’ Baton not to get choked up. Rouge.” When fiddle player Like all LSU alumni, Number of Jimmy Mattingly starts I’ve heard this song songs Brooks that opening note, Brooks at countless tailgates, sang throughout the show becomes both those guys. game-days and parties. The crowd is deafening. I’ve heard it sung by dieAs the song wraps up, hard fans in the student Brooks leads the audience section before the fourth in a booming chant: “LSU. LSU. LSU.” quarter at a home game during the How could he not? This is the 2019 national championship season. unofficial anthem for the team that’s But nothing could prepare me for


so close to our hearts, and it’s being performed live for the first time to a stadium full of people who know every word. With 102,000 fans screaming the lyrics, clapping and stomping to the beat, an LSU seismograph registers the commotion as an earthquake. The only other time this has happened was in 1988 when the Tigers beat Auburn with a few minutes to spare. So, there’s another record Brooks can add to his list. “I hope those three minutes live up to what people were talking about,” Brooks had mused the day before. It does. This is three minutes of greatness. Three minutes of history. Three minutes we’ll still be talking about a month later. Let’s be honest. A replay of that

night’s events will roll through our minds for years to come. •

After a packed setlist including a surprise encore appearance by Brooks’ better half, country star Trisha Yearwood, the band takes what I at first assume will be their final bows. But, as the big screen pans to Brooks’ lone guitar on the stage, I know this youthful 60-year-old has a little more to give the crowd. During his weekend in Baton Rouge, Brooks routinely likens the concert in Death Valley to a battle between him and the crowd. He even challenges fans to come with painted faces. “What we encourage everybody to do is wear their colors,” he says. “I hope I see a lot of colors. I hope I see

“The one thing that must run true in country music forever is sincerity.”

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022



“I was always scared to play stadiums because I would think they’d be cold and distant. ... But it’s crazy how warm a stadium is.” people wearing face paint tomorrow. I’m going to tell people to bring their helmet and their cup, because that’s the kind of night it’s going to be. The more this can be like a sporting event, trust me, the more fun it’s going to be for all of us.” Surely, this is a battle a country legend like Brooks can win. But as he goes back for that guitar, he swallows his pride and gives in to the crowd. Tonight, he says, Baton Rouge has won. He treats the crowd to another encore, one it almost seems like Brooks wasn’t planning for but is thrilled to play. Covered in sweat and surely exhausted, he gives his all to the audience for three more songs. From the look on his face, it’s clear he’s as much of a fan of us as we are of him. “Screw it,” he announces, “I’m moving here.” The crowd roars back. While Brooks may not be looking for a permanent residence in Baton Rouge, he knows he’s welcome here anytime. All he has to do is call.

The Class of 2022 was offered admission to 140 colleges and universities. $29.9 million in scholarship money was offered to 61 percent of the Class of 2022 (as of May 10, 2022). This does not include TOPS scholarship information, which is not yet available. 113 seniors went above and beyond the required service hours during each of their four years.


3015 Broussard Street Baton Rouge, LA 70808

(225) 383-7207 www.sjabr.org

Four-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence 1991 1996 2002 2016 SJA has a non-discriminatory admissions policy.


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

1991 • 1996 • 2002 • 2016

Great Terms on HELOCs Here’s your opportunity to start that great remodeling project, consolidate your debt or plan that special vacation. Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit (HELOCs) can give you the flexibility to access your home’s equity whenever you need it, for whatever your purpose. It’s a convenient and cost-efficient way to make your home give you the borrowing power you need.

CampusFederal.org | 888.769.8841 | ConsumerLoanUnderwriting@CampusFederal.org Branch locations available in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Shreveport Rates are subject to change at any time. All rates are subject to credit approval. Additional fees may apply, including a one-time membership fee of $10 for a new member.

TIFFANY STEWART, PhD Professor “We need a paradigm shift in our thinking about optimal performance. Performance includes optimization of mental health as well as the physical." - Dr. Tiffany Stewart Dr. Stewart’s Behavior Technology Laboratory at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center is dedicated to Translational Science: taking health behavior change programs and technologies from bench (science) to bedside (programs that everyone can use). The Behavior Technology Lab has pioneered the development and testing of e-health technologies in order to bring health behavior tools to those who need it most wherever they are in the world. For the past 20 years, Dr. Stewart's team has worked with high performance populations such as U.S. Army Soldiers and NCAA female athletes, in an effort to optimize their health and performance. Their most recent work is focused on optimization of mental health and resilience. Athletes are not immune to struggles with mental health. The pressure to perform at all costs is more intense than ever. This leaves athletes at risk for consequences such as less than optimal eating habits, exercise, sleep, as well as more serious mental health outcomes, including depression, anxiety, and even suicidality. These difficulties can last a lifetime if not addressed. Pro-active, mental health skills training specific to athletes is needed in order to build positive mental coping and resilience skills. Dr. Stewart's team has worked with female collegiate athletes over the years in an NIH-funded trial with a program called the Female Athlete Body Project (FAB). The next phase of work will include the final development and testing of the S.C.O.R.E. (Sport Carried Forward for Resilience and Enrichment) Program- a digital platform and smartphone application delivered globally to assist athletes in mental and physical thriving. The aim is to provide tools and evidence-based coaching to help athletes at all stages of their career to bounce back from difficult challenges and optimize their lives, mentally and physically, moving forward.

"We need to think about our athletes’ wellbeing in and out of sport—as individuals who want to thrive in life—not just in sport.” To learn more about the work being done at Pennington Biomedical, visit www.pbrc.edu or follow them on social media. 46

[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com


g n i ris s r sta tudents 2 1 s e t a r b ection cele area who e g u o This special s R n o t a e Greater B h t m o r f s e t s excelled a h e athle n o h c a E dream big. d n a d r a h k rating r t s n wo o m e d y b school sport h ig h ir e h t acter. Scan r a in h c l a n io t p nt and exce on these physical tale s t a t s d n a s for storie the QR codes d women. n a n e m g n u yo outstanding SPONSORED BY

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• AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

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� Boys & Girls Clubs: Alaska Street Teen Center member • Southern University Lab School • Volleyball team

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For more information to get involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Louisiana scan here This ad was made possible by our sponsors


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I N S I D E : A new corner for antiques in Denham Springs

Local Leaf Gallery owner Brittany Rouse


A new

A Mid City shop is stocked floor to ceiling with local wares


LOCAL LEAF GALLERY might seem small from the outside, housed inside a cottage off Government Street. But walk inside the mural-covered door, and you’ll find an expansive array of items made by Louisiana artists and makers. Here, visitors will find perfectly curated tables and shelves with locally made items that share a Louisiana spirit. From crawfish pot-shaped bath bombs to soy candles that smell like Creole tomatoes, any gift-giving or shopping occasion can be made local. In the front, there’s a seasonal display with everything from gifts to decor to tea towels. To the left, you’ll find a men’s section perfect for finding Father’s Day, anniversary or groomsmen gifts like beard kits, whiskey glasses and leather koozies.


The walls are lined with prints from artists depicting local favorites like hot sauces, beers, snoball syrups and Zapp’s chips, along with famous New Orleans cocktails, such as hand grenades and hurricanes. As you make your way to the back, you’ll find a section of flags and door hangers to add some local flair to the outside of your home, as well. Owner Brittany Rouse was inspired to open a brick-and-mortar stocked with local goods after she realized many local creators were suffering from the pandemic. And after stepping away from her teaching job, Rouse realized helping local artists was a great way to use her art history degree from LSU. “When the pandemic hit, there was just this very clear need to support local artists and local makers,” she says. “There was a community push for that, and I feel like there was a gap in that market here.” Though Baton Rouge has long had several monthly arts markets, the maker community has seen a growth of opportunities lately, with local gift shops such as BRASS by Circa 1857 and Local Supply also opening recently. After living in New Orleans for a few years and shopping its array of small businesses, Rouse wanted to bring to Baton Rouge another new spot to find unique items from local creators. “New Orleans is a good place to find different small businesses that support their community and are proud of their culture,” she says.

“When the pandemic hit, there was just this very clear need to support local artists and local makers.” —Local Leaf Gallery Owner Brittany Rouse


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

Local Leaf Gallery is located just off Government Street.



Oyster shell art pieces by Leah Marchand

Issue Date: June 2022 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions.

Candles by Scent Quarter

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With experience from attending and working local markets, Rouse decided to open Local Leaf Gallery at 555 Caddo St. in Mid City in November 2021, after researching makers in the area and collecting their products. Rouse says going to pop-up markets helped her see what customers liked and didn’t, so she knew what items would fit best in her store. Now, she aims to cultivate excitement around the local maker community through regular events at the store. So far, she’s had successful turnouts at her Spring Plant Sale, Maker’s Mixer and Vintage Market. The events, she hopes, are not only for customers’ benefit, but also allow makers and

Zapp's Chip Prints by Statement Goods

artists to meet and network with each other and share their creative talents over cocktails and light snacks. In the future, Rouse also hopes to start carrying house plants, which was one of her original intentions for the shop and is how the word “leaf” made its way into the store’s name. “I think we hit on a lot of different things that similar stores don’t, just because our selection is a little more varied,” she says. “I want to be a one-stop shop for everything in your house.” Local Leaf Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. You can also find a large selection of in-store items for sale online. localleafgallery.com

The and linedorwith goods, • AD walls WILL RUN ASshelves IS unlessare approval final local revisions are received within 24 hours such oyster shell artApieces Leah Marchand. fromas receipt of this proof. shorter by timeframe will apply for tight deadlines.

• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

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3145 GOVERNMENT ST 225.636.5157




Best overall Restaurant 2019-2021

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Next chapter Denham Springs has a new antiquing option beyond Antique Village, as Rescued Revisions moves into a larger space By Domenic Purdy // Photos by Ariana Allison

A 1950S CAR dealership turned ironworks shop has a new upgrade. In March, antique shop Rescued Revisions moved into the Florida Avenue space in Denham Springs. Under one curated roof, shoppers will find home decor, furniture, vinyl records and other accoutrement. Barely into his 20s, owner Rivers Dupree hopes his fast-growing business can provide something for everyone. But that just wasn’t possible in his previous, smaller store in the already crowded Denham Springs Antique Village, where he was surrounded by about 20 other shops. Dupree first setup there in August 2017, when he was still in high school. This spring, Dupree worked “nonstop crazy, both day and night,” to make over the new, 10,000-squarefoot showroom and warehouse space. “We renovated the whole building,” he says, “painting the walls, scrapping the floors, raising the ceilings and cleaning it up a lot.” With the help of the store’s workers, Dupree is proud of the finished space, complete with rooms dedicated to showcasing the rustic furniture he specializes in, along with spaces for industrial-style decor both locally sourced and from out-of-state vendors.


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

“We have old stuff that’s one of a kind. You can’t just find it around every corner.” —Rescued Revisions Owner Rivers Dupree

“We wanted to go along with the more primitive, industrial, timeworn style,” he explains. “Here, we mix old and new to create a unique look.” The new store is also an opportunity to experiment with new forms of antique sales, Dupree says. He is planning to open the back of the store to about 20 dealers to create a market

of sorts during the summer, when the store will have a grand opening event. “We want to bring these dealers in because people want to sell with us,” he says. Dupree himself used to work in dealer booths in high school before he opened Rescued Revisions. Now, he’s coming full circle back to his antique-market roots. He is also hoping to introduce events like painting classes to the store, and has already dedicated a room in the back to the activity, with paints lining the shelves. In the short term, Dupree says he is excited to have Facebook Live sales every Thursday night.

“We show people about a hundred items throughout the store, and those are really fun for people to hop on and enjoy,” he says. Currently in its soft opening, open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m., Dupree says he is excited to share the shop’s unique pieces with the community. “That’s what sets us apart, we have old stuff that’s one of a kind,” he says. “You can’t just find it around every corner.” SHOP IT Rescued Revisions is at 936 Florida Ave. in Denham Springs. Find it on Facebook

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SEXY & MODERN A hair boutique that is raising the bar for beauty salons in Baton Rouge! 7069 Perkins Rd 225-283-3003 Studiogabriella.com

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[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

I N S I D E : Food on Instagram / How to use the season’s fresh bounty

Paired up


Shareable and pairable boards at Proverbial Wine Bistro

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022


Our Future is Healthier with

Lane Pediatrics is here to help you with the most important job in life – raising your children. At Lane Pediatrics, our team is experienced in caring for newborns, toddlers, children and teens. From wellness checks and immunizations, to diagnosing and treating childhood illnesses including the sudden onset of viral or bacterial infections, we provide high quality care your children need and deserve. You can trust Lane Pediatrics to make their future healthier!

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Proverbial Wine Bistro BY B E N JA MIN LE G E R // P H OTOS B Y COLLIN R I C HI E INTRODUCING OUR NEW FOOD CRITIC Benjamin Leger previously served as managing editor for 225 and was the editor of its Taste section from 2012 to 2021, editing, writing and steering the direction of its food coverage in print and online. He is passionate about all things food and food journalism, and has written about the greater Baton Rouge area’s cuisine and culture for nearly two decades.

THE BASICS: City Group Hospitality added to its roster with this spot in Long Farm Village in October 2021. The concept is all about pairing wines, beers and cocktails with a variety of foods, most notably on shareable boards. The interior design gives a nod to the wine theme, with walls in the same green as traditional Burgundy bottles and modern furnishings featuring wood and leather accents. WHAT’S A MUST: You can’t go wrong with one of the shareable boards, with themes of Mexican fare, Mediterranean cuisine and Gulf seafood. Snacks such as the Artichoke Romana and Stuffed Chile Ancho can satisfy a peckish appetite, while servers suggest adding an order of Rustic Bread to sop up any leftover sauce. Be sure to ask about the chef’s selections for the dessert-centric Happy Endings Board.

proverbialwinebistro.com 9659 Antioch Road, Suite 105 Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

CALL SOMETHING A wine bistro and, of course, wine is going to be top of mind. At Proverbial Wine Bistro, I was expecting a swanky and dimly lit bar catering to the happy hour crowd, with maybe a few small plates thrown into the mix. But on a busy Thursday night, there was just as much eating as drinking going on at this cozy outpost of Long Farm Village. Nearly every table was crowded with wooden cutting boards piled with Mexican fare, cheese and charcuterie, or all kinds of roasted veggies. At one point, I saw a giant board of desserts stop at a table for two and thought this was one of those situations where you get to pick from a selection. Nope. The pair quickly dug into the whole spread. (More on this later.) After selecting from a sizable— though not unmanageable—wine list, my table centered on a few starters from the “Snacks” section of the dinner menu. First up was the Artichoke Romana, a tender preparation of three marinated artichokes resting in a pool of creamy beurre blanc. The sauce had a tangy acidity, likely aided by a smattering of olives, stuffed peppadews and firm, aged feta. The menu mentioned goat cheese, but if there was any, it may have been lost in the beurre blanc. It was a table favorite, either way. Next up was the Stuffed Chile Ancho, which featured a flattened half of a poblano pepper buried underneath a mound of cheesy crabmeat stuffing. The mixture was soft and briny and more than counterbalanced any pepperiness from the poblano. 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022


TA ST E / / In the Artichoke Romana appetizer, marinated artichokes rest in a pool of creamy beurre blanc. The restaurant offers a selection of flatbreads, including Calabrese, with spicy salami, pancetta, bacon, olives, capers, mozzarella and tomato sauce.

The menu promised a truffle chipotle sauce, but it instead sat in a bright, subtle orange sauce that turned out to be red pepper aioli. Pleasantly surprised by our “Snacks,” we moved on to more substantial fare. The red wine had us craving red meat, so we opted for the Calabrese off the “Flatbread” section. Essentially a meat-lover’s pizza, it was loaded with spicy salami, pancetta, bacon, olives, capers and the requisite mozzarella and tomato sauce. Give me salty fried capers and cured meats and I’m happy, though I wished the flatbread itself were a little less dense and more crunchy. Finally, it came time to go all in on a board. The six savory options all looked enticing, but the Garden Board was calling us. I had multiple friends recommend it based on their own visits. This board was substantial. In one quadrant, roasted carrots spiced with earthy harissa. In another, a mound of roasted red and golden beets layered with radicchio and microgreens. Three bowls contained, respectively, a crisp watermelon and halloumi salad, ratatouille and some sort of squash casserole under a layer of bubbly, broiled cheese. Minus the cheese topping, the casserole and ratatouille weren’t much different in



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TA ST E / /

Issue Date: June 2022 Ad proof #2 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions You are received within hours served on a board, with can even get24dessert from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply tight deadlines. thefor "Happy Endings" rotating selection of desserts. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

flavor or cooked-down vegetable texture. There were also two large roasted portobello caps on the board that were so unremarkable and lacking in flavor, most of the table avoided it. Of note was the delightful addition of a spoonful of honeycomb and the rather odd inclusion of granola across the center of the board, laced with a syrupy white sauce that was off-putting. At this point, we were all suitably stuffed. But we had promised ourselves dessert after seeing two more dessert boards find their way to other tables. The chef’s selection for the evening’s Happy Ending Board was a slice of mascarpone cake, chocolate lava cake, tiramisu and baklava. It came arranged with crumbly biscotti, berries and enough zigzagging drizzles of sweet sauces to completely camouflage the delicious cakes beneath. I didn’t let the sauces deter me, though. The mascarpone cake was a favorite—a not-too-sweet and slightly tangy filling with a good crumb. The tiramisu was airy and silky; the chocolate lava cake was run-of-the-mill; and the baklava was unfortunately rather dry. We all felt like it was a worthy

dessert board, despite any misses. And that seemed to be a theme for the night. Portions were generous with surprising and thoughtful touches that made up for any low points. Arrange a variety of items on a board, and it’s likely one or two components won’t work. But there’s enough care given to the whole presentation here that everyone is satisfied. The same was true for service. We had a reservation on a busy Thursday night, and though we arrived on time, we weren’t seated until at least 40 minutes later. This is the kind of spot where people tend to linger, so that was to be expected—though still annoying. Fortunately, the host and wait staff made every effort to accommodate us while we waited, offering to bring drinks outside or alerting us when seats opened up at the bar. Once seated, our server was friendly and attentive, offering wine suggestions for food pairings when asked but never being pushy about it. My advice: Time your arrival to beat the after-work crowds, or come by later in the evening. Bring your appetite and enough friends to share those hefty boards. Sip a glass of wine or two. And definitely save room for dessert.

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TA ST E / /

IF YOU DINE out often, odds are you’ve seen more than a few people snap photos of their plates before digging in. Though some may be taking pictures of their meals to send to friends or save in their camera rolls, others are there to make content. Baton Rouge food Instagrammers give locals the ins and outs of the city’s ever-growing restaurant scene, and some have followings that have climbed to the thousands. As their audiences grow, their posts are helping local restaurants reach new customers. Jordan Basham, the mind behind @wheretogeaux225, began her account back in 2018 as a food log, helping her friends try new things while dining in the city. By Olivia Deffes Today, she has more than 10,000 followers, with each post Food Instagrammers gaining hundreds of likes. are bringing new Now, Basham says restaurants diners to local approach her about working together. restaurants Usually, this means restaurants will invite her in to try a few dishes free of charge in exchange for a post. But some places offer to pay her to make posts. Issue Date: June 2022 Ad proof #1“Things really took off during the • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. pandemic me,” Basham says. “I • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24for hours

For the ’gram

took that time to showcase restaurants that were offering takeout options to show Baton Rouge that there were ways to still support restaurants in that time.” She won’t promote anything she doesn’t get to try herself, though. She says it’s her way of being “as authentic as possible.” This also shows her followers a realistic representation of menu items, so they know what to truly expect when dining out.

“It’s not about getting a free meal or getting paid for a post. The best part is seeing results in the community.” —Jordan Basham of @wheretogeaux225

“Everything on my Instagram is something I’ve put in my mouth, tried and liked. People can tell when things are staged and plated perfectly,” she says. “On my page, you’ll see something that you can expect to get if you go out and order it yourself.” Molly Rivers, a manager at Elsie’s Plate and Pie in Mid City, runs Elsie’s Instagram and knows firsthand how

from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

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hard it can be to maintain an active social media account while working in a busy restaurant environment. Adding user-generated content to the brand’s feed has been a big help, she says. “I try to post three to five times a week,” Rivers says. “Other than that, I share videos, posts and stories from foodies and customers on our story as a way to keep us on everyone’s feed. I’m not the best photographer anyway, so having real people come in and post allows us to have good content on our page all the time.” Elsie’s also advertises in print and digital publications around the area, but Rivers says she thinks the best way to reach customers these days is by having an active social media presence. “Everyone always has a phone in their hands and is constantly looking on social media,” Rivers says. “I think it’s really cool to see people sharing our food on their accounts. It’s a way for our product to reach customers immediately.” Food influencers don’t need to have thousands of followers like Basham to help out restaurants like Elsie’s.

TA ST E / /



Basham says if food Instagram accounts have a local following, they can help eateries reach their target market. Margaret Sturdivant is an LSU senior and the face behind a newer account, @margsformarg. She started the Instagram page in 2021 as an excuse to eat out more with her friends. Over a year later, Sturdivant has gained nearly 1,000 followers, and her photos have been reposted by cafes and restaurants in the area. “I always get so excited when a restaurant reaches out for my photos,” she says. “Baton Rouge has so many amazing places to eat, and I’m just trying to support the places I love and inspire people to try places they wouldn’t normally gravitate to.” She adds, “My camera roll is filled with food pictures after a night out, so I figured a food Instagram would be a great way to share my meals with others.” Like Sturdivant, Basham agrees that @margsformarg launching a food influencer account is not about handouts. “I never go to a restaurant and drop the name of my account in the hopes of getting free perks,” she says. “My goal is really just to support every local Issue Date: 2022 Admy proof #3 restaurant that IJune possibly can with • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. account.” • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours


from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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TA ST E / /


Fresh from the farmers market Get creative with vibrant summer produce BY TR AC EY KOC H P HOTO S B Y AM Y S HU T T

I LOVE BUYING fresh local produce, and summer is by far the best time to do this. Throughout Louisiana’s warmest months, the markets are brimming with a wonderful variety. Some of my favorite summer vegetables include tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant and pepper. As for fruit, we have strawberries (in the early summer), blueberries, blackberries, peaches, nectarines, watermelon and cantaloupe. To celebrate the season’s fresh bounty, I’ve dedicated our June and July recipes to highlighting the fruits and vegetables available at the farmers markets, produce stands and grocery stores in the Capital Area. Here are some new recipes I have created, along with a few summer favorites from the archives worth trying.

On the menu • Creole Tomato Salad with Sweet Onions and Cucumbers • Southern Tomato Pie • Summer Berry Trifle • From the archives: Find more summer dishes at 225batonrouge.com/ recipes. Recipes by Tracey Koch

WATCH FOR PART TWO Pick up our July issue for our next batch of recipes dedicated to summer’s local crop.


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

Issue Date: June 2022 Ad proof #2 TA ST E / /

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Dr. Ritchie’s

PET TOOTH TRUTHS Q: How often does my pet need dentistry? A: I get this question quite often. Two quick and easy things to look for - if your pet has bad breath and/or gingivitis (red gum lines) they need dentistry now. In general, most pets need their first dental procedure with imaging by the age of 3 and then once a year for life. Imaging is the most important part of the procedure. I routinely find issues that warrant immediate treatment on imaging that was missed or hidden from the awake and anesthetized oral exam. The majority of problems I see are causing inflammation, infection, and significant pain. Our pets are terrible about letting us know their mouth hurts. Most pets will continue to eat, play, and act normal despite suffering in silence. The only thing that goes away by ignoring your pet’s dental problems are their teeth.

Creole Tomato Salad with Sweet Onions and Cucumbers When tomatoes are at their peak, you do not have to do much to them to make them delicious. This simple Creole tomato salad with cucumbers and sweet onions is a quick dish to throw together. It looks beautiful with all of the bright summer colors and is so fresh and delicious, too. The cool, crisp crunch of the cucumbers along with the subtle bite of the sweet onion and slight tang in the red wine vinegar is a delightful balance that highlights the ripe, juicy tomatoes. Servings: 6 3 large Creole or heirloom tomatoes 1 large English cucumber ½ cup thin sliced sweet onion 1 clove minced garlic 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 ⁄3 cup red wine vinegar ¾ cups olive oil ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Dental care is vital to the overall health of any animal. The Perkins Road Veterinary Hospital is home to the only board certified Veterinary Dentist and Oral Surgeon in the state of Louisiana, Dr. Curt Ritchie. Dr. Ritchie has been teaching veterinary dentistry at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine for nearly a decade. He and his staff help patients everyday with basic dental and preventative care to very advanced, complex oral surgeries.

1. Cut the tomatoes into wedges. Place them into a large bowl. 2. Cut the cucumbers into 1-inch slices. Add them to the bowl with the tomato wedges.

3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the onion slices, minced

garlic, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over the tomato and cucumbers. Toss until everything is well coated.

4. Cover and chill for 30 minutes before serving.

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TA ST E / /

Servings: 6 1 nine-inch pie crust 3 large, ripe tomatoes 3 slices bacon ½ cup chopped sweet onion ¾ cups Hellmann’s mayonnaise 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese ½ cup Parmesan cheese ¼ teaspoon garlic powder ¼ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper ¼ teaspoon dried Italian herbs

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Southern Tomato Pie Food historians debate over the origins of the Southern tomato pie. Through some research, I discovered that it is an old Southern dish most popular in South Carolina and served when tomatoes are at their peak in summer. Southern Tomato pie may sound a bit strange. In fact, when I mentioned to my husband what I was making for this recipe, I got the same reaction I'd get from my children when they were little and not too keen on what was for dinner: a crinkled-up nose and an ew! Thankfully, my husband is much better than they were at trying new things. After enjoying two helpings, he apologized and

added, “You need to make that again!” As the saying goes, don’t knock it until you try it. And what is not to like? Fresh, ripe tomatoes layered with cheese, onions, bacon and a bit of creamy mayonnaise as a binder, all baked in a flaky pie crust. The filling is the perfect blend of savory and cheesy to complement the sweet summer tomatoes. This dish is hearty enough to be served for a main course for breakfast, lunch or dinner. But it also makes for a fun side. Try serving Tomato Pie in place of potatoes to pair with your fave grilled meat—such as our Moorish Pork Kabobs or Sticky Balsamic Chicken recipes, both from the 2019 archives.

Press the pie crust into the 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges. Gently prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork to prevent it from bubbling up as its pre-bakes.

2. Place the pie crust into the oven and bake it for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly baked. Remove it from the oven and set it aside until you are ready to fill.

3. Line a baking sheet with paper

towels. Slice the tomatoes into ½-inch slices and place them onto the lined baking sheet. This will help the tomato slices dry out a bit.

4. While the tomatoes are drying, heat a large skillet over medium high and fry the bacon slices until they are crispy. Remove the bacon onto a plate lined with paper towels to cool. Once cooled, crumble and set aside. 5. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of

the bacon drippings out of the skillet. Place the skillet back onto the stove.

6. Add in the chopped onions and sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions are soft. Remove the skillet and allow the onions to cool.

7. Fold the crumbled bacon,

mayonnaise, cheddar, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, pepper and dried herbs into the sautéed onions.

8. Place a layer of tomatoes into

the bottom of the pre-baked pie crust and spread half of the mayo and cheese mixture over the top. Place the remaining tomato slices to create another layer followed by the remaining mayonnaise mixture. Spread the mayonnaise mixture out evenly.

9. Place the pie back in the

350-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly.

Your city, your app. The 225 Magazine App is now available All things Baton Rouge at your finger tips. The 225 Magazine app is here and ready to bring you all the latest news, guides and offers for Baton Rouge restaurants and bars, entertainment, people, culture and style, all delivered to your phone or tablet so you never miss a headline. Download for free at 225batonrouge.com/app or scan here



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TA ST E / /

For the whipped topping: 1 cup heavy cream ¼ cup powdered sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla

Servings: 6 For the custard filling: 4 cups whole milk 4 egg yolks ¾ cups sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch ¼ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon vanilla 2 tablespoons cream sherry 2 tablespoons butter

1. Pour heavy whipping cream into a chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer on high to start whipping up the cream until it begins to thicken.

2. Turn off the mixer and add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. 3. Turn the mixer back on and continue whipping the cream until

1. In a microwave-safe measuring cup, heat the milk for 1 to 2 minutes, until warm but not hot.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg

yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt until it becomes light in color.

3. Transfer the egg mixture into a heavy

2–4-quart sauce pot. Turn the heat on medium-low and slowly whisk in the warm milk.

Summer Berry Sherry Trifle Sherry trifle is a recipe that is quite popular in England. It is made with a light sponge cake or ladyfingers and filled with a delicious vanilla custard with a hint of cream sherry and fresh fruit. It is really a delightful dessert and one that is perfect to serve in the warmer months. I made this dessert easier by using store-bought ladyfingers (when I can find them) or Sara Lee pound cake in place of making my own sponge cake. The result is equally as good as making my own cake and takes a lot less time. I used berries in this recipe. However, fresh peaches and nectarines are a delicious addition, as well. This is a great do-ahead dessert and one that feeds a crowd. Pro tip: Another great summer dessert from the 225 archive is the Stone Fruit Berry Pizza, published in 2018.

stiff peaks form. Keep the whipped cream chilled in the fridge until you are ready to serve the trifle. For the trifle: 2 cups sliced strawberries 1 cup blueberries 1 cup raspberries or blackberries 1 ⁄3 cups sugar ½ cup cream sherry 1 family size, ready-made pound cake cut into 1-inch slices (or three 6-ounce packets of lady fingers)

4. Use a wooden spoon to continually stir the mixture over the heat until it begins to thicken and coat the back of the spoon.

1. Place the berries into a mixing bowl along with the sugar and

5. Remove from the heat and whisk the custard to allow it to begin to cool.

2. Line the bottom and sides of a large trifle dish or glass serving

6. Add in the butter and continue whisking until smooth. Pour in the vanilla and sherry, and stir to combine.

7. Transfer the custard into a small mixing bowl

sherry. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. bowl with a layer of the pound cake slices.

3. Spoon in half of the berries and spread them out evenly. 4. Pour in half of the custard and spread it over the berries. 5. Place a second layer of the pound cake slices on top of the

and set aside. Fill a larger bowl with a little ice custard layer and around the sides of the bowl followed by the and water. Place the small bowl of custard into remaining berries. the ice water and continue stirring to allow the Issue Date: June6.2022 Ad proof Top this layer with the #1 rest of the custard. Place it in the fridge custard to cool. Once the custard is cooled, Please respond by e-mail ortofaxset with approval of or minor revisions. foryour a couple hours. cover it with plastic wrap and set• it in the fridge • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours until you are ready to build the trifle. Toptimeframe with whipped serving. from receipt of this proof. A7. shorter will applycream for tightbefore deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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CULTURE I N S I D E : Artist’s Perspective / The Bandeaux / Gaming community / More events


‘Living out proud’ Baton Rouge Pride co-chairs Chris Bradford, Bobbi Wisekal-Crouch and Carlos Perez photographed in downtown Baton Rouge, which will also play host to this month’s Baton Rouge Pride Festival

After pandemic hiatus, Baton Rouge Pride Festival organizers promise biggest, most inclusive event yet B Y ZA N E P I O N TE K

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022



TUESDAY 6:30 - 8:30 PM



Put on your flip flops and your sunglasses as we cheers to summer and celebrate the 2022 Best of 225 winners! Join us at Three Roll Estate for cold drinks, local food trucks and the ultimate summer giveaway.





C U LT U R E / /

COME ONE, COME ALL Local LGBTQ-owned or -affirming businesses Today, local business owners can love and support who they want with pride—during Pride Month and beyond. There are plenty of companies in town that are allies of the LGBTQ community by either being a part of it, supporting Baton Rouge Pride, speaking up on social media or being a historically recognized safe space for the community. For Baton Rouge Pride’s full directory of these businesses— or to find out how to become part of the directory—visit batonrougepride.org/ directory.html

Baton Rouge Pride co-chairs Carlos Perez, Bobbi Wisekal-Crouch and Chris Bradford say this year’s Pride Festival will provide the most activities yet, including family-friendly offerings.

by compiling a local business directory on its website of LGBTQ+-owned and -operated businesses in the city, all of which have been invited to participate in the festival’s resource fair. “It’s important that people know which local businesses will not shun them away,” Bradford says. “Having those places out there that are open and friendly to have their name out there and seen at Pride is important.” Among the growing list of businesses presenting in the resource fair will be Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, Leur Magazine, LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana and Advanced Study, a national clinical study investigating the validity of federal regulations that make it more challenging for gay men to donate blood. To help offer a truly inclusive experience, there will be an emphasis on family-friendly activities, co-chairs say. WisekalCrouch says she regrets how some Pride celebrations favor the raunchier side of queer culture and tend to only cater to adult audiences. While all that is fun, she says Pride should be something parents want to celebrate with their children so that they can FILE PHOTO

Each space will house panels like FOR TWO YEARS, Baton Rouge has Drag Queen Storytime, Drag Queen been missing its Pride. 101 and Healthy Sexual Trivia, an In 2020 and ’21, the city’s annual instructional panel on sexual health Pride Festival had to take a beat in the LGBTQ+ community led by because of restrictions on large Wisekal-Crouch, a clinical pharmacist in-person gatherings. This June, the with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. event finally returns—and it will be the In addition to being the largest biggest celebration yet, according to festival yet, this will also be the first Baton Rouge Pride’s three co-chairs. with a decisive theme: “Living Out The festival will include a sprawling Proud,” a celebration of the pioneers array of presentations and activities of the LGBTQ+ rights movement who and even a few celebrity guest “paved and braved many roads” for appearances from American Idol today’s LGBTQ+ population, as the BR runner-up David Hernandez, Idol Pride website reads. contestant and Queen of the Universe Co-chair Chris Bradford says a second alternate Ada Vox, and Snap! crucial aspect of that theme is a focus singer-songwriter Thea Austin. on community building: finding “We want to make sure that ways to establish and affirm a strong people—because they’re looking LGBTQ+ network in Baton Rouge. One for that community again, they’re way the organization has done that is looking for that touch, that face-toface interaction—that they get what they’re looking The Baton Rouge Pride Festival back in 2019 for,” says Baton Rouge Pride co-chair Bobbi Wisekal-Crouch. Beginning June 19, Pride Week will supply seven days of events around town, leading up to the June 25 festival. On that day, the event will be spread across the Raising Cane’s River Center’s convention center, river view room, meeting rooms and galleria.

begin a healthy exposure to queer culture from a young age. “Just providing that safe zone for the conversation to happen within the family, I think, is so important,” she says. “Because then they’re not going to a stranger to look for guidance; they’re actually showing that family support within the home, and I think that is spectacular.” During Drag Queen Storytime, local drag entertainers will dress in their best princess eleganza and read stories to children. Co-chair Carlos Perez, a drag queen himself who performs as Miranda Mann, also said he’s particularly looking forward to welcoming families to the festival. “Just the smiles and the glee on these people’s faces when we’re out there doing all that, I miss that most of all,” he says. Having weathered its pandemic hiatus with patience, Baton Rouge Pride Week returns in grand fashion— promising something for everyone, and more of all of it than ever before.

CHECK OUT THE LINEUP Baton Rouge Pride Week runs June 19 to June 26, culminating in Baton Rouge Pride Festival on June 25. Visit batonrougepride.org/events for the full Pride Week schedule.

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022


C U LT U R E / /

Drag race

By Olivia Deffes

Queens of Louisiana is shining the spotlight on local drag queens

“I think an even bigger wave of growing acceptance is coming. It has been coming for a long time in this country, and just took a little bit longer to reach our city.”


—Amber Andre, a photographer and editor at Queens of Louisiana, pictured here on the right. From left to right are Queens of Louisiana team members Heather Prudhomme, Karley Cop, Tara Hole and Randy Morain.

Local drag queen Britnee Alexander with Queens of Louisiana founder Heather Prudhomme

WITH MORE RESTAURANTS and bars hosting shows, Baton Rouge’s drag scene has gotten bigger than ever. Heather Prudhomme saw a need for a new platform to connect performers with fans. Thus, Queens of Louisiana was born. Branded as a drag fan club, it began last year as a website for all things drag. Today, it also hosts events and offers services to queens, such as professional photography and boxes of collector cards they can hand out to fans at events. “I had this idea (to start a fan club) because I’ve always had a love for drag,” she says. “As drag shows shifted from nighttime events to daytime events (such as brunches), I noticed different people of all ages enjoying drag.” Prudhomme really can’t remember a time when drag wasn’t a part of her life. Her godfather was a cross-dresser dating back to the 1970s. Around 30


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

years ago, Prudhomme attended her first show in New Orleans. Ever since, she has made it her mission to show people that drag is an art form, just as much as theater, painting or fashion. Prudhomme started out by interviewing queens after their performances. She’d quiz them about their favorite things and what they liked about drag. She then created online bios, where fans could learn all about their favorite artists and find out information about upcoming shows. Now hosting its own events, it regularly sells out of tickets for brunches at venues, such as Brickyard South, as well as the first-ever Drag Bingo at Cheba Hut - Baton Rouge. It also has a whole team of event planners, photographers and drag lovers to welcome people into the community and allow new talent to find their way. Along with Prudhomme, the group has grown

to include Event Coordinator and Promotor Karley Cop; Queen Manager, Event Coordinator and Promotor Tara Hole; and Photographers and Editors Randy Morain and Amber Andre. Queens of Louisiana is constantly trying to come up with new ideas and events to keep the love for drag alive. Though each member has their own role, everyone is always ready to lend a helping hand to each other, which is why you might see Hole bartending in full drag with Cop to ensure a drag brunch runs smoothly. “Our dynamic flows very well,” Andre says. “If somebody is slacking or needs help, there’s always one of us who’s right there to pick it up for them.” Prudhomme says the growing local interest in drag has allowed her little fan club to grow and flourish into what it is today. “I think an even bigger wave of

growing acceptance is coming,” Andre adds. “It has been coming for a long time in this country, and just took a little bit longer to reach our city. Almost everybody I talked to was so interested in it, even people that I never would have imagined. I hope that it’s kind of a foreshadowing of more acceptance in this area.” Going forward, the team hopes more drag artists reach out to work with them. “It would be really awesome if it grew into something like a Yellow Pages for drag,” Morain says. Prudhomme stresses that all artists are welcome to be a part of the Queens of Louisiana club. “We don’t just work with established artists. We also work with new and upcoming ones,” she says. “We do take on a lot of new talent. We take people who’ve never done things like drag before.” In fact, you don’t even have to be a queen to be a part of Queens of Louisiana—it has worked with drag kings, too. That’s one more way this group is trying to break the ice between the performer and the audience—and move forward to a new age of acceptance. queensoflouisiana.com

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Don’t be a drag, just be a queen Drag show dos and don’ts: advice from a drag queen


Tell us what people who have never attended a drag show should expect? The tallest women you’ve ever seen, some of the most normal-sized women and the most beautiful women you’ve ever seen. There’s nothing to be nervous about. If you’re unsure about whether you’re going to have fun, you will. People love to let loose at shows. We want you to sing, scream and laugh. The energy is better when everyone is there to have fun. We’re not dolls; we’re not celebrities; we’re performers. If you had an amazing time watching us, we want to hear that. It’s really nice to connect with people after the show. This is not something just for gay people. It’s for everybody. It’s entertainment. What are some must-knows about drag shows? 1. Bring cash. The bar is only going to have so much cash (for tips). 2. Make some noise. 3. If a drag queen asks you to do something, just do it. How can someone best prepare for a drag show? Have open-mindedness, and be ready to challenge yourself. If drag is thought-provoking, it’s a good thing.

makes it very real and normal. COURTESY ERIN ARLEDGE TAYLOR

DRAG SHOWS ARE a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s the type of event you have to see for yourself in order to truly understand. Baton Rouge has its own culture of drag performance art, with performers ranging from queens who can do backflips and splits in the air to performers who lip-sync slow songs and dress as baby dolls. LSU alumnus Jack Stallard started his drag career in Baton Rouge before taking his talents back to his hometown of New Orleans. Stallard started performing drag in 2017 under the stage name Carina Von Tuna. The name came from a Facebook bot that sent him a friend request while he was trying to think of a drag name, and he stuck with it. He has performed and produced drag shows throughout Baton Rouge at LSU events, Splash Nightclub, George’s Place, private events and local bars. Here’s everything you need to know before attending a drag show—straight from the queen’s mouth.

Why would you recommend attending a drag show? No one is going to assume you’re gay just “If drag is thought-provoking, because you went to a it’s a good thing.” drag show. Watching —Carina Von Tuna someone else be so much themselves that no one really can be every day is a priceless experience. There’s an energy Let’s talk about etiquette. What should exchange that happens. It really makes the audience avoid doing? people feel good the way that we look Keep your hands to yourself, and do good. It makes you feel more confident. not touch us. We might interact with ‘You don’t walk away loving us more; you you, but we typically don’t touch you, so walk away loving yourself more.’ That’s a please don’t touch us. Don’t try to come Lady Gaga quote. onstage unless you’re asked. We have a show to run—please don’t try to talk Where are some go-to Baton Rouge over the MC or host. Don’t take yourself places to attend drag shows? that seriously. If jokes are made at your Splash Nightclub, Brickyard South, expense, don’t get offended. Caliente, Red Stick Social, George’s Place. Tell us about drag brunches. It’s the most accessible way to enjoy drag Who are some of your favorite since it’s not in a club environment. It’s Baton Rouge drag performers? nice to see us in the daylight. It’s a great Alexa Milano, Lady D Andrews, Dani Pax, way to introduce kids or younger people Laveau Contraire. to drag. This is a way to demystify drag. It

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022


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“The Origin of Yedusa” (2020, mixed media)


Cara Kearns’

‘The Origin of Yedusa’ “THE SUBSTANCE OF my recent work is narrative, using creatures and stories drawn from fiction, mythology and sometimes real life that I feel a connection to. ‘The Origin of Yedusa’ (2020, mixed media) is the backstory of a character I created in 2019, the love-child of Medusa the Gorgon and a yeti named Fred. I gave it the flavor of both a scroll and an illuminated manuscript because I wanted it to appear historically relevant. The piece is hand-embroidered on a woven background using natural and synthetic fiber. The ceramic details are hand-built using midrange white stoneware and both commercial and homemade glazes. I got distracted by the pandemic, but my intention has always been to continue fleshing out Yedusa’s character, using both fiber and clay. So look for that in the future.”




CARA KEARNS is a Baton Rouge artist who became passionate about art in second grade, when she won a Frisbee in a drawing contest. After earning a degree in ceramics at LSU, Kearns started applying for art shows and working as a studio monitor and teacher at Red Hot Center for Clay. When the local business permanently shut down, Kearns continued to apply for art shows while working from her home studio. In 2017, she taught herself how to embroider, weave and freeform crochet after no longer feeling challenged by ceramic work. Most recently, her piece “The Origin of Yedusa” was featured in the 14th annual edition of Baton Rouge Gallery’s Surreal Salon exhibition. carakearns.com


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About the artist

C U LT U R E / /

Chance for the


Returning from a pandemic hiatus, the recurring Bandeaux events have become a ‘mecca’ for artists to watch B Y Z A N E P I O N TE K


Michael Armstead is a regular performer at The Bandeaux.


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BACKSTAGE AT THE BANDEAUX, the rafters shake with thumping bass. Between hits, you can hear the buzzing chatter of an electrified, wallto-wall crowd. Slouched on a caramel-leather sofa, Baker rapper Quadry gargles water in preparation to take the stage, taking a moment to reflect on what this recurring art showcase signifies. “It’s very encouraging to everybody who’s an artist and who’s in the Baton Rouge rap community,” he says. “It’s showing, like, if we can show up for ourselves and have good artists do good sets, and the crowd loves it, we don’t really need the outside validation.” Overseeing the happenings somewhere on the other side of the stage is Patrick Harrington, better known as Bandeaux Pat. He organizes events in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, including the weekly Taceaux Tuesdays at Culture Reggae Club on Oklahoma Street and, recently reinstated after an almost three-year hiatus, The Bandeaux. During this bimonthly showcase of local art and music, the stage is populated by both burgeoning and platinum-plaque rappers, and the floor and gravel lot outside by artists and clothing brands. At tonight’s mid-April Chelsea’s Live show a roughly 20-foot plywood canvas is slowly being transformed into a graffiti mural by Baton Rouge artist Zero2. DJs like Harrington himself and his brother Dave, also called DJ Love Yourself, present turntable stylings. Characteristically spare of diction and, at the moment, preoccupied with the manifold moving parts of the event, Harrington keeps succinct his thoughts on The Bandeaux’s revival. “It feels good,” he says. “It’s just different; there’s really nothing out here like this.” Harrington is most proud of the space the event gives artists to diverge from the traditional Baton Rouge sound that dominated the scene a few years ago. “At first, you knew a Baton Rouge artist just by the beat and what they talk about,” he says. “But then, I feel like once I started (The Bandeaux), it just opened up the gates.” But it took a few mutations to bring The Bandeaux to its current form. In 2013, Harrington was organizing weekly ’90s nights and DJ parties at the North Gate Tavern, a bar that used to occupy the building to the left of Insomnia Cookies on East Chimes Street. After a few events, he enlisted the help of friend and collaborator





C U LT U R E / / “If we can show up for ourselves and have good artists do good sets, and the crowd loves it, we don’t really need the outside validation.”




—Quadry, a Baker rapper who performed at a recent Bandeaux event

“There’s really nothing out here like this.” —Patrick Harrington, founder of The Bandeaux











really started taking off.” With a larger stage and venue—and more parking, notoriously scarce in the North Gates area—came larger crowds. But after the Spanish Moon closed down, things seemed bleak for the rap extravaganza. Harrington managed to wrangle a few one-off shows at the Varsity Theatre, but then the pandemic struck. So when events started trickling back, and then Chelsea’s popped up on Nicholson with its sparkling new space,

Ricky Andretti, a local art enthusiast and organizer. Together, the two created Joker Art Night (later called Paint Out the Bandeaux), combining Pat’s DJ parties with an artistic twist. They scrounged up already-painted artworks and invited local artists to paint over them. When the Tavern closed its doors in late 2014, the event relaunched in the fall of 2015 at Spanish Moon. “Once I brought it to the Moon,” Harrington recalls, “that’s when it

it felt like the miracle Harrington had waited for. Looking back on those early days, Harrington says he never anticipated the event would take off as it has. “All I knew was, I just wanted to do something different, ’cause I got tired of going to clubs and (seeing) the same thing,” he says. “I just told myself I was not stopping.” Now, he can fully appreciate the effect his events have had on the rap scene in Baton Rouge, whether it be in

the cheers of the crowd, the energy of the performers or interaction with up-and-comers trying to get on the roster. One of those performers is rapper Michael Armstead, a longtime friend of Harrington’s and a staple performer at The Bandeaux. He says he once performed at the event seven months in a row back at Spanish Moon. “A lot of artists don’t get the chance to perform, especially in the demographic of hip-hop in this city, they don’t really get that chance. So I think this is the perfect place,” he says of the event. “And then you get to hone your skills and practice to see what works and what doesn’t in front of a nice-sized crowd, which, once again, artists don’t get in this city.” It’s a close echo to Quadry’s sentiments, and it seemed to be shared by everyone I spoke to at the event. They all say The Bandeaux is a breeding ground for—and showcase of—rap talent in Baton Rouge. A “mecca,” in Armstead’s words. Wherever The Bandeaux may be, it’s the place to be—if you don’t mind a slight ring in the ears. Find event updates on Instagram at @bandeauxpat2.


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Game stops Baton Rouge’s tabletop card game community provides a ‘second family’ to players By Domenic Purdy


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

“We want to provide a place where people aren’t judged.” —The Rogue Games’ Mason Blake

GAMING DESTINATIONS A few places around Baton Rouge to buy and play games: Little Wars 7517 Jefferson Highway littlewars.com Gamer’s Paradise 11222 N. Harrells Ferry Road gamersparadisela.com The Rogue Games (pictured here) 10330 Airline Highway, #10-B theroguegames.tcgplayerpro.com


MORE THAN JUST Monopoly and Scrabble, analog games are attracting players and fostering community, despite their more complex rulesets. And with shows like Stranger Things and Critical Role bringing Dungeons & Dragons to the masses, and celebs like Logan Paul and Joseph GordonLevitt normalizing collecting Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering cards, respectively, it’s no surprise. It is all about providing a place where all feel welcome, whether they play Dungeons & Dragons regularly or can’t name a single Pokémon. “We want to make sure we have a community for everyone,” say The Rogue Games owner James Daquanno. Originally founded in 2013 as an e-retailer, The Rogue Games opened its brick-and-mortar off Airline Highway in 2017. Inside, visitors find walls dotted with game posters, as well as wallpaper adorned with scans of Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. Most days, the shop is home to friendly chatter about what color dice it has in stock, in addition to casual Dungeons & Dragons games that see old and new players alike welcomed with open arms. And while it specializes in trading cards, Daquanno says the store is open to any tabletop game. The Rogue Games even hosts tournaments for Yu-Gi-Oh! and Super Smash Brothers, plus weekly meetups for Cardfight Vanguard. “As long as we have a free space, if you want to come in and play D&D, a board game or just a card game ... you’re more than welcome to,” he explains. Daquanno’s passion for card games stretches back to when he was about 6 years old and was shown a Charizard Pokémon card for the first time. He worked at various shops before opening his own. This world has been his “entire life when it comes to hobbies and interests,” he says. The pandemic started around Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, as interest in the game began to peak again with celebs buying old packs of the cards. “People would come in saying ‘Oh I used to collect Pokémon when I was a kid,’” Daquanno says. “They see the other games we stock and tell friends.” The surging popularity of Japanese anime culture has also played a factor. Card games from franchises like Dragon Ball Super and a soon-to-release game based on manga series One Piece have brought fans of the anime and manga series into the store. For players like Martin Dampier, an LSU computer science junior, games provides “a solid structure to social situations.” Participating in 8-bit-gaming-inspired games like Magic and Boss Monster for about eight years has been a great way to make friends. “For someone like me who is very socially awkward, it helps me avoid the tension that comes from social gatherings,” Dampier explains. “It can also be a great way to practice social skills.” Picking something simple to learn and then introducing it to friends is the best way to broaden the community, he adds. “We want to provide a place where people aren’t judged,” says Mason Blake, Daquanno’s business partner at The Rogue Games. Rogue regulars also come together for lock-ins to raise money for local animal shelters, children hospitals and The Trevor Project, an organization focused on suicide prevention for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Members of the LGBTQ+ community themselves, Daquanno and Blake say they hope to cultivate an environment of togetherness—a safespace where no one feels left out. “It’s kind of like a second family, as cheesy as it sounds,” Daquanno says. “We’re just here to play games and have fun.”

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ALL MONTH Head over to Louisiana’s Old State Capitol to see “Running for Office: Candidates, Campaigns, and the Cartoons of Clifford Berryman,” an exhibit displaying cartoons and exploring the complexity of creating editorial cartoons in today’s climate. Admission is free, and the exhibit is open to the public. louisianaoldstatecapitol.org

ALL MONTH Bring your best vinyl for the Record Party at The Breaks Bar hosted by Spoke & Hub. Every Thursday, Spoke & Hub is giving guests the opportunity to host their own DJ set. All you have to do is bring your own records and get ready to blast vintage jams. It’s sure to be a rocking time. spokeandhubbr.com

JUNE 18 Laugh with James Gregory as he delivers a hilarious comedy show at Chelsea’s Live. This comedian brands himself as “The Funniest Man in America,” (the nickname stemming from an entertainment reporter in the ’80s), andDate: he’ll have you cracking up with jokes Issue October 2021 Adfunny proof #1and fun stories. funniestman.com • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions.

• AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

JUNE 10 Hear a blend of country, rock and R&B music as singer-songwriter Jimmy Wooten takes the stage at Beauvoir Park. Enjoy an evening outdoors and listen to live music from Wooten as he plays songs like “Lay You Down” and “Shine.” Find Beauvoir Park on Facebook






JUNE 17 Baton Rouge musician CJ Solar returns to his hometown for a fun show at The Texas Club. Along with Solar, Louisiana musician Alex Smith will take the stage. It’ll be a good night of rocking country music from two celebrated local acts. thetexasclub.com



JUNE 17 Don’t miss out on seeing everyone’s favorite ogre take the stage for a fun performance of Shrek the Musical performed by Theatre Baton Rouge. Join Shrek, Donkey, Princess Fiona and friends as they navigate through the misfit fairytale we all know and love. theatrebr.org



JUNE 5 Watch Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s Youth Ballet perform in “The Great Candyland Adventure” at the Old Governor’s Mansion. In addition to the ballet performance, there are plenty of familyfriendly activities like face painting, balloon animal creations and more. Feast on yummy food, and of course, sweet treats as you mingle with ballet performers after the show. batonrougeballet.org






JUNE 23 Emo rockers mewithoutYou bring their Farework Tour to Chelsea’s Live. American noise rock band ’68 will open. chelseaslive.com

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ROUND THE TABLE Bring your appetite to Perkins Rowe for a Food Truck Round-Up. A range of Baton Rouge’s mobile eateries will be spanning the street from Barnes & Noble all the way down to Kendra Scott. The lineup includes Capitol Seafood, Caribbean Express, Geaux Yo, Sno Juice and more. Eat as much as you want while listening to live music from Josiah Shillow in Town Square. perkinsrowe.com/foodtruck


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AN EARTH-MOVING MUSICAL Learn about the life and legacy of singer-songwriter Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Raising Cane’s River Center. Hear all of King’s classic hits as you see her navigate her way through her relationships and solo stardom. raisingcanesrivercenter.com









MOTOWN COMES TO BATON ROUGE Don’t miss a chance to see The Temptations when they play at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel. Since forming in the 1960s, this band has produced quite the discography, and they will be playing all the hits from each of their most famous decades. lbatonrouge.com



JUNE 9-12: New Orleans Pride, neworleanspride.org



JUNE 11-12: 16th annual Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, jazzandheritage.org JUNE 30: Essence Festival of Culture, essence.com


[225] June 2022 | 225batonrouge.com

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SWAMP SOUNDS AND FLAVORS Listen to some Louisiana music while eating Louisiana food at the Swamp Pop Music Festival and Jambalaya Cookoff at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. Listen to bands like Tet Dur, Mike Broussard & The Night Train, and Jamie Bergeron & The Kickin’ Cajuns while you work up an appetite for homemade jambalaya. Proceeds from each $5 plate will go to the Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area. lamardixonexpocenter.com

JUNE 10 Get ready to watch all your WWE favorites compete for the coveted belt when Friday Night SmackDown comes to the Raising Cane’s River Center. Cheer on your team and see who will come out on top. raisingcanesrivercenter. com

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JUNE 12 Keep the Pride Month celebrations going with the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center’s first-ever Drag Brunch, complete with entertaining queens, a brunch buffet and bottomless mimosas. hilton.com JUNE 25 Find all your summer essentials at Local PopUp’s June Market in Electric Depot. Bring the kiddos with you for a shopping trip to celebrate the end of the school year. Lots of local makers will have tents set up to display their newest creations. localpopup.shop



LOUD AND PROUD Baton Rouge’s Pride Week is back with a whole lineup of inclusive events. Enjoy a week full of parties and entertainment including drag brunches, a Wine and Art Mixer, and of course, the Baton Rouge Pride Festival at the Raising Cane’s River Center. batonrougepride.org

JUNE 4 Rev up your engines and head out to the Bon Carre Business Park for the Capital City Car Show. Check out new vehicles, muscle cars and motorcycles all in one place. This year’s show will benefit Project 70805, a local nonprofit dedicated to promoting social and economic growth in the north Baton Rouge community. capitalcitycarshowbr.com

MORE EVENTS Subscribe to our newsletter 225 Daily for our twice-weekly roundups of events. 225batonrouge. com/225daily

Editor’s note: Event details are as of press time in mid-May. Please check with the events for the latest information.




JUNE 1-5: Cajun Heartland State Fair at the Cajundome, find it on Facebook JUNE 5-6: Creole Culture Day Celebration, bayouvermiliondistrict.org



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JUNE 9: Brooks & Dunn at the Cajundome, cajundome.com 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2022



In every issue of 225, you’ll find a free print on this page. FRAMED celebrates life and art in Baton Rouge, each one featuring a local photographer, place or graphic designer. Cut it out to hang in your cubicle, or frame it for your home gallery wall. Show us where you hang them by tagging them on social media with #225prints.


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