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A pre-pandemic Live After Five concert. The series was postponed again this fall.

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UPFRONT //

Music memories DO YOU REMEMBER the last big concert you attended in Baton Rouge? South Louisiana is known as much for its music culture as it is for its food. There’s nothing quite like Cajun or zydeco music downtown at Live After Five during the cool fall weather. And I always look forward to feelin’ the blues every year at the Baton Rouge Blues Festival. Most of our recent local festival memories, though, date all the way back to 2019. While some industries have bounced back more quickly than others during the pandemic, the live music and entertainment spheres have been among the hardest hit and the slowest to return to normalcy. When we started planning our September cover story about the return of live shows, it seemed we were finally in for a busy fall. Baton Rouge’s biggest signature events were planning to return, from Live After Five to the Blues Fest to the Fifolet Halloween Festival. “Musicians are just thrilled to be working again,” Lauren Lambert-Tompkins, BY JULIO MELARA managing director of Downtown Business Association of Baton Rouge, told 225 when we interviewed her back in July. “And not just them, but also all the gig workers who make things run.” But as the fast spread of the delta variant caused some fall events to postpone (like Live After Five), some to cancel (like the Halloween Festival) and others to go virtual (like Farm Fête and the Louisiana Book Festival), we turned our attention instead to the state of the local music and events industry. We spoke with owners of venues like Phil Brady’s and Teddy’s Juke Joint about the impact of long closures and cancellations. And after months without live music, some restaurants and bars have reimagined their layouts to accommodate entertainment more safely in outdoor spaces. Music performances will be a big part of the atmosphere, for instance, on the patio of the new Mid City location of Bistro Byronz. “All along, we’ve been planning to have outdoor tables and an area where bands Issue Date: August 2021 Ad proof #1says Emelie Alton, CEO of can play,” • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or Byronz minor revisions. Restaurant Family. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours With from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tightschedules deadlines. constantly changing, • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. keeping venues connected to audiences

has been more important than ever. We interviewed the founders of Red Stick Music, which bills itself as “Baton Rouge’s Live Music Calendar.” Even when venues were shuttered for much of last year, the website was able to support musicians by posting upcoming livestreams and small events—and it will be invaluable as things continue to evolve this fall. At press time, events like Sunday in the Park and Baton Rouge Blues Festival were still moving forward. I am staying hopeful and positive that things will soon improve in our community and that it won’t be long until we can stage all of our great events again. “We’re asking everyone in Baton Rouge to consider the effect this pandemic continues to have on our local musicians, business owners, nonprofits, employees, residents and children,” Lambert-Tompkins said in August, after the postponement of Live After Five was announced. “Do your part to stop the spread so we can get back to the city we love.” Turn to page 30 for the full story.

Spotlight on shooting ranges The pandemic set off record-breaking gun sales last year, both locally and nationally. Now, interest in Capital Region shooting ranges has never been stronger. FRC Indoor Range & Training Facility saw a need in the community for free gun safety courses for first-time firearm owners. The Baton Rouge facility also offers firearm safety courses for children focusing on “gun proofing” and preventative measures, and it hosts regular ladies’ nights offering free instruction. “(Women) are moving the industry forward,” says FRC owner John Hanchey. “They are concerned about personal security.” Other shooting ranges around town provide courses on everything from self-defense to concealed carry. Turn to page 16 to read more.

Community Arts Center is ushering in a new era for the Baton Rouge arts community. The former Triangle Building downtown has been given a $3 million upgrade by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. Inside, you’ll find studio space for artists, a kiln room for ceramicists, a black box theater for actors, a recording studio for musicians, a permanent gallery, a rooftop terrace—and, of course, the Arts Council’s offices. “It’s a pretty extraordinary space,” says Arts Council executive director Renee Chatelain. The artists’ studio space, in particular, was a direct response to requests from local artists. It was kept open and minimalist to accommodate a variety of different artistic projects. Read all about the new building starting on page 77.

Heart to art When Chelsea Borruano launched the You Aren’t Alone Project in 2019, she hoped to create safe spaces to talk about mental health issues. After she started opening up about her own struggles, she says a lot of people told her, “You know, I was dealing with the same stuff, and I thought I was alone.” Now, Borruano’s nonprofit hosts community meet-ups to promote mental health advocacy. She is also planning a human library project, in which people with diverse experiences and opinions share personal stories. The nonprofit’s biggest annual event features local artists sharing their own mental health challenges through the canvas of live performance. Though it has now been canceled twice by the pandemic—including, most recently, its October 2021 event—Borruano hopes to bring it back next spring. Our story about the organization and its efforts starts on page 21. Have a great fall, and stay safe!

A new space for art The brand-new Cary Saurage

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CHARLES AYCOCK, MD

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ALLYSON BOUDREAUX, MD

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CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY, One Woman At A Time.

NICOLLE HOLLIER, MD

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JULIE MARTIN, MD

CRYSTAL NHIEU, MD

JAY PARENTON III, MD

AMANDA PEARSON, MD

MICHAEL PERNICIARO, MD

SAMANTHA PRATS, MD

KIRK ROUSSET, MD

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Obstetrics & Gynecology PHYSICIAN OFFICE BUILDING AT WOMAN’S HOSPITAL • 500 RUE DE LA VIE, SUITE 100 • BATON ROUGE, LA 70817 • (225) 201-2000 • www.LWHA.com F d

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CONTENTS //

Features 16

Where locals are going to take aim

48 A peek inside the new Mid City Mercantile 71

Where to dine during Black Restaurant Week

80 Why the ‘Green Book’ exhibit is important to BR And much more …

Departments 12 21 27 30 45 65 77 82

What’s Up Our City I am 225 Cover story Style Taste Culture Calendar

65

ON THE COVER

COLLIN RICHIE

It’s been almost two years since the last Live After Five performance brought crowds to downtown (as seen in our cover shot by Collin Richie, taken during a pre-pandemic show). The popular seasonal event was finally slated to return in August, but COVID-19 had other plans. The fall lineup has been postponed until the delta variant’s explosive spread slows. Unfortunately, Live After Five hasn’t been the only postponed or canceled event this fall. In this month’s cover story, we explore how the local music industry has struggled during COVID-19—and where you can go once things improve. Turn to page 30 for the full story.

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Issue Date: September 2021 Ad proof #3 • 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. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

A S K T H E S TA FF

Karaoke song that makes you feel like a rockstar Publisher: Julio Melara

EDITORIAL

“My husband and I once sung ‘Shallow’ from A Star is Born, and the crowd went nuts.” —Jennifer Tormo

Editorial director: Penny Font Editor: Jennifer Tormo Managing editor: Benjamin Leger Features writer: Maggie Heyn Richardson Digital content editor: Mark Clements Staff photographer: Collin Richie Contributing writers: Cynthea Corfah, Anna Jones, Tracey Koch, Dillon Lowe, Zane Piontek, Stephanie Riegel Contributing photographers: Ariana Allison, Sean Gasser, Amy Shutt

ADVERTISING

Sales director: Erin Palmintier-Pou Account executives: Manny Fajardo, André Hellickson Savoie, Jamie Hernandez, Kaitlyn Maranto, Olivia Robb Advertising coordinator: Devyn MacDonald

CORPOR ATE MEDIA

Editor: Lisa Tramontana Content strategist: Allyson Guay Multimedia strategy manager: Tim Coles Client experience coordinator, Studio E: Nicole Prunty

“With liquid courage, ‘Pride’ from U2 or ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ from Bon Jovi.” —Manny Fajardo

MARKETING

“Anything Celine Dion or Spice Girls!” —Andre Savoie

Chief marketing officer: Elizabeth McCollister Hebert Marketing & events assistant: Taylor Falgout Events: Abby Hamilton Community liaison: Jeanne McCollister McNeil

ADMINISTR ATION

Assistant business manager: Tiffany Durocher Business associate: Kirsten Milano Office coordinator: Tara Lane Receptionist: Cathy Brown

PRODUCTION/DESIGN

Production manager: Jo Glenny Art director: Hoa Vu Graphic designers: Melinda Gonzalez, Emily Witt

“‘Gangnam Style.’ And yes, I know every word … in Korean.” —Timothy Coles

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT

Homecoming 2021 HERRINGSTONE’S BATON ROUGE Call Haley Herrington to schedule your own personal shopping experience 7474 Corporate Blvd Ste C | 225.239.5239 | www.herringstonesboutique.com

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“‘Picture’ by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow. I can do both parts if needed.” —Taylor Falgout

Audience development director and digital manager: James Hume Audience development coordinator: Ivana Oubre Audience development associate: Jordan Kozar A publication of Louisiana Business Inc. Chairman: Rolfe H. McCollister Jr. Executive assistant: Tara Broussard President and CEO: Julio Melara Executive assistant: Brooke Motto 9029 Jefferson Highway, Suite 300 Baton Rouge, LA 70809 225-214-5225  •  FAX 225-926-1329 225batonrouge.com 

©Copyright 2021 by Louisiana Business Incorporated. All rights reserved by LBI. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Business address: 9029 Jefferson Highway, 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.


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

Focus on flooding What percent of EBR’s new development has been implemented with a thought to more onsite water retention? What does the long-term cost of recovery and repair look like in the area if we allowed continued suburban development in a flood plain? How does this compare to the net present value of the large projects being developed? Why is there no mention of the tri-lakes project to serve as both a habitat improvement project and floodwater retention project? Are current development codes adequate? What is the status of updates to planning and zoning restrictions that encourage these kinds of engineering solutions? Why should we assume that we can cause water to flow to the lakes faster, when the gradient from Baton Rouge to Pass Manchac is so slight?” —Nick Somogyi Editor’s note: All comments have been edited for space and clarity.

IN OUR JULY 2021 issue, we highlighted new places that have popped up on Government Street as construction wrapped on the road diet. Our Facebook and Instagram followers had thoughts on the improved road. “I’m amazed at how well this turned out. They turned what was basically becoming rubble into a retail and restaurant corridor that looks great. My office is on Government Street and we regularly saw accidents with people taking difficult left turns. Have not seen a single accident in over a year with the new turn lanes by our building.” —Dustin Puryear

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“This is a great project, very forward thinking for BR, and it’s paying off. Go figure.” —@frankmcmains

“Can’t wait ’til the next rent increase!!!” —Bethany Phillips “I just can’t believe it took 4 years to complete.” —Franklin Ester “Crazy as heck! All that traffic coming off the interstate, commuters going to and getting off from the downtown area, traffic just backed up all the way from downtown to Foster Drive. SAD …” —​​Fran Nelson

CONNECT WITH US facebook.com/225magazine

“Loving the new bike lanes and median islands! Government Street is SO much safer and inviting than before!” —@dougmmoore

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ARIANA ALLISON

“I THINK MAGGIE Heyn Richardson’s article in the August 2021 issue regarding flood management in the region over-simplifies the problem, and is highly slanted toward those in the ‘clear, dredge and channelize’ camp. While there was limited sidebar mention of conservation projects and development moratoriums, the article suggested this is a problem of obstructions, and easily solved like a household plumbing project. Flood dynamics in Bayou Manchac and associated watersheds are quite often subject to backwater flooding, which can be exacerbated by clearing and channelization. Additionally, recruitment of wood in watersheds (such as wood jams that create aquatic habitat and retain sediment) has been shown in other regions to serve a critical ecosystem function. While our slow waterways have been less studied, why is no one asking if wood recruitment serves an ecosystem function? Finally, the mentioned watersheds remain well out of attainment for use recreationally, let alone as a water source. Development, coupled with impermeable surfaces, has been shown in other watersheds to cause these issues. This article could have been more balanced, by considering the following:

Paving the way

Government Street as crews finished the road diet

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September

Word girl

COLLIN RICHIE

Lindsey Duga is the author of several young adult novels.

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[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

TYPING INTENTLY ON her laptop at Magpie Cafe, Lindsey Duga looks like any other young professional getting an early morning start. But what she’s up to isn’t sending emails or prepping for meetings. She’s working on her next novel. By day, Duga is the director of accounts at the web development firm Gatorworks. But after hours (and before), she’s a successful fiction writer with five published young adult novels—and more in the pipeline. Duga, 31, says her writing passion took root in middle school. “I started writing in seventh or eighth grade, with a friend, actually, and it was more like collaborative storytelling,” Duga says. “We went to see a movie one day, Pirates of the Caribbean, and we were just super in love with the world we saw. (We) decided to get together and create our own characters.” Duga found inspiration in the fantasy adventure books and films she enthusiastically consumed throughout her youth, including Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, the Star Wars movies, anime and Studio Ghibli productions, and her childhood favorite, the manga series Sailor Moon. Greek mythology, fairy tales and fables also intrigued her. So did the constellations. Everywhere, she saw new worlds eager to be built and new characters waiting to be formed. For years, writing was a private pursuit. But after college, Duga knew that if her work was ever going to be on bookshelves, she’d have to decipher the publishing business. She learned to query literary agents. She went to writers’ conferences and built relationships. She recruited writing partners to critique her work. Duga’s diligence paid off in 2016 when the publisher Entangled Teen discovered her manuscript for an adventure romance called Kiss of the Royal. Duga had entered a rapid-fire Twitter contest in which writers pitched their ideas in 180 characters or less, the platform’s limit at the time. Entangled Teen liked her pitch, which reinterpreted the notion of true love’s kiss on a battlefield backdrop. Within a few months, she had her first book deal, and Kiss of the Royal was published two years later in 2018. Two more young adult fantasy novels quickly followed, Glow of the Fireflies, about a girl who must rescue her missing mother from evil spirits dwelling in nature, and Roaring, a mobsters-meet-monsters story set in the 1920s. Another deal with the publisher Scholastic led to two more books, both middle grade horror novels, The Haunting and Ghost in the Headlights. A third Scholastic novel is due out in spring 2022, an interactive “escape room” story that allows readers to use a UV pen to solve mind-bending puzzles. The ideas continue to flow for this self-described nerd and lover of escapist fantasy. “I guess at heart, I still feel very much like a kid in that sense,” Duga says. “I love anything with a very intricate world and magic system where it takes you out of reality.” lindseyduga.com —MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON


W H AT ’ S U P / / Arlington House jars Honey pork chops with blueberry pepper jelly barbecue glaze at Elsie’s Plate and Pie

EVENTS

Farm Fête

COURTESY ARLINGTON HOUSE

COURTESY ELSIE’S PLATE AND PIE

Try food from 8 local restaurants all in one night as BREADA celebrates the Red Stick Farmers Market’s 25th anniversary

Pepper jelly prospects partner, Lindsay Zimmerle-Dupré, makes her own line, Arlington House, which is sold by the jar at the Mid City restaurant. The composition of pepper jelly is exactly what it sounds like: red or green bell peppers, and often jalapeno, serrano or habanero, boiled down with pectin and lots of sugar. Sometimes, fruits and other ingredients are thrown in, too. A small dollop adds a sweet counterpoint to savory chargrilled oysters, and a spoonful whisked into a sauce is a fast way to add complexity. “I love showing people how to cook with pepper jellies,” GrinningJupiter Jammery owner Ashley Andermann says. “They make amazing glazes. Really, you can do so many things with them.” Andermann makes several types of the preserve, including pecan praline, three berry and peach habanero. Once you start noticing pepper jelly’s presence, you’ll see it everywhere—in supermarkets, farmers markets and, yes, on restaurant menus.

See the pepper jelly trend for yourself: • BRQ’s jumbo lump crabmeat and brie empanadas with pepper jelly; brqrestaurant. com • The City Café’s pepper jelly shrimp; citycafebr.net • Bin 77’s fried gulf oyster crostini with spinach Madeleine and apricot pepper jelly; bin77.com • Zea Rotisserie and Bar’s pepper jelly chicken salad; zearestaurants.com • The Francis’ boudin balls with pepper jelly vinaigrette; thefrancissoutherntable.com

“Especially with the delta variant becoming a lot more aggressive and seeing another spike, it was a good time to do it. ... 90% of people in hospitals with the delta variant have not been vaccinated. That’s another signal the vaccine works.”

DIGITS

60%

The chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, which spans June 1 to Nov. 30, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. That means a range of 13 to 20 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes, and 3 to 5 could be major hurricanes, or Category 3 or higher. While the activity is predicted to exceed normal levels, it won’t see the historic level of storm activity reached in 2020, NOAA says.

STOCK PHOTO

O ASS

—Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise about getting vaccinated for COVID-19. The House’s No. 2 Republican received his first round of the Pfizer vaccine July 18 at an Ochsner clinic in Jefferson Parish.

ES S

IT’S THE BEST known emergency appetizer of Southern party hosts: pepper jelly plopped over a block of cream cheese and served with crackers. But this retro hors d’oeuvre is just one way to enjoy the beloved preserve’s attributes, its fans say. “If you think of any savory food, adding some sweet heat usually makes it better,” says Elsie’s Plate and Pie owner Paul Dupré. “We knew back when we were designing our menu that we wanted to use pepper jelly in some of our dishes.” No kidding. Elsie’s pimento melt is gilded with strawberry pepper jelly. The boudin burger gets a schmear of peach pepper jelly. The honey chops are glazed with blueberry pepper jelly barbecue sauce. The restaurant’s most popular salad dressing is pepper jelly vinaigrette. Other sandwiches and burgers incorporate it, too. The pepper jelly onramp was seamless for Dupré. His wife and business

PR

Restaurants and jam makers demonstrate the many ways to use this Southern staple

ED AT CI

A QUARTER CENTURY has passed since the Red Stick Farmers Market first launched in downtown Baton Rouge, then a small but earnest gathering of farmers and local foods enthusiasts. Since it opened in November 1996, the evergrowing market has become a key part of Baton Rouge’s community fabric, attracting foodies, families and visitors looking for high-quality produce and goods and lively conversation. Today, there are more than 40 farmers and producers from 14 parishes selling their wares to hundreds of weekly shoppers at three Red Stick Farmers Market sites. Many patrons are on a first-name basis with farmers, often sharing just how they put that fresh corn or those tender greens to use during the week. Booths feature local fruit, vegetables, legumes and mushrooms, farmstead cheese, grass-fed beef, baked goods, honey, preserves, native plants and lots more. This month, market organizer BREADA will mark the occasion of the farmers market’s silver anniversary with Farm Fête. While originally scheduled as a splashy gathering at the new River Center Branch Library, the event will go virtual due to the COVID-19 surge. Join the online gathering on Sept. 30, and bid on items in a culinary-focused live auction that raises money for the market and its programs. The market’s Thursday and Saturday gatherings remain open. Masks are encouraged. Follow the Red Stick Farmers Market on Facebook for updates and additional programming celebrating the 25th anniversary.

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

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Issue Date: SEPT 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.

W H AT ’ S U P / /

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

W H AT ’ S N E W

Thank you for voting our

Gumbo the BEST

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WINNER WINNER

2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2021 WINNER

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Compiled by Anna Jones

New sandwich

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CHEBA HUT OPENED its first Louisiana location last month. The cannabis-themed restaurant serves sandwiches named after marijuana strains and an array of other “munchies,” like pretzel nuggets and French onion soup. Diners can wash down the grub with beer, wine and mixed drinks. The Ben Hur Road space is decorated with hemp leaf-shaped decor and paintings featuring characters like a bird smoking a blunt and a tiger (with puffy, purple eyes, of course). chebahut.com

AUTHENTIC LOUISIANA COOKING

COURTESY CHEBA HUT

FROM SCRATCH

ARIANA ALLISON

13580 COURSEY BLVD • 225.752.1199

GARDEN SIPS GARRISON NEILL, the new owner of the 1-acre Garden District Nursery property on Government Street, hopes to rezone the land to open a gourmet wine shop and epicurean market, a bar and commissary with outdoor seating, and an Aveda barbershop concept. As of press time, the Planning Commission was scheduled to review the request during a mid-August meeting.

FOODIE 411 What’s happening in the restaurant scene

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EXPANDING:

Smalls Sliders

The local cheeseburger spot is planning a Gulf Coast expansion. Soon, you might find Smalls Sliders in Alexandria, Beaumont, Hattiesburg, Houma/Thibodeaux, Houston, Jackson, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Mobile, Monroe, New Orleans or Shreveport—where the company is looking for franchisees. smallssliders.com


Issue Date: September 2021 Ad proof #1 W H AT ’ S U P / /

• 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. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

STOCK PH

OTO

After a pandemic pause, Baton Rouge’s own Community Coffee is once again the in-flight coffee for Southwest Airlines. “We are thrilled to be back in the air and sharing our signature coffee with our fans from across the country,” says Leah Herrington, executive vice president of sales and marketing. communitycoffee.com

DIGITS

53.6%

AL LIS ON

Coffee in the air

NA IA AR

Where does Yelp’s local leader like to eat around town? Maameefua Koomson began her role as Yelp Baton Rouge’s community ambassador this summer, managing the brand’s local social media, connecting with area business owners and Yelp users, and planning experiences and events. Here are some of her personal local faves.

GEAR UP FOR

Game Day

SWEET SOCIETY

“It’s really cool, because it’s an Asian dessert-inspired spot. ... I actually even heard about it through Yelp.”

AVERAGE HOTEL OCCUPANCY for downtown hotels in 2021, up from 52.3% in 2019. These numbers were as of early July, when local tourism was on an upward trend with hope for even more activity in the fall. As of press time, it was too soon to tell how the new delta variant might influence that activity.

MEMPHIS MAC BBQ

“It has some really, really, really great barbecue. The owner is from Memphis himself, so it brings a different style around here.” HIE

IN

LL

CO

RIC

Chelsea’s grilled cheese and tomato soup, which you can now find a version of at Mid City Beer Garden

Return of Chelsea’s? REMEMBER CHELSEA’S? The Perkins Rowe overpass area restaurant used to be a hotspot for Baton Rouge locals to grab its famous grilled cheese and enjoy some live music. Now, Chelsea’s could be returning. Domain Architecture applied for an expedited commercial plan review permit to convert a 7,657-squarefoot mercantile space at 1010 Nicholson Drive into a bar and live music venue under the name “Chelsea’s Live.” Dave Remmetter, who owned Chelsea’s for years, had not announced details as of 225’s deadline.

MR. MILKSHAKE

“(It started as a) food truck, but it just opened its first storefront in Denham Springs. It serves really huge, extravagant milkshakes.”

EL PASO

“My go-to authentic Mexican spot. It’s familyowned, and I know they use family recipes, too.”

NOW OPEN:

COMING SOON:

Baton Rouge meal prep startup Fork N Spoon has opened a full brick-and-mortar in the same Brightside space it had been using as a pickup spot since its 2020 launch. The restaurant serves “enlightened comfort food.” forknspoonbr.com

Expect the latest project from restaurateur Stephen Hightower sometime around Labor Day. The modernstyle diner in the former Bistro Byronz location on Government Street will even have a speakeasy-plus-bike-repair-shop behind the restaurant. Find it on Facebook

Fork N Spoon BR

The Spoke and Hub

Corporate Blvd at Jefferson • 225.925.2344 townecenteratcedarlodge.com • HEALTH • BEAUTY • DESIGNER SHOPPING HOME DECOR • GOURMET DINING • AND MORE 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

15


W H AT ’ S U P / /

On the range

By Anna Jones

As gun purchases skyrocket, so has attendance at local shooting ranges, where new gun owners turn to safety courses

Baton Rouge’s FRC Indoor Range & Training Facility offers free safety courses for first-time gun owners.

MORE SHOOTING RANGES AROUND TOWN Precision Firearms and Indoor Range precisionfirearm.com Baker Range bakerrange.com

COLLIN RICHIE

Gordon Hutchinson’s GunSafe Firearms Instruction (Hosts classes at Bass Pro Shop and at Baker Range and FRC Indoor Range & Training Facility) gordonhutchinson.com

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[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

WHILE THE PANDEMIC has kept activity quiet at some local attractions, Baton Rouge’s FRC Indoor Range & Training Facility has never been busier. The Choctaw Drive facility, which touts itself as the largest indoor shooting range in south Louisiana, has seen a flurry of interest in its 15- and 25-yard lanes, four classrooms and 15,000-square-foot shoot house and simulations training space. FRC owner John Hanchey describes the events of the past year, including COVID-19 and a divisive election, as the “perfect storm.” “We saw a lot of first-time gun owners who had never considered purchasing a firearm before,” Hanchey says. The pandemic triggered panic-buying, which led to a record-breaking number of gun sales in 2020, according to local news reports. A study from Northeastern University and the Harvard Injury Control Research Center reported more than 17 million Americans purchased firearms last year, and one-fifth of buyers were first-time gun owners. Hanchey recognized a need in the community and started offering a free class for first-time buyers. “People were purchasing $500 or $600 guns with no idea how to use them,” he says. In addition to offering training for all the new local gun owners, FRC partnered with the Baton Rouge Mayor’s Office and the NSSF to distribute more than 1,500 child safety locks for guns. The facility also hosts multiple gun safety classes, including a monthly firearm safety course for children ages 8 to 16. The course focuses on “gun proofing,” instructing youth on what to do if they encounter a gun. Gordon Hutchinson’s GunSafe Firearms Instruction also offers monthly gun safety classes at FRC, and around town at Baker Range and the Bass Pro Shop in Denham Springs. Precision Firearms and Indoor Range in Baton Rouge offers a concealed carry course along with defensive handgun training classes, and Baker Range offers concealed carry courses, too. Right now, Hanchey says the single biggest demographic he sees purchasing firearms is young women between the ages of 26 and 35. More than half of new first-time gun owners last year were women, according to the Northeastern and Harvard study. “They are moving the industry forward,” Hanchey says. FRC has two female firearms instructors and hosts regular ladies’ nights offering free instruction. “It’s packed constantly,” Hanchey says. “The women are really driving this stuff. They are concerned about personal security.” Louisiana has led the nation in homicides for the past 31 years, according to a New York Times article published in February. The problem is not limited to the Pelican State’s most populous city; Baton Rouge and its surrounding metropolitan areas logged more murders than New Orleans for the first time in 2019. Hanchey notes that Baton Rouge left cities like Chicago “in the dust” a long time ago, and as CBS News reported in April, the Capital City has the country’s sixth highest murder rate. Through its free, elective safety courses, Hanchey says FRC hopes to change that. Every safety course is taught by a fully certified firearms instructor and certified range safety officers. The first-time shooter class covers all topics from safety to gun cleaning and loading and unloading. In addition to its other services, FRC is the headquarters for A Girl and a Gun Women’s Shooting League, the state headquarters for the National African American Gun Owners’ Association and state headquarters for the Pink Pistols LGBTQ Gun Owners’ Association. “We are very proud of the fact we have such a diverse community of gun owners,” Hanchey says. “We’re all united by the same thing: We like our lives, and we’d like to hang on to them for a while.” frcbr.com


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THE LOWDOWN

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FROM THE COLONIAL PERIOD TO LIGHTYEARS BEYOND: LOCAL PARKS TRANSPORT VISITORS IN TIME AND SPACE

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oday, we can peer far into the universe just as easily as we look back at the past. Knowing how we got here is as important as knowing what exists beyond. Through its educational programming, BREC lets visitors explore our history and the galaxies beyond with special programs and events at Magnolia Mound and the Highland Road Park Observatory. Visit brec.org to learn more about Magnolia Mound and the Highland Road Park Observatory.

MAGNOLIA MOUND

AT BREC’S MAGNOLIA MOUND, the main house was built circa 1791 as a small settler’s home. As prosperity came to the lower Mississippi Valley, with Louisiana planters producing a quarter of the world’s cane-sugar supply, the house was enlarged and renovated along with its 900-acre operation. Magnolia Mound’s mission is to illustrate and interpret the lifestyle of the French Creoles who formed the fascinating culture that still influences and pervades life in southern Louisiana. This past summer marked its 42nd year of Summer History Camp. “We’re so proud of the work our education staff has done every year,” says John Sykes, Executive Director of Magnolia Mound. “With that many years under our belt, we’re enjoying having former campers’ children participate in history memories with our camp experiences.” Magnolia Mound has embraced technology this year in response to the pandemic, shifting gears to provide more web-based content like programs, webinars, and virtual tours, helping visitors to continue to experience Magnolia Mound. “We take seriously our mission of education,” Sykes says. “Even virtually, we can still have an impact and encourage others to learn more about our state and local history.” Magnolia Mound offers a variety of tours and hands-on educational programs. For more information, visit brec.org, email npotts@brec.org, or follow on Facebook @brecmagnoliamound.

HIGHLAND ROAD PARK OBSERVATORY

IN LETTERS DATING BACK TO 1660, John Winthrop, described as America’s first astronomer, bought a 10-foot telescope and observed Saturn. But not until 1842 did Congress allow an observatory to be built after acknowledging the importance of astronomical observations required to create navigational charts on Navy vessels. All other scientific research was seen as a secondary function. Today, the field of astronomy is not only valuable, but exciting, fastpaced and ever-changing. BREC’s Highland Road Park Observatory, known for its octagonal main building which houses a 20-inch reflecting telescope inside a retractable dome, has made important contributions to the field of astronomy. The Observatory has been used since May of 1998 to measure and discover 55 new asteroids. Precise position measurements are required to predict future asteroid orbits and the potential impacts with the earth. HRPO regularly opens its doors to the public for celestial events like eclipses, meteor showers and night Sky Viewings almost every Friday and Saturday night. For more information, or to schedule field trips or inquire about its many other events, camps and programs, visit hrpo. lsu.edu, follow on Facebook @highlandobservatory, or email at observatory@brec.org. LSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy’s faculty and graduate students routinely volunteer in HRPO’s public programs, sharing their expertise to help us better understand the world of astronomy and space science.


W H AT ’ S U P / /

YOUR FLAVOR Last concert you saw

Barrett Meeks

Executive chef, Mansurs on the Boulevard 35

Velma Thomas

Who would play you in a movie about your life

Have you tried investing in Bitcoin or cryptocurrency?

No

Owner, Executive Lady 48

Issue Date: September 2021 Ad proof

Your dancing skills are ...

Paleontologist, until I was about 8 and decided I want to be a chef

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No, not yet

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A hairstylist

Mediocre

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I have, but unsuccessfully.

People who make unnecessary noises

Taraji P. Henson

No way

I hate excuses.

Jonah Hill

Gospel singer at my church Fantasia

Philip Rinaudo

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Your pet peeve

Not working clean in the kitchen. Clean space, clean mind.

The Motet at Backwoods Music Festival in 2019

Hairstylist, LaVontay’s Hair Lounge 39

Service manager, SafeSource Insurance 34

What you wanted to be when you grew up

Lizzo in New Orleans in 2019

Tyrese Gibson at the River #1Center in 2016

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Chef Inspiring

Surprising A business owner

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THANK YOU BATON ROUGE FOR VOTING US

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Cox Homelife is available to residential customers in select Cox service areas. A high-speed Internet connection is required. Cox Homelife Security service plan required for professional monitoring services for intrusion, smoke/fire and related system components. Applicable monthly service charges, installation, additional equipment, taxes, trip charges and other fees may apply. Subject to credit approval. Other restrictions may apply. Local ordinances may require an alarm user permit or external lock box. Cox Homelife Service provided by Cox Advanced Services: Arizona, LLC – Alarm Lic. #18141–0 & ROC Lic. #310876; Arkansas, LLC – Lic. #E 2014 0026 & #CMPY.0002278; California, LLC – Alarm Lic. #7196 & Contractor’s Lic. #992992; Connecticut, LLC – N/A; Florida, LLC – Lic. #EF20001232; Georgia, LLC – License: Bryan David Melancon #LVU406595; Idaho, LLC – Lic. #024933; Iowa, LLC – Lic. #C121646 & #AC268; Louisiana, LLC – Lic. #F 2006; Nebraska, LLC – Lic. #26512; Nevada, LLC dba Cox Homelife – Lic. #78331; Ohio, LLC – Lic. #5318–1671; Oklahoma, LLC – Lic. #2002; Rhode Island, LLC – Lic. #9314; Kansas, LLC – Topeka Lic. #109 & Wichita Lic. #2015–36492; Virginia, LLC – DCJS Lic. #11–7776 & DPOR Lic. # 2705164725 ©2021 Cox Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. MAG107433–0052


I N S I D E : Baton Rouge’s poet laureate / Local news briefs

In this

together Art and mental health intersect through the You Aren’t Alone Project

BY MAGGIE HE YN R ICH A R DSO N PHOTOS B Y CO LLIN R IC H IE


OUR CITY //

O

N JULY 28, 2019, a crowd of about 200 at Mid City Ballroom watched as performance artists depicted the challenges of living with mental health issues. One was aerialist Jamie Ray. Performing with her partner, Isaac Wells, Ray revealed through dance and acrobatics the whiplash of emotions caused by bipolar disorder. Her choreographed movements captured what it was like to feel the extreme highs and the violent, agitated lows associated with the condition, she says. “I have been that person before in the relationship,” Ray says. “For me, it was therapeutic, and an important story to tell. Mental health is something that we should be able to talk about openly.” Other artists told equally compelling stories through break dancing, lip-synching, vocal performance, monologues and other forms of live art. The event, created and curated by the local nonprofit You Aren’t Alone Project, gave artists a chance to express their personal experiences with mental health through original work. While COVID-19 has now canceled the live art event two years in a row, organizers hope to stage a return in the spring, with performers again translating their mental health journeys through art. “There were a lot of people in the crowd who cried, and felt a lot of emotion,” visual artist Jade Brady says. Brady painted —Chelsea Borruano, who launched the grassroots advocacy an abstract work in real organization You Aren’t Alone Project in 2019 time as the performances unfolded, beginning on a blank canvas. “It was a beautiful event, and a really safe space for people to express themselves.” Additional paintings by Brady, and works by other visual artists, were on display throughout the space. Each included an artist’s statement about how the work reflected the pain and stuff, and I thought I was alone.’” regular people with diverse life expetriumph of their personal journeys. In the ensuing months, Borruano riences and viewpoints share personal Creating safe spaces to talk about knew she wanted to create an outlet stories to an audience of one or more mental health issues is the goal of the for mental health advocacy. She wasn’t people. You Aren’t Alone Project, a grassroots sure exactly what that might look like Borruano, 32, created You Aren’t advocacy organization that local until she attended a performance by Alone after struggling with her own advocate Chelsea Borruano launched the Baton Rouge dance company Of mental health issues, and finally in 2019. The live event was the corMoving Colors Productions. getting the support she needed. nerstone program of the fledgling “I thought about how art sends “I kind of started openly talking nonprofit, but Borruano says she a really powerful message, and about it with friends and family and also hopes to hold smaller commuwondered what we could do to turn my network, and the feedback I got nity meet-ups to promote mental it into something bigger to address was really powerful,” Borruano says. health advocacy. And she is planning mental health,” Borruano says. “And “It was a lot of people saying, ‘You a human library project, in which so that’s kind of where the idea came know, I was dealing with the same

“I kind of started openly talking about it with friends and family and my network, and the feedback I got was really powerful. It was a lot of people saying, ‘You know, I was dealing with the same stuff, and I thought I was alone.’”

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[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

from for a You Aren’t Alone live art event, and really where things started for the project.” Borruano convened several artists and asked if they would be interested in interpreting anonymous mental health stories that Borruano had begun collecting. The artists liked the idea, but they told Borruano that they wanted to tell their own experiences. Most had dealt with mental health challenges, and producing art had been a natural part of their therapeutic process. In the summer of 2019, the


OUR CITY //

show came together. By spring 2020, the organization received its nonprofit status. Borruano had also quit her full-time The recent COVID surge is taking a toll—especially on young people job in communications and begun pursuing an online degree in mental Now, this new wave of sweeping changes to day-toTHE SPREAD OF the delta variant has canceled local health counseling through NYU. She day life could create the “perfect storm” of impacts to festivals and events, caused restaurants to temporarily continues to work on the degree with mental health, Nosacka says. close because of staffing issues and otherwise has us all Fortunately, there are many local resources available feeling some form of deja vu. the goal of becoming a counselor. to help navigate this emotional and mental gauntlet. And with students back in the classroom and many The pandemic prevented the second Visit these websites for more information: employees back in the office, the daily news of the You Aren’t Alone live art performance COVID-19 surge is taking a toll on mental health. from taking place in 2020. The event • The Office of Behavioral Health in the Shawn Verges, clinical director for the Baton Rouge Louisiana Department of Health has and Hammond offices of HCO Behavioral Health was scheduled to return this October many counselors, consultants and Services, says her organization has seen a stark increase at Gallery 14. But our region’s sharp other resources available for those in referrals since the onset of the pandemic and that rise in COVID-19 cases prompted the concerned for their mental health. she worries what course this trend will take as the social organization to move it to April 2022, ldh.la.gov landscape continues to change. Borruano says. • Capital Area Verges estimates around 75% of new referrals have Human Services been for children. Having adapted to virtual learning The delay will no doubt be a disaphas offices across and social isolation at such a formative period in their pointment to both artists and specthe Capital Region, development, young children are especially susceptible tators, many of whom have felt the as well as online to anxiety while returning to in-person school and loneliness of the pandemic acutely. consultation unmitigated social interaction, she says. resources. And for people who already have mental health “There was so much isolation in cahsd.org conditions such as depression or social anxiety, the 2020,” Borruano says. “And there are a • HCO concerns are all the more acute. lot of people still feeling that.” Behavioral “For people who have preexisting mental health But artists interested in contributing Health conditions,” says John Nosacka, a licensed social and participating in next spring’s Services offers worker and program manager at Capital Area Human resources for Services, “part of their treatment, part of their recovery, event are encouraged to submit their tele-health is to make sure that they have healthy social interaction, ideas to the organization. counseling, in-person and they’ve been missing a good chunk of that for the Find out more information at counseling and more. past year.” youarentaloneproject.com and stay hcohealth.com COVID-19-induced isolation likely exacerbated the IssuetoDate: September Ad proof #2 symptoms of conditions like depression and anxiety. —ZANE PIONTEK tuned its Facebook page for updates E AG • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. IM CK and resources. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours TO

Feeling whiplash

S

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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C hampions We dress

everyday.

7620 Old Hammond Hwy | Baton Rouge | 225.926.6892 | www.carriagesbr.com 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

23


OUR CITY //

NEWS BRIEFS

By Maggie Heyn Richardson

COURTESY MOISE FOURNIER

Baton Rouge’s new poet laureate will write in two languages, and one of them is endangered

CELEBRATING THE INTERSECTION of writing and visual art and preserving a lost Louisiana language are at the core of what Jonathan Mayers hopes to accomplish as the Capital City’s newest poet laureate. Mayers, a painter, poet and cultural activist, was named the 2021-2022 poet laureate in July by Mayor Sharon Weston Broome. The Baton Rouge Poet Laureate Program was launched in 2019 by the Mayor’s Office in partnership with the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. Its appointees serve for one year, during which they work to deepen cultural awareness through poetry. Mayers is the city’s third poet laureate, following Brittany Marshall (2020-2021) and Cubs the Poet (2019-2020). A Baton Rouge native, Mayers is quick to say he’s “not a scholarly poet.” Rather, his love for verse was forged through song lyrics and the poetry readings he participated in during college at the Spanish Moon bar. As an LSU undergraduate, Mayers changed his major from computer science to painting and drawing, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. He later earned a master’s in fine arts from the University of New Orleans. Mayers’ bright, fantastical paintings merge his love for Louisiana landscapes with native creatures painted in a style reminiscent of cartoons and comics. While fine art has defined much of Mayers’ work, he’s also been driven by a passion for multilingualism and the way it can unlock culture. Four years ago, he pursued learning the French language through an immersion program at the Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point, Nova Scotia. Since then, he has also mastered the endangered Louisiana Creole language, Kouri-Vini, and actively works with a handful of other activists and scholars to preserve it. “My grandmother and great-grandmother spoke KouriVini,” Mayers says. “A lot of people still have traces of it in their family, even though they might not recognize it as part of an endangered language.” Kouri-Vini is fused from the languages spoken in Louisiana’s colonial period, including French. Particular

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[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

COURTESY JONATHAN MAYERS

Jonathan Mayers, Baton Rouge’s new poet laureate

Mayers’ painting “La Grande Écrevisse Blanche de Rivière, or The Great White River Crawfish.”

features and words in the language have been traced to a handful of West African languages. Also known as Louisiana Creole, it is distinct from Cajun French, and has faded as the generations of people who spoke it have died out. Mayers’ enthusiasm for the language, and for multilingualism in general, is apparent in his daily life. His outgoing voicemail message is in Kouri-Vini. His website tabs are in Kouri-Vini and English. “Less than 9,000 people still speak Kouri-Vini today,” Mayers says, “including people who are learning it.” Mayers says his main objective as poet laureate is to celebrate Baton Rouge’s Creole heritage, the cultural melding that occurred when different groups, including African enslaved people, exiled Acadians and European colonizers first coexisted during the colonial period. Preserving the languages that took shape during this period will help us better understand our collective culture, he says. “I would like to find others who speak Kouri-Vini,” Mayers says. “It’ll be a big part of what I do as poet laureate.” artsbr.org/poet-laureate

Stripped funds How did federal money intended for Baton Rouge performing arts groups end up with a strip club? IN LATE JULY, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced a roster of local recipients of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, a component of Congress’ massive pandemic relief aid package aimed at helping theaters, cinemas, museums and music venues. Among the local awardees who split $8.1 million: Louisiana Art & Science Museum, Opera Louisiane, Theatre Baton Rouge and … The Penthouse Club? In fact, the Bennington Avenue gentleman’s club snatched the third-largest grant in Baton Rouge. Its $1.1 million award was nearly three times the amount awarded to the fourth on the list, the Manship Theatre at around $388,000. The SBA program specifically states that venues providing goods or services of “a prurient sexual nature” are ineligible. One local arts organization left off the list? Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. Its executive director, Molly Buchanan, said in early August that she had been given no explanation from SBA other than an option to appeal the decision. Buchanan raised questions about Penthouse being among the recipients, saying the news was “disappointing.” The ballet company saw its income slashed by 72% in 2020 due to event cancellations, including its massively popular Nutcracker production. “Thankfully, we have donors and supporters who have stepped up to help,” she told Daily Report in August. “But the whole situation is really frustrating.” Just a few days later, Buchanan received word that it did get approval for its grant after all—to the tune of $168,000—and didn’t need to appeal. Despite the mixed messages, she says the ballet company is grateful for the infusion of cash. ​​“This will make such a huge difference.” As our sister publication Daily Report dug into the story, SBA representatives and owners of the Penthouse had not responded to multiple calls as of press time.

—FROM NEWS REPORTS

STOCK IMAGE

Spoken words

Confusion surrounds an SBA grant program that gave money to a local strip club while temporarily denying local arts groups like Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre.


OUR CITY //

COURTESY LOUISIANA OFFICE OF TOURISM

Follow the trail

Issue Date: September 2021 Ad proof #1

DIGITS

7

IN EARLY AUGUST, the state Office of Tourism dedicated a new marker downtown for the Louisiana Civil Rights Trail. Situated in A.Z. Young Park, the marker honors the Bogalusa-to-Baton Rouge Civil Rights march in August 1967. It was led by activist A.Z. Young— among others—and it was called the “105-mile gauntlet” because participants faced opposition from locals and required protection from National Guardsmen and police. More than 600 people had joined the march by the time it reached the steps of the State Capitol 10 days later, where participants demanded the state address employment discrimination and support Black people running for political office in Bogalusa. The marker is the fourth such site for the Louisiana Civil Rights Trail. The first three were unveiled this spring and include the Baton Rouge Bus Boycott, Little Union Baptist Church in Shreveport and Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans. louisianacivilrightstrail.com

—STAFF REPORT

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. The Rights Trailormarker in A.Z. • AD Louisiana WILL RUN ASCivil IS unless approval final revisions areYoung receivedPark within 24 hours honoring theof1967 Bogalusa to timeframe Baton Rouge march from receipt this proof. A shorter will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Number of electric vehicle charging stations being added to LSU and Southern University, thanks to funds awarded from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in July. Three will be located at LSU with $36,000 in awarded dollars and four at Southern for $48,000. All will be installed for public use.

300

Number of new bikes that will be up for grabs once Gotcha by Bolt, the company that provides bikeshare services in Baton Rouge, adds 16 new hubs around Mid City and the Health District by the end of the year. The pandemic shutdown in spring 2020 fueled a boost in ridership that has continued—the company logged some 80,000 total trips in Baton Rouge in 2020, with the number of new users averaging 1,500 per month. The additional bikes increase the total fleet in the city to 800.

83

Percentage of Capital Region business owners who reported their business had been negatively impacted by the pandemic, according to a Baton Rouge Area Chamber survey released in August. Still, more than half of businesses think both the national and local economy will improve over the next six months, with 60% planning to increase their staff size in the next year.

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I AM 225 //

KeKe Morgan

COLLIN RICHIE

WHEN THE DOOR opens to Ke Care Yoga & Wellness, it reveals an otherworldly safe haven. White string lights and fluffy pink and blue pillows line a wall of mirrors. Rolled pink yoga mats sit atop mounted gold hooks. The dimly lit space feels homey with a feminine and mystic flair. The back wall is covered with a galaxythemed mural featuring pink and purple planets and the profile of a woman’s face. It was painted by local tattoo artist Tat2Slim. The Coursey Boulevard yoga studio is a reflection of the owner’s free-spirited, warm and welcoming personality. KeKe Morgan opened Ke Care Yoga & Wellness—Baton Rouge’s first Black womanowned yoga studio—on June 18. The local yoga instructor wanted to offer an inclusive studio where women and men of color, and LGBTQ+ and other groups could feel safe to practice yoga and meditation in a welcoming environment. “This is our space,” Morgan says proudly while looking around at the studio.

Since opening this summer, Ke Care Yoga & Wellness has been home to Morgan’s yoga and meditation classes, along with courses taught by other guest instructors. Local instructors have hosted ticketed events and private yoga sessions, and the studio is available to rent for private events, parties and classes. In the beginning of her yoga journey in 2015, the 36-year-old mainly practiced alone at home. She struggled with depression and anxiety, so she used yoga as a tool to find balance and relief. She wanted to attend yoga classes but often feared being one of the only attendees who was a person of color. Eventually, she ventured out and discovered other wellness gatherings for people of color, such as the Yoga Noir Project and Oils and Affirmations. After being encouraged by her friends and loved ones, she decided to make one of her wildest dreams come true and open her own yoga studio. “We could embrace so much more about our-

selves if we had a space to do it,” Morgan says. Opening her first yoga studio wasn’t a sudden decision. Morgan has long had an entrepreneurial drive, having been a realtor and the owner of an online wellness and beauty shop. She still sells soaps, essential oil blends, body butters and waist beads. Morgan has a special passion for women and children. She is the mother of three and includes her children in the behind-the-scenes process of building a business. This year, she continued her youth outreach and started teaching yoga classes for children at Glen Oaks Park Elementary and GEO Prep Mid City. As her business continues to grow, so does her skillset. Most recently, she became a certified reiki healer so she can offer yoga, meditation, sound healing and reiki at her studio. “I surrender to the process of becoming every day,” Morgan says. “I surrender to the future and whatever’s coming.” kecareyogawellness.com —CYNTHEA CORFAH

“I want to show people genuine love and inspire my kids to go after their dreams. I’ve never seen anyone close to me in my family chase dreams, especially unconventional ones. We’re taught to work for other people and that your worth is how high you can climb their ladder. I feel it’s important to honor yourself and your calling outside of a capitalistic point of view.” 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

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Sundanze performs this summer during the weekly Blues Jam at Phil Brady’s.

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[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com


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Facing the LIVE MUSIC WAS POISED TO MAKE A TRIUMPHANT RETURN THIS FALL—UNTIL THE DELTA VARIANT ONCE AGAIN CANCELED LARGE EVENTS. WHERE DOES THE INDUSTRY GO FROM HERE?

Intro by Maggie Heyn Richardson and Jennifer Tormo

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

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T’S HARD TO imagine south Louisiana void of live music. But that’s become our “new norm” as of late. Many festivals and concert events haven’t taken place since 2019, and some more than two years ago. Coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns first put the kibosh on the region’s signature festivals and live performances in March 2020. And while capacity restrictions on gatherings were mostly lifted this summer, musicians and music fans have had to be more patient than most. It wasn’t until late this spring—when COVID-19 vaccines became widely available and capacity restrictions in turn began loosening—that concert halls cautiously reopened their doors and event organizers looked optimistically toward the fall festival season. “Musicians are just thrilled to be working again,” Downtown Business Association of Baton Rouge managing director Lauren Lambert-Tompkins told 225 in July. The organization, which promotes cultural events to build the downtown economy, was looking forward to staging its signature free music series, Live After Five, during 12 consecutive Friday evening outdoor concerts spanning Aug. 20 to Nov. 5. It was slated to be a long, full season, up from the usual six scheduled dates the organization normally holds each fall and spring. “We have a lot of talented people in this industry in Baton Rouge who are (ready) to get back to work,” Lambert-Tompkins said at the time. “They’re all

COLLIN RICHIE

screaming ‘hallelujah.’ And not just them, but also all the gig workers who make things run.” There was so much activity happening then, in fact, that this 225 cover story was originally planned as a celebration of the music industry’s return. And if things had continued in a positive direction, you might be reading a preview of all the great festivals and events in store for the fall. But by late July, the highly contagious delta variant was widely circulating across Louisiana, and the state was making national headlines as it continuously broke all-time records for case levels. With less than 37% of residents fully vaccinated by July 30, the worst was to come. By press time Aug. 17, Louisiana had shattered its hospitalization records every single day since Aug. 3. “These are the darkest days of our pandemic,” said Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center chief medical officer Dr. Catherine O’Neal in an Aug. 2 news conference with Gov. John Bel Edwards. During the briefing, the governor reinstated a statewide mask mandate. “I cannot in good conscience sit by while our hospitals lose the capacity to deliver life-saving care to COVID patients and non-COVID patients alike,” Edwards said. “Nobody should be laboring under the misapprehension that this is just another surge. … This is the worst one we’ve had thus far.” Billboards advertising businesses and events around town were replaced with signs tracking COVID-19 hospitalizations among unvaccinated and vaccinated patients. Within days of our last interviews for this cover story, we were rewriting it—just as local musicians, performing arts groups, venues and event The Josh Garrett Band organizers were having to rewrite performs at Red Stick Social in July. plans for their fall seasons. On Aug. 11, nine days before the first Live After Five performers would have taken the stage, the Downtown Business Association announced the season would be postponed once again. “We’re ready to bring back live music and community events, but we can’t until this pandemic is under control,” LambertTompkins said. “We’re asking everyone in Baton Rouge to consider the effect this pandemic continues to have on our local musicians, business owners, nonprofits, employees, residents and children. Do your part to stop the spread so we can get back to the city we love.” Bandito Festival and Jambalaya Festival, both originally scheduled for August, also changed course. Bandito postponed its downtown festival, which was slated to bring rock, Americana and alt-country acts from across the country. Jambalaya Festival was canceled for the second year in a row. Events have now been canceled

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[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

Why are events being canceled again? How badly the delta variant was straining Louisiana hospitals by mid-August*

3,012

Patients hospitalized with COVID-19, a record high

91

Percent of hospitalized patients who weren’t fully vaccinated

11,706

Total deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Louisiana since the pandemic’s start

38.7%

Percent of residents fully vaccinated; 46.9% had received at least one dose. *Numbers are as of press time Aug. 17 via Louisiana Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

well into October, including the Fifolet Halloween Festival Parade. As of press time, plans remain intact for a handful of outdoor events, including the Baton Rouge Blues Festival—which had already been rescheduled from the spring to Sept. 18. The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s Sunday in the Park concert series also resumes this fall, with live bands every Sunday afternoon between Sept. 19 and Nov. 7. Time will tell if fall events or concert lineups see more interruptions or cancellations. Earlier this summer, bands had only just started to get back on stage at venues like Mid City Ballroom and Red Stick Social, as well as in local restaurants and bars. Phil Brady’s reopened this past March, finally getting back to its usual schedule of hosting everything from rock ’n’ roll and metal acts to blues and big band performers throughout the week. The Government Street venue had long touted itself as home to the nation’s longest running blues jam—until COVID-19, that is. It halted the 35-year-old weekly event for more than 11 months due to the pandemic. The Thursday blues jams typically draw around 30 to 40 performers each week. Attendees are used to the region’s biggest names gracing the stage, such as Jonathon “Boogie” Long or Kenny Neal. The bar’s original owner—Phil Brady himself—is often in the crowd, says current owner Joe Hall. But even before the delta variant began filling local hospitals late this summer, the venue’s crowds weren’t quite back to normal. By mid-July, the bar was seeing about 60% of its usual attendance. Some customers might not have realized the venue had reopened, while many others were still avoiding social gatherings, Hall speculated at the time. “We’re still intact,” he added, “but some nights are


C OV E R S T ORY

Crowds gathered for Live After Five pre-pandemic.

“We’re asking everyone in Baton Rouge to consider the effect this pandemic continues to have on our local musicians, business owners, nonprofits, employees, residents and children. Do your part to stop the spread so we can get back to the city we love.” — Lauren Lambert-Tompkins, Downtown Business Association of Baton Rouge managing director, in an announcement about the postponement of Live After Five

ARE OUTDOOR EVENTS SAFE?

FILE PHOTO

Outside patios have been a refuge for coronavirus-wary Baton Rougeans. Outdoor transmission has been almost 20 times less likely than indoor transmission, according to a 2020 study by The Journal of Infectious Diseases. But has the more contagious delta variant changed things? The delta variant’s higher viral load might increase the risk of infection outdoors, though it hasn’t been studied yet, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this summer. In July, Chicago music fest Lollapalooza drew an estimated crowd of 385,000, according to the Associated Press. After the event, which required proof of vaccination or a negative test for entry, there were 203 reported cases linked to the event. “No sign of a ‘superspreader event,’” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. “With hundreds of thousands of people attending Lollapalooza, we would expect to see some cases.”

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The Unselfish Lovers of the Blues performs outdoors at Pizza Byronz.

better than others.” After a nine-month hiatus, Pizza Byronz in Willow Grove returned to hosting local acts on its shaded patio. Outdoor live entertainment was always a big part of the plan, too, for its sister restaurant Bistro Byronz’s move to a new location in Mid City. “All along, we’ve been planning to have outdoor tables and an area where bands can play,” Emelie Alton, CEO of Byronz Restaurant Family, told 225 a few weeks before the restaurant’s planned late-August opening. “We’re looking forward

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to bringing in regular live music.” Red Stick Social also shifted its shows outdoors after COVID-19 caseloads began skyrocketing, drawing small crowds on its outdoor deck in the evenings. At Mid City Ballroom, new shows were still being announced for later in the fall, while some shows in August were canceled. “It’s been a brutal 18 months for live music,” the venue wrote on an Instagram announcement about one cancellation. “And will continue to be until we humans act right.”

[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

For nearly two years, musicians and music lovers had to check their passions at the door and wait out COVID-19 restrictions. Hopefully, the sound of music will eventually fill the air again. Here's the latest on which events are still on and which have been canceled—and when we might expect them to finally return. All info is as of press time in mid-August; check with the organizations for the latest.

—MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

CHANGING PLANS Live After Five

Downtown’s signature Friday night live music series, originally slated to feature 12 consecutive shows, has been postponed until further notice. downtownbr.org

Bandito Food & Music Festival

Organizers said the downtown alt-country music festival mixed with tacos and barbecue would be postponed from August to an unspecified later date. Find it on Facebook

Fifolet Halloween Festival

The Halloween Parade and Ghostly Gala Costume Ball have been canceled, but there will still be chances to get spooky. 10/31 Consortium will host the Flip Flop reverse parade, just as it did in 2020. 1031consortium.com.

COLLIN RICHIE

COLLIN RICHIE

What’s scheduled?


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Baton Rouge Blues Festival

STILL SCHEDULED Baton Rouge Blues Festival

Saturday, Sept. 18 Rhorer Plaza and North Boulevard Town Square Experience Baton Rouge’s distinct brand of swamp blues with a long list of performers that includes Robert Finley, Kenny Neal, Nikki Hill, Jonathon “Boogie” Long and Sam Hogan & The Rhythm Ramblers. batonrougebluesfestival.org

Sunday in the Park

JORDAN HEFLER / COURTESY BATON ROUGE BLUES FESTIVAL

Sundays from Sept. 19 to Nov. 7 Lafayette Park and the Shaw Center for the Arts Plaza The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s Sunday afternoon live concert series kicks off with bluesman Will Wesley and continues through Nov. 7. artsbr.org

Henry Turner Jr. Day Music Festival

Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 6-7 Riverfront Plaza Nationally renowned local musician Henry Turner and a variety of blues and jazz musicians play over two days downtown. hitcitydigital.wixsite.com/ henryturnerjrday

Cap City Beer Festival

Sunday, Nov. 7 Lafayette Park and the Shaw Center for the Arts Plaza Sample worldwide craft brews while the band plays at this dog-friendly benefit for Companion Animal Alliance. capcitybeerfest.org

Jambalaya Jam

Thursday, Oct. 21 Rhorer Plaza The benefit for the Capital Area United Way features a jambalaya cook-off and live music. cauw.org

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Feeling

T HE PAST two years have been hard on restaurants and bars everywhere, and they’ve left local institution Teddy’s Juke Joint hanging on by a thread. “Last year—2020—has been the worst year since I’ve been in business,” owner Lloyd “Teddy” Johnson Jr. told 225 this summer, “and I don’t see why I’m still open.” The Zachary bar and music venue is a decades-old pillar of the Louisiana music community. But it has been all but crippled by the pandemic. Even before the delta variant began surging in Louisiana, Johnson said his regular customers from the prepandemic days—mostly older folks— weren't coming out to the Juke Joint nearly as often as they used to. And nor do the bands. Johnson says he lost contact with scores of musicians

over the course of the pandemic and that it’s become a serious challenge to get new talent into the Juke Joint. In June, Dixie Taylor, a singersongwriter who performs under the name Dixie Rose and who has led the Wednesday night jam sessions at the Juke Joint for the past 16 years, organized The Teddy Festival to raise money to save the venue. More than 20 bands agreed to perform at the festival pro-bono. And Taylor says she made her intentions clear to everyone she contacted: This is to help Teddy’s, and there is no money in it for the bands. “Over and over, and over and over again, I kept hearing the same thing,” she says. “Absolutely yes; anything I can do to help Teddy and (his wife) Nancy.” But it would seem the festival was


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—ZANE PIONTEK

How have other venues been impacted this year? “We don’t know what’s going to happen if we can’t do our events. It’s a tough situation because we’ve got a lot of deposits out there to a lot of big acts. … [But] we’ve got to keep everybody safe, so nothing’s off the table.” —Brian Ott, co-owner of The Basin Music Hall, said in August 2021 on the possibility of requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test for entrance.

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“It definitely hurts. Sullivan’s is known for its live entertainment. It brings in so much energy.” —Leighton Carbo, Sullivan’s Steakhouse general manager, said in March 2021 on the impact of halting live music for much of the pandemic.

“You can take the restrictions away, but that doesn’t mean people are going to be completely comfortable.” —Brennan Haggard, La Divina senior front-ofhouse staff member, said in March 2021 regarding the difficulty of safely implementing indoor shows.

IN

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SECOND TOTO SKIN CANCER, PROSTATE CANCER IS THE SECOND SKIN CANCER, PROSTATE CANCER IS THE MOST COMMON TYPE OFOF CANCER IN AMERICAN MEN. MOST COMMON TYPE CANCER IN AMERICAN MEN. MEN WILL BE DIAGNOSED WITH PROSTATE CANCER DURING HIS LIFETIME.

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“We were closed for 11 months due to COVID. We’re just starting to come back.”

GET SCREENED WITH PROSTATE CANCER DURING HIS LIFETIME.

—Phil Brady’s owner Joe Hall said in July 2021, as audiences slowly returned after his March 2021 reopening.

Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our urologist

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Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our urologists. (L-R) Ross T. Cockrell, M.D.; Ayme V. Schmeeckle, M.D.; Wesley R. Porta, M.D.

FILE PHOTO BY COLLIN RICHIE

more of a momentary respite from the Juke Joint’s financial battles than a solution to them. Johnson says all the money it brought in quickly disappeared after he caught up on his bills and replaced the merchandise sold. “(The money) was gone before I even made it,” he says. Johnson says he may one day have to close the Juke Joint, at which point he says he’d likely convert it to a private event hall. If that were to happen, the community risks losing one of the last true juke joints in the country, with a rich history and downhome mystique that have attracted the likes of visiting celebrities such as Ethan Hawke and media attention from publications like The New York Times, not to mention the laundry list of renowned musicians from around the world who have found a second home on its stage. Johnson thinks it will take more than media coverage or events to properly resuscitate his venue. It will take a rekindling of appreciation for no-frills, down-to-earth musical and cultural communion—the kind that can only be accessed in places like this ramshackle little blues house just off Old Scenic Highway. But for those who want to help save the storied venue, Johnson says attendance is the most powerful tool. Be it an impromptu jam session, a performance from resident musicians like Dixie Rose or Doug Brousseau and the River City Allstars, or Johnson’s “Legendary Record Spins,” there are one-of-a-kind experiences scheduled for nearly every night this fall at the intimate venue. Check the calendar, pick a night, and see the place for yourself—while the music is still going. teddysjukejoint.com/calendar-page

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Now playing These local music venues are hoping to stage shows this fall AS CAPACITY RESTRICTIONS eased earlier this summer, local venues began cautiously but optimistically booking their fall seasons. Some of those events have already been canceled due to the alarming spread of the delta variant. But here are some music venues to watch for upcoming shows—and to consider supporting after long closures.

—DILLON LOWE

Culture Sports Bar

This charming sports bar offers live music, stand-up comedy and more all week. Find it on Instagram at @culturesportsbar

Henry Turner Jr.’s Listening Room

Each show includes new and original talent, with Henry Turner Jr. & Flavor closing out every night in a headlining set. Admission also nets attendees a soul food side dish. ultimatelouisianapar.wixsite.com/ henryslisteningroom

The Basin Music Hall

The two-story space on Third Street in downtown is one of the city’s newer live music venues, welcoming both local and national talent. thebasinmusichall.com

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[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

COURTESY THE BASIN MUSIC HALL

Manship Theatre

Inside the Shaw Center for the Arts, this venue is a one-stop shop for concerts, performing arts and film screenings with cozy seats, a bar and an eclectic lineup. manshiptheatre.org

Mid City Ballroom

What was once a church is now a live music experience with stellar acoustics and a one-of-a-kind stage. It is also the home of Pop Shop Records, which vinyl collectors can peruse between sets. midcityballroom.com

Phil Brady’s

This storied music bar boasts that it is “the oldest club in Baton Rouge,” having been built in the 1940s and in business in its current form since 1978. It's home to a blues jam session every Thursday night and live entertainment every weekend. Find it on Facebook

Red Dragon Listening Room

This small but charming venue on Florida Boulevard is one of the most intimate concert experiences you can find in Baton Rouge, hosting local and national talents. reddragonlr.com


C OV E R S T ORY

Blue Moon Saloon and Guest House

Red Stick Social

The Texas Club

This intimate venue has hosted legendary country talents like Garth Brooks and George Strait and modern powerhouses like Jason Aldean and Chris Stapleton. With consistently strong booking, it is the Red Stick’s country music juggernaut. thetexasclub.com

MORE VENUES TO WATCH

VACCINE CARDS FOR ENTRY?

New Orleans now requires proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test to enter restaurants, bars and venues. Announced Aug. 12, it became one of the first citywide mandates in the country. As of press time, there were no plans for a similar mandate in Baton Rouge.

COURTESY BLUE MOON SALOON AND GUEST HOUSE

Inside Electric Depot, Red Stick Social has live music, bowling, event space and more. It also recently unveiled an outdoor music stage, so patrons can enjoy a more COVID-safe setting. redsticksocial.com

Music excursions Blue Moon Saloon and Guest House Lafayette This genuine honky tonk was constructed more than 100 years ago as modest lodging for passing travelers. In 2001, the Blue Moon Saloon was added as a go-to spot for down-home roots music.

While other spots like Beauvoir Park, Bee Nice Music, Dyson House at Zeeland Tipitina’s Street, The Edge Bar at New Orleans L’Auberge and Squeaky Occupying a 1912 building in Pete’s weren’t yet Uptown, scores of famous acts regularly hosting live have performed and even reshows as of press time, corded live albums here, from watch their social media Jane’s Issue Date: September 2021 Ad Addiction proof #2to Dr. John. pages for updates. Look the yellow building • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minorfor revisions. with the banana onhours the sign. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 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.

Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall Mandeville Founded in 1895 to house the Dew Drop Social and Benevolent Association providing outreach for African Americans, the Dew Drop is an integral piece of jazz history. After the association dissolved in the ’40s, the Dew Drop became one of the premier venues for some of the earliest New Orleans jazz players like Buddie Petit and Louis Armstrong. Howlin’ Wolf New Orleans After two relocations, the venue now occupies a vibrant, mural-adorned building in the Warehouse District. It has two

These Louisiana venues are full of history—and if they’re open this fall, definitely worth the drive performance spaces—the main room and the den—as well as a mahogany bar taken from a hotel owned by Al Capone.

Ruby’s Roadhouse Mandeville A true-to-roots roadhouse occupying a 125-year-old building, this storied spot has welcomed countless Louisiana musicians to its stage, like The Boogie Men, Big Daddy O and Tab Benoit. Gasa Gasa New Orleans Gasa Gasa provides a home to many vibrant creative happenings—music, comedy, art, film. Plastered with a mural of men who appear to be shouting

out to the passersby of Freret Street, it is hard to miss.

Fred’s Lounge Mamou Fred’s Lounge is home to a more-than-55-year-old Ville Platte tradition: a Saturday morning Cajun music jam that is broadcast live on KVPI Radio. Preservation Hall New Orleans Founded in the ’50s as an art gallery welcoming jazz musicians struggling to find gigs in the era of rock ‘n’ roll and bebop, Preservation Hall has since become a stalwart of the jazz community.

—ZANE PIONTEK

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

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C OV E R S T ORY

I

Booked up Red Stick Music bills itself as ‘Baton Rouge’s Live Music Calendar’—and it’s been a more powerful resource than ever for local musicians during the pandemic

“That’s what I think is important: bringing the community together over things that we can all agree on, like music.”

COLLIN RICHIE

—Caitlen Odell, who founded Red Stick Music in 2014 with her husband, Christopher

F YOU’VE EVER searched online for concerts around Baton Rouge, you’ve probably stumbled across Red Stick Music. The site provides visitors with a comprehensive roundup of all the Capital City’s concert offerings in one easy-to-navigate calendar. It’s a great way to find events and venues you may not have otherwise been aware of. When the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a heavy blow to the local music scene, owners Christopher and Caitlen Odell quickly found a way to adapt. Venues closed their doors and musicians turned toward livestreaming as a means to perform—and the Red Stick Music calendar filled up with listings for those livestreams. And as live music slowly came trickling back this summer, it continued to be a crucial resource for musicians and concert aficionados alike. In 2014, the Odells’ shared passion for music inspired them to create a site they hoped would help elevate Baton Rouge’s live music scene. The duo, who have now been married for 12 years, met while pursuing degrees in music and working as servers at a local restaurant. In 2010, they launched Four Leaf Audio LLC, an audio production company offering on-site recording of live performances, as well as editing, mixing and mastering services. Four Leaf Audio played a huge role in the creation of Red Stick Music, Christopher says. “We were hearing from bands that loved our live recordings but really wanted bigger crowds,” he says. “We were already looking up live music all of the time, so we just put a calendar together to build the scene. Without a strong music scene, we were never going to get to do our dream of recording live music full time. That’s why we started the site.” Today, you might assume the Red Stick Music calendar runs on some sort of software that automatically compiles local listings. But the truth is that it is much more of a labor of love. Each week, the calendar is painstakingly prepared by hand. “I basically just have crazy checklists that I use every week,” Caitlen says. “Every time I scroll through Facebook and see a show, I make a note to add it to the calendar. I have tons of checklists and reminders so I can get everything added and make it as complete as possible.” Right before the delta variant began exploding across the state this summer, the Odells saw a lot of optimism in the local industry. “The music scene is kind of blowing up right now,” Christopher told 225 in July. “Musicians are ready to be in front of people instead of in front of their cameras.” While large events such as Live After Five announced cancellations in August, there have so far still been plenty of smaller shows for the website to direct music fans to. “We’re just playing our role in the local music community,” Caitlen says. “We’re proud of the positive impact we feel we’re making. The musicians, venues and fans are all out there making the community thrive, and we’re just doing our part to facilitate that and bring everyone together. That’s what I think is important: bringing the community together over things that we can all agree on, like music. We’re connecting people.” redstickmusic.com

—DILLON LOWE

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C OV E R S T ORY

Mic test

Open mic nights have thrived during the pandemic, intimate events that give songwriters the stage

PHOTOS BY COLLIN RICHIE

TO A SONGWRITER, the first step in testing a new song—and how it feels to perform it—is to play at an open mic night. These set-aside events are made for helping singer-songwriters perfect their craft in a friendly setting filled with music

Issue Date: September 2021 Ad proof #3 • 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.

”The crowd typically listens more at an open mic night than at a booked gig, and you can get feedback from other musicians.” —Local singer-songwriter Peyton McMahon, seen here performing at Tin Roof in July

fans and fellow artists. “They’re great for figuring out where you need to fine tune things,” says Baton Rouge singer-songwriter Peyton McMahon, a successful local musician who has been writing and performing since he was 16 and has a popular YouTube channel. “The crowd typically listens more at an open mic night than at a booked gig, and you can get feedback from other musicians.” Baton Rouge’s small but significant open mic scene includes weekly gatherings at spots such as Tin Roof Brewing Company, La Divina Italian Cafe and Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar. And because the shows tend to be smaller and intimate, they’ve largely been able to continue safely during COVID-19. Unlike scheduled shows, singers add their names to a list of performers during open mic nights. Each one takes a turn on stage, playing a handful of songs before the crowd. Generally, this means original work, but some artists

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

BLUE STAR MUSEUM PROGRAM

ZAPP’S INTERNATIONAL BEERFEST

THRU SEPTEMBER 6

OCTOBER 23 | 3:30-6PM

The program begins on Armed Forces Day, May 15, 2021, through Labor Day, September 6, 2021.

More than 200 foreign, domestic, and home brewed beer and ales will be available for tasting. This event is for patrons 21 years of age and older. Proper photo identification required to purchase tickets and to enter event. Non- alcoholic beverages will be available. Tickets are limited. Regular Tickets $40 | Designated Driver Tickets $20

IONE E. BURDEN SYMPOSIUM 300 YEARS OF THE GERMAN COAST SEPTEMBER 11 | 8AM-3PM “Discovering 300 Years of Louisiana’s German Coast” Distinguished speakers will discuss the Germans of Louisiana in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the settlement of the Louisiana German Coast. A lunch and speaker’s reception are included.

HARVEST DAY OCTOBER 2 | 8AM-5PM Living history demonstrations will interpret activities that took place on Louisiana farms during harvest time in the 19th century. Activities will include open-hearth cooking, soap making, blacksmithing, quill pen writing, tatting, spinning and wagon rides. Various musical performances will also be scheduled throughout the day.

A RURAL LIFE CHRISTMAS DECEMBER 6 | 8AM-6PM Ring in the Christmas season with a 19th century Louisiana celebration. Musical groups, demonstrating artisans, storytellers, and costumed re-enactors will be present to set the holiday mood. The event will conclude with a bonfire and a very special guest.  Admission: Adults, $10, Children 10 years & under are free. In accordance with LSU directives, local, state and federal requirements, the LSU Rural Life Museum is taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  For updates, please check our website and social media channels, and for university updates please visit www.lsu.edu/coronavirus.

The LSU Rural Life Museum located on Burden Museum & Gardens | 4560 Essen Lane | 225.765.2437 42 

[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com


C OV E R S T ORY

Allons danser!

might also play cover tunes to hone their performance skills. Tin Roof ’s Open Mic Night “You always want to Every second and fourth Thursday play your best stuff,” 8-10 p.m. says singer-songwriter Find it on Facebook Margaret Fowler. Fowler plays in a famLa Divina’s Original Music Group ily band called Moon Fridays Pie and also plays 6-8 p.m. regularly with her Find it on Facebook partner, Jason Milam, a member of the local Jolie Pearl’s Singer Songwriter Sundays band Unselfish Lovers 1-5 p.m. of the Blues. Find it on Facebook Fowler says open mic nights serve an important purpose in a city’s local music scene because the gatherings build a stronger songwriting community. They give artists a chance to perfect their craft and learn to connect with a crowd. “For someone who might not have booked gigs, it gives them the opportunity to get up there, and build their confidence,” Fowler says. “Performing is all about communicating. You’re literally looking at people, and playing what you’ve written.” And sometimes, parts of a song don’t feel right. An open mic night can reveal those imperfections, which a songwriter can correct back at home or in the studio. “It’s a litmus test to your songwriting,” McMahon says. “Sometimes, I’ll write songs quickly and go to an open mic night with just me and my acoustic guitar to try them out. If the song has life, or if it needs work, I’ll go back and work it.” McMahon says open mic nights are also great places to build relationships between local songwriters looking for other creatives. Issue Date: September 2021 McMahon Ad proof #1 “You see a lot of the same musicians,” says. • Please respond by e-mail fax with approvaland or minor “And that’s cool to beorable to your network get revisions. feedback.” • 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. —MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

WHERE TO CATCH OPEN MIC NIGHTS

A BIG PART of hearing and watching live music is the spontaneous dancing—really good dancing—that inevitably breaks out among spectators. Two-stepping couples swing and sway in time with the beat, predicting each other’s movements with style and finesse. How do they do it? Unless they grew up dancing at home, they might have taken advantage of one of Baton Rouge’s adult dance schools, including the well-known TC Dance Club International, whose Government Street location celebrates 50 years in business in the same location this October. “We teach social dance, as opposed to competition dance,” coowner Rick Carpenter says. Students ranging in age from their 20s to 70s enroll in the school’s Monday through Friday sessions, Carpenter says, and they don’t have to be part of a couple to feel comfortable participating. There are plenty of single students. TC Dance Club teaches many different dances, including what Carpenter calls the “big five”: swing, jitterbug, cha-cha-cha, foxtrot and waltz. These basics work for social experiences from weddings to live music. “The Cajun waltz and the Cajun swing are the same as the American waltz or swing, just set to Cajun music,” he says. “Once you learn them, you just adjust the steps to the music.” tcdancebtr.com

—MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

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

THANK YOU FOR VOTING US BEST DOWNTOWN SPOT FOR LUNCH 3 YEARS IN A ROW BEST OF

AWARDS 2021 WINNER

WE SET THE STANDARD FOR AMERICAN CUISINE! 100 Lafayette Street | 225-381-8140 | capitalcitygrill.net

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

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Colorectal Surgeons Nathan Hite, MD and Kelly Finan, MD represent a team of 18 dedicated robotic surgeons.

Surgically Superior. Robotically Advanced.

When you hear the term robotic surgery, what do you imagine? Eleven years ago, we imagined a program that would change the future for our communities. Today, our team of incredibly skilled surgeons have practiced their craft religiously and become the epicenter for robotic training in the Gulf South region, and a recent expansion of robotic surgery services at Our Lady of the Lake Ascension. The Our Lady of the Lake Robotic Surgery Institute is the result of their dedication to excellence. Our expert surgeons treat a broad range of surgical conditions — from advanced cancer treatment to hernia and gallbladder removal to surgical weight loss. Their expertise has helped train hundreds of surgeons across the nation and earned them numerous awards and recognition. But what means the most? The impact these surgeries have on the daily lives of our patients. With less scarring, shorter recovery times and less complications, robotic surgery is leading the way in caring for our communities. For more information and to view our roster of dedicated surgeons, visit ololrmc.com/robotics


I N S I D E : Mid City Mercantile / BR’s first selfie museum

Collective

soul

A new Perkins Rowe store is the place to find cool tees and art—and record a podcast, live-play a video game on Twitch or even invest in alternative assets B Y A N N A J ONES // P HOTO S B Y CO LLIN RICHIE

Anthony Ranaudo opened Cards and Culture alongside Vittorio Fragale (not pictured).


Issue Date: September Ad2 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.

STYLE //

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

Thank you to ALL our customers for your patronage! 55 years and still going strong!

15-TIME WINNER

Issue Date: Feb 2021 Ad proof #1

Bennington Ave 225-927-7156 | ginosrestaurant.com • Please4542 respond by e-mail or fax with |your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • 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

HIGHEST QUALITY WITH COMPETITIVE PRICING! At Ducote’s Restaurant & Bar Equipment, we specialize in supplying the foodservice industry with a broad selection of the top-quality equipment and supplies you need to successfully run your operations and efficiently serve your customers.

4433 Florida Blvd • 225-344-4240 ducotesrestaurantsupply.com OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

#38003 #AM-50-BAJ

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B

efore Anthony Ranaudo was an MLB pitcher, he was a kid with a card collection. He remembers spending hours stocking up on everything from baseball to Pokemon cards. The hobby was sidelined at the start of his professional sports career, but resumed amid pandemic boredom. “When I started doing signings, I saw a different aspect of the hobby,” says the LSU grad. “Now being on the hobby side again, I thought to myself, ‘This could be a better experience for the consumer and the athlete.’” His solution: Cards and Culture, which started as an online store centered around sports cards, memorabilia, streetwear, art and more. This summer, he and co-founder Vittorio Fragale opened the brand’s first brick-and-mortar shop inside Perkins Rowe. From 2010 to 2017, Ranaudo’s baseball career took him to signings all across the country while playing for the Red Sox, the Rangers, the White Sox, the Lions and various minor league affiliate teams. During that time, Ranaudo encountered collectors who cared less about meeting their sports heroes and more about reselling autographed items like cards, posters and other memorabilia for a quick profit. It wasn’t uncommon, he says, to meet fans with insincere intentions at any given location. Now, Cards and Culture aims to strengthen a sense of community within the collectors’ world. Its physical location features space where customers can create or interact with multimedia content, such as gaming and streaming. A Twitch lounge with an Xbox and Playstation allows gamers to upload their footage immediately after playing. There’s also a recording studio Ranaudo uses to create his sports and business podcast, The Up and In Show. It’s plenty of space to host athletes, entertainers and other public figures, bringing people from all around the country to Baton Rouge. Cards and Culture also serves as an alternative investing platform, where shoppers can invest in a range of collectibles. By telling a story through his products and hosting community engagement events, Ranaudo hopes young collectors will build a deeper connection with a sneaker, a baseball card or an art piece, while also viewing it as an appreciable asset similarly to how they might think of a currency like Bitcoin. “The best way I would describe (Cards and Culture) is a community destination for all things collectibles,” Ranaudo says. “We want to create a positive space for shoppers, for influencers, for athletes and entertainers.” Ranaudo is no stranger to entrepreneurship. His gym, F45 Training City Square Baton Rouge, inspired him to view his card collecting hobby from a business standpoint. He says Perkins Rowe was the perfect location for attracting foot traffic and hosting events. Pitching for LSU baseball from 2008 to 2010 made Ranaudo a lifelong Tigers fan. The store’s extensive collection of LSUthemed artwork and sports memorabilia displays the passion he has for his alma mater. Visitors can even expect some local collegiate athletes to make appearances at the store. “I saw the way we were building up a community (within the gym),” Ranaudo says. “I thought it would be fun to do this as a community—and tie in LSU sports.” cardsandculture.com


STYLE //

CHECK DOWNTOWNBR.ORG FOR SCHEDULE POSTPONEMENTS UPDATES CHECK DOWNTOWNBR.ORG FOR ANY SCHEDULEAND UPDATES

Cards and Culture sells sports cards, memorabilia, streetwear, art and more.

“We want to create a positive space for shoppers, for influencers, for athletes and entertainers.” —Cards and Culture co-founder Anthony Ranaudo

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

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Issue Date: September 2021 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.

STYLE //

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

u o y k n Tha for voting us for Best Local Sandwiches in the Best of 225 Awards!

The Best & Most Authentic Italian eatery in all of Baton Rouge! 5575 Government Street • 225-272-6817 www.bestmuffoletta.com •

S H O P TA L K

Finders, keepers Inside a stylish new boutique in Mid City, shoppers can pick up decor and gifts, have their nails done or even get a haircut By Anna Jones // Photos by Sean Gasser

USE PROMO CODE “225” AND RECEIVE 15% OFF YOUR ENTIRE STAY (VALID AT BURBANK LOCATION ONLY)

6 locations region wide • Online booking available

WWW.DEPENDABLESTORAGE.COM 48 

[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

KIMBERLY ABEL AND her son, Ian, are always on the hunt for interesting merchandise. The co-owners of Mid City Mercantile have an eye for unique home decor, timeless vintage clothing and charming knick-knacks for giftgiving occasions. “We travel a lot, so we’ll pick up stuff on the road,” Abel says. “We’re pretty creative.” The duo’s shop opened on Government Street in June, an allpurpose space for gifts, clothes, decor— and even hair and nail appointments.

The shop includes multiple rooms for independent stylists to work on clients’ hair, as well as one room dedicated to manicures and pedicures. Salon appointments are booked through each stylist. Abel says the idea for the store came about when Ian graduated from cosmetology school. “We just brainstormed and came up with this unique place,” Abel says. In addition to tracking down stock during their travels, the owners frequent MidCity Makers Market to connect with artists, and the work of


STYLE //

Mid City Mercantile opened on Government Street this summer.

several local artists and jewelry and accessory designers is showcased on the shelves. Some local makers represented in the store include BigBrownBat Ceramics, a line of handpainted mugs, bowls and jewelry,

linoleum block prints and watercolors; and GLO Designs, a newer brand selling resin ashtrays and catchalls. Abel says the art and objects for sale—as well as the decor—reflect her personal taste. A Christmas tree in 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

49


STYLE //

the back, for instance, mimics the one on display in her house year-round. “It’s probably been up for the past six years,” Abel says. “I just think it’s pretty, and I like the lights.” Instead of holiday-themed ornaments, the Mercantile’s tree ornaments depict musicians or “funny, funky” things, she says. With Abel’s son as her business partner, her daughter working as a seasonal employee when she’s not in school, and some of Abel’s long-time friends operating as the nail and hair stylists, she says it’s a true family-andfriends operation. “It’s just fun,” she says. “We love to be here, and we love coming to work. We’ll even come to the store in our pajamas.” Find it on Instagram at @midcitymercantile

VISIT THE SHOP Mid City Mercantile is at 3622 Government St. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Ad2 Issue Saturday, Date: November

proof #3

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. store • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are receivedThe within 24stocks hours. hand-made art, ceramics, jewelry, coffee table books, vintage clothing and more. • 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. 2020. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

For 43 YEARS, we’ve been driving happy couples, bridal parties, and special guests on the Big Day.

IMPECCABLE SERVICE. STYLISH VEHICLES. ELEGANT DETAILS. THAT’S THE RIVERSIDE LIMOUSINES WAY. Call 225-928-5466 or visit www.riversidelimos.com to book today. 50 

[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com


STYLE //

60

TRY THIS

Let me take a selfie

The details on Art Buzz Studios, the city’s first ‘selfie museum’

Minutes visitors have to take as many photos as they’d like. Guests can book time slots at artbuzzstudiosllc.com.

Photos by Ariana Allison

2,460 Square feet of space in the museum, which is tucked inside the St. George Square Shopping Center at 13510 Perkins Road, Suites F and G.

$30

Cost of entrance. Tickets must be pre-purchased online. No cancellations or refunds are allowed. Professional cameras are welcomed.

18+

Erika Joseph

Number of decorated spaces for photos. Each room has a different theme, from a sunny yellow, record-covered music-themed backdrop; Issue Date: September Ad proof #1 to a pink, doughnut-filled • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. room, not to mention • AD WILLofRUN AS IS unless areas. approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours plenty kid-friendly 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.

The CEO of Art Buzz Studios. The local entrepreneur opened the space on July 31.

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

FOR OUR MENU, VISIT ELSIESPIES.COM 3145 GOVERNMENT ST 225.636.5157 BEST OF

BEST OVERALL RESTAURANT BEST DESSERTS AT A LOCAL RESTAURANT

AWARDS 2021 WINNER

MON: 11AM-9PM TUES-THURS: 11AM-10PM FRI: 11AM-11PM SAT-SUN: 10AM-11PM E Q 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

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• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • 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. 2020. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

RETOOL FOR

Back-to-School WITH THE LIBRARY!

Online tutoring for K-College students Job Search Assistance | Academic & Career Resources Homework Louisiana offers FREE online tutoring, and is just one of the Library’s many resources for students!

Check out Learning Express, Gale Virtual Reference Library, EBSCO Databases, Opposing Viewpoints, Scholastic Flix, TumbleBooks, TumbleMath & MORE!

52 

HomeworkLouisiana is available for FREE in the Digital Library!

14 Branches Open Conveniently 7 Days a Week Available 24/7 Online

All you need is your Library card!

www.ebrpl.com/DigitalLibrary

[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

www.ebrpl.com • 225.231.3750


SPE C IAL ADV E R T ISI N G SE C T IO N

DOG TALES of

There is a reason why more and more workplaces have a canine companion around. Dogs can have a comforting influence on a stressful workday. Meet nine local dogs and their owners who work and play together. We applaud the companies who participated in this special section. With their support, the Companion Animal Alliance can fund a media campaign to increase the save rate of animals in our community. We encourage you to visit caabr.org to make a donation, or consider fostering or adopting a pet today.


SPE CI AL ADV E R TI SI NG SE C TI ON

DOG TALES OF 225

Penny

Owner: Riley McKernan Breed: Cavapoochon Age: 3

CHIEF HAPPINESS OFFICER GORDON MCKERNAN INJURY ATTORNEYS

Penny is the cutest dog and we just love when she visits! She definitely makes everyone smile.

Mary Barrow, Human Resources Administrator

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In just one word: Spunky Assignment: Chief Happiness Officer, a designation Penny earned the first time she visited the office. She is also a four-legged philanthropist: In 2019, the Penny Drive raised more than $1,500 to food banks across the state of Louisiana. Today, Penny’s Pantry gives back to local food banks, residents and animal shelters. In 2020, Penny’s Pantry joined with Neighborhood Pet Market to give away 265 bags of pet food to Baton Rouge General Hospital’s frontline team. Penny and her charity also aided with #MASKUP Louisiana and Hurricane Laura recovery efforts. Unique skill set: Being a fluffy and cuddly lap dog. Office buddies: Granddad Gordon

Fun Fact

Penny is an adventurous dog and has hiked American Lake, which has an altitude of 11,378 feet. Next stop: Mount Everest!

Performance bonuses: Peanut butter and crushed ice—especially if the latter is from Sonic. Obsessions: Chasing squirrels. She’s constantly on the lookout and must immediately be let outdoors upon spotting one. Successful catches: 0. Favorite getaway: The beach. The family travels there every July 4th to celebrate Independence Day and Penny’s birthday. Forgivable flaw: Puppy dog eyes and begging for snacks. Company bio: Penny’s story is a classic tale of a father saying “absolutely not” to getting another dog, and now he and the pup are best friends. Despite the urging of his children for more than a year, Gordon McKernan wasn’t keen on getting a companion for Ellie, a Bichon Frise who had the family to herself for eight years. When eldest daughter Riley moved home to Baton Rouge to start working for the firm, Penny—named for her copper fur—joined the family.


SPE CI AL ADV E R TI SI NG SE C TI ON

DOG TALES OF 225

Raising Cane III

OFFICIAL MASCOT, FRY COOK AND CASHIER RAISING CANE’S

In 1996, I named my restaurant after my yellow Lab, Raising Cane. Twenty five years later, Cane III continues the legacy as our official mascot. We are hoping that she will be a therapy dog like Raising Cane II. For now, she’s the official office dog of our Downtown headquarters.

Todd Graves, founder, chairman, CEO, fry cook and cashier

Office buddies: Todd, of course! Her dog bed and treats are in his office so it’s no surprise he’s her fave. But anyone who gives belly rubs or has food at their desk runs a close second.

Owner: Todd Graves and family Breed: English Labrador Retriever Age: 3 In just one word: Hungry Assignment: Official Mascot, Fry Cook and Cashier. Raising Cane III travels across the country to Cane’s restaurants to visit the Crew and celebrate new restaurant openings, community events, dog parks, and more. She is known for her love of snacks, her paw-sitive attitude that motivates the Cane’s Crew and her signature red bandana. When not posing for Instagram shoots with her dad (follow them @Raisingcane3 and @Toddgraves), she’s a professional office dog on duty. Unique skill set: Raising Cane III loves a good costume and has an uncanny ability to sit in chairs or on stools and benches.

Fun Fact

Raising Cane III reigns as Grand Marshall of the CAAWS Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade.

Performance bonuses: Crushed ice Obsessions: She thinks she is a ‘hooman’ Crewmember and loves sitting in chairs. Favorite getaway: Raising Cane’s Dog Parks Forgivable flaw: Snoring often interrupts Zoom calls. Company bio: Raising Cane III was first Introduced at the Washington Mardi Gras when Todd served as King of Mystic Krewe of Louisianians. She aspires to be a pet therapy dog like her predecessor, Raising Cane II.

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SPE CI AL ADV E R TI SI NG SE C TI ON

DOG TALES OF 225

Lucy

Owner: Ryan and Claire Engquist Breed: French Bulldog Age: 2

COO LEVEL HOMES

I love having Lucy around the office. She is so full of personality and brings joy to the entire team! It’s just so funny to watch her run around the office and jump up on Ryan’s lap once she’s made her rounds.

Jennifer Waguespack, Director of Sales

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In just one word: Angelic Assignment: COO. She’s considered a very pleasant distraction and an instant moral booster. Unique skill set: Her super sweet personality and the “so-ugly-she’s-cute” factor Office buddies: Anyone with whom she comes in contact. Performance bonuses: Unfortunately, Lucy is allergic to just about everything and gets a monthly shot to minimize symptoms. So treats are off limits. She’s known to snag one of her own, though, when children in her home forget to bring their plates to the sink. Obsessions: Sleep. She spends each night in a different bed. When snoozing with her

Fun Fact

parents, she makes her way under the covers, head planted on a pillow. She isn’t much of a morning dog and is usually the last one out of bed each day. Favorite getaway: This is one well-traveled pet. From the hunting camp, to the river, to skiing, she’s included. She’s even been offshore fishing—and loved it. Forgivable flaw: Lucy is perfect, of course. She has no flaws. Company bio: Lucy was a complete surprise when she appeared at the Engquist home on Christmas morning two years ago. Neither Ryan nor the children were aware of her impending arrival. Ryan was not a fan of petite dogs at the time and was, he admits, less than excited about the newest addition to the family. Three days later, one of Ryan’s daughters put Lucy on the couch with her father as he watched the news. “I made the mistake of making eye contact with her,” Ryan says, “and it was all over after that. Now, we seldom go anywhere without her.”

She’s surprisingly fast for having four-inch legs. She always comes to the hunting camp with her owner and can pretty much keep up with his Labradors when they’re following the four-wheelers.


SPE CI AL ADV E R TI SI NG SE C TI ON

DOG TALES OF 225

Bengal

Owner: The Brighton School

THERAPY DOG THE BRIGHTON SCHOOL

The kids respect Bengal’s space when he visits the classrooms. There is an immediate sense of calm as they wait to talk to and pet Bengal.

Chris Counts, Dean of Students, The Brighton School

Breed: Goldendoodle

Office buddies: All Brighton’s students will be Bengal’s favorites. He just doesn’t know them yet!

Age: 4 months old

Performance bonuses: Cut-up hotdogs

In just one word: Calm

Obsessions: Playing with his best friend, Thana, a three-legged golden retriever puppy.

Assignment: Therapy Dog. Dogs are calming influences on children because they can help the brain return to a sense of calm and help the students relax. Our students work hard and when a child has a learning difference, such as dyslexia or ADHD, learning can be challenging. Frustration can set in and emotions can increase. We want to assist students as they modulate feelings of anxiousness, frustration or other negative emotions. Bengal will be available to love on students individually or in small groups. Unique skill set: Bengal has a sweet face. He is comfortable with many small hands reaching out to pet him. Once he is settled in school, Bengal will be a member of the Brighton faculty—helping students reach their highest potential.

Fun Fact

Bengal’s name came from Brighton’s school mascot: the Bengal Tiger.

Favorite getaway: He loves a trip to Petco with his trainer, Ashley. Forgivable flaw: When Bengal gets excited, he likes to hop. It takes him a few minutes to calm down. Bengal’s Story: In May 2019, Senior Delyia Posey worked on the topic “Therapy Dogs and Their Ability to Relieve Stress and Anxiety in Children with Disabilities” for her Capstone Project. Two years later, a Goldendoodle was generously donated for a Brighton raffle. Angelle High, Director of Enrollment, had heard of Delyia’s thesis and loved the idea, so she bought a raffle ticket. Angelle ended up winning the raffle and donated Bengal to Brighton so he could go to therapy training and eventually work at Brighton School. 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

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SPE CI AL ADV E R TI SI NG SE C TI ON

DOG TALES OF 225

Elly Mae & Daisy Duke OFFICIAL GREETERS LEWIS COMPANIES

We all love them. They are the babies of everyone in the office. Paige Douglas, Assistant

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[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

Owners: Lanny and Valerie Lewis

Obsessions: This instagram-worthy duo adores riding in the car trying to capture the attention of motorists, making them a frequent subject for impromptu photo shoots with admirers.

Breed: French Bulldogs Age: Elly Mae is 3; Daisy Duke, 2 In just one word: Pampered Assignment: Official Greeters. The second guests walk through the doors, Elly Mae and Daisy Duke anxiously await hugs. Unique skill sets: Energy and personality Office buddies: The entire Lewis Companies team considers them family. But in the end, they are their own best friends and are rarely seen without one another. Performance bonuses: Milk Bone Treats and lunch leftovers

Fun Fact

Both Elly Mae and Daisy Duke can jump about two feet high.

2 FT

Favorite getaway: The beach—and unlimited sand for their digging pleasure. Being the mischievous dogs they are, escaping to the barn to play with the horses is a fave activity, too. Forgivable flaw: Oh, how they snore. Company bio: Shortly after losing a beloved English Bulldog, Valerie Lewis discovered a local resident with a litter of Frenchies and immediately fell in love with Elly. Daisy was later given to Lanny and Valerie as a surprise Christmas gift from the Lewis Companies team, providing Elly a companion.


SPE CI AL ADV E R TI SI NG SE C TI ON

DOG TALES OF 225

Scamp

Owner: The McCumsey Family (Mac, Mia, Jessie, Sue & Kenny) Breed: Airedale Terrier

OFFICIAL GREETER DOGTOPIA OF BATON ROUGE

Scamp is a wonderful addition to our Romper Room [playroom for medium-sized dogs] because he entertains everyone and teaches the younger dogs how to play well with others. He is always smiling and brightening our day!

Skylar Landry, Canine Coach, Dogtopia of Baton Rouge

Age: 2 In just one word: Exuberant Assignment: Official Greeter. Scamp loves and gets along with everyone—human or fur friend—and he says his hello to every new customer that walks in by demanding a head scratch. When he’s in the playroom, he loves to jump up in the window to smile at all the people and dogs coming into the lobby. He’s a social butterfly! Unique skill set: Being a fun-loving dog who just wants to play and make friends with everyone he meets. The center of attention is where he prefers to be. Office buddies: While Scamp loves the humans at the office, his Best Furry Friends Forever (BFFFs) are the dogs he plays with everyday in daycare. His besties include

Fun Fact

Scamp is known to hop like a bunny—all four paws off the ground—when particularly excited.

Daisy, Margeaux and Dasher, but he is a friend to all. He’s also known to jump up and show the Canine Coaches that work at Dogtopia some love with huge hugs and puppy kisses. Performance bonuses: Head scratches, allnatural Bully Sticks Obsessions: Throwing Bully Sticks in the air to play catch and chase—even when he’s by himself. Favorite getaway: Dogtopia, of course. When his mom gets dressed for work he starts jumping around and barking and heads for the door: It’s time for daycare. He also enjoys heading down to the camp in Grand Isle for a little R&R with his family. Forgivable flaw: As a young dog, Scamp occasionally gets into trouble for chewing on things—he is particularly fond of his mama’s reading glasses and has destroyed quite a few pairs. No one stays mad for long. Company bio: The McCumsey family has always had dogs of many different breeds, but they really fell in love with the mischievous terrier face that Airedales have, as well as their loving, energetic and patient-with-kids nature. His namesake is Lady & The Tramp’s son, because 6-year-old Sawyer loves the movie. Scamp has six fur siblings in the McCumsey home: Bear, Molly, Riggs, Lilly, Mouse and Kona. 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

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SPE CI AL ADV E R TI SI NG SE C TI ON

DOG TALES OF 225

Abby & Elizabeth

SUPERFANS, FUR BALL

Abby and Elizabeth were the belles of the Fur Ball.

Dr. Christel Slaughter, Chairman, Companion Animal Alliance

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[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

Owners: Studyville founder Amanda Vincent and her husband Benn, who helped start the Fur Ball to support the Companion Animal Alliance

Obsessions: Abby is positively captivated with Amanda. If Elizabeth had to save one thing in a fire, it would be her Frisbee.

Breed: Abby is a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel; Elizabeth, a toy Australian Shepherd

Favorite getaway: Where Amanda goes, so goes Abby. Elizabeth adores a trip around the LSU Lakes.

Age: Abby is 4; Elizabeth is 10 In just one word: Abby: Spoiled. Elizabeth: Sporty Most recent costumes for the Fur Ball: Abby wore her fake pearls; Elizabeth wore a pink tutu. Unique skill sets: Abby’s superpower is gazing longingly into Amanda’s eyes and following her wherever she goes. Elizabeth is a multisport canine athlete: Frisbee, swimming, running and all things outdoors with Benn Performance bonuses: For Abby, it’s food. For Elizabeth? Get the Frisbee!

Fun Fact

Forgivable flaw: Like a goat, Abby will eat almost anything: trash, laundry, cat litter. Elizabeth is afraid of rainstorms. The Fur Ball Story: Nearly a decade ago, Baton Rouge Area Foundation President & CEO John Davies and Companion Animal Alliance Chairwoman Christel Slaughter asked Amanda to chair the original Fur Ball to benefit the nonprofit shelter. She said she would think about it, until they said this: “Just one thing: “The ball will be dog-friendly. People will come in tuxedos and gowns with their dogs.” To which Amanda responded, “I’m in.” She and her husband were very involved for five years.

As a puppy, Abby was placed in solitary confinement during mealtime because she would eat her own food and that of fellow pets. Elizabeth is a Frisbee fanatic who can catch one in midair or retrieve it from a pool. Should one happen to land on the roof, she has a hidden stash in the yard and can quickly produce a replacement to keep the fun going.


QUIT BLAMING SPE C IAL ADV E R T ISI N G SE C T IO N

ENOUGH ALREADY WITH “THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK” EXCUSES. Come to Studyville to complete homework, projects, and test prep, all with expert help in a cool, laid-back atmosphere. Let us worry about their schoolwork, so you don’t have to. L O C AT E D I N P E R K I N S R O W E

J O I N T H E C L U B AT S T U D Y V I L L E . C O M

(225) 408-4553 | INFO@STUDYVILLE.COM


• 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.

SPETYPOS C IAL ADV E R T ISI N G SE C T IO N Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

ADVERTISEMENT

ank You ThFOR VOTING US BEST OF 225!

A MESSAGE FROM OWNER, DREW DETLEFS, AND STAFF: We are beyond grateful to have been voted 225’s best place for pet services! Winning this title the fourth year in a row is amazing, and we couldn’t be prouder. We are truly honored to have such loyal customers. We could not have done it without all of our paw-rents and furry-friends who voted for us! Thank you all so much! We are so delighted to be able to spend time with your fur-babies on days you cannot. We love that you not only trust us to take care of them, but also voted us best to do so! It is absolutely no secret that this is our passion. We are inspired by the love between you and your fur-babies, which is why we strive to be the best for our campers. At Camp Bow Wow, we like to think of ourselves as one big family. When you drop your pups off, whether it is for a staycation or a daycation; they are not just “a dog” to us. Instead, they immediately become part of the family when they join our pack! We love them as they were our own, and we do our best to spoil them as you would at home.

Part of our jobs here is making sure your pups have the best stay possible. We know each pup has his own personality, which means we must personalize their care to fit their needs. For some dogs it means we have to hand-feed them, break out the ball pit, or even give them some one-on-one snuggling time. Regardless of what it takes to make your fur-babies happy, our team is thrilled to do it. Since all of us here are dog lovers, this job is a dream come true. You make it possible for us to be at a job that we truly love. Without our beloved clients, our staff would not be able to show up to work each day with a smile on their face and ready to see their best fur-friends. Lastly, we just want to thank you all again for the opportunities you give us when you bring your dog to Camp Bow Wow. We are able to create a loving connection with your pups that will last fur-ever. Again, it is an honor to have been nominated, and much more to win. We could not have done it without you all! Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!

PA TR I

C K R A N S O M , TRAIN

ER

It has been and is so rewarding to work with such amazing dogs and parents. I am so grateful for the opportunity to do what I love and for the support and recognition we receive from the community.

Patrick is a canine training and behavior

modification specialist and has been with

Camp Bow Wow since we opened 8 years ago. His specialties include all levels of obedience training, advanced behavioral modification, emotional support dog training, service dog

7195 PECUE LANE

62 

BATON ROUGE

[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

225.810.3645

CAMPBOWBOW.COM

training, therapy dog training, protection training, and onset film training.


• 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.

SPE C IAL ADV E R T ISI N G SE C T IO N 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

6T

NNUAL A H

DRINK BEER. SAVE ANIMALS. PET FRIENDLY BEER TASTING EVENT

Cap City Beer Fest is presented by our local animal shelter, Companion Animal Alliance, to raise much-needed funds for the lost, abandoned, and abused animals of East Baton Rouge Parish. Your ticket purchase saves lives.

Sunday, November 7 1 pm for VIP entrance 2 pm for general admission Ticket info available at

CAPTCITYBEERFEST.ORG 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

63


This Month [ S E P T E M B E R ]

@ BREC

URBAN NATURE HIKE

SUP 101

CHICKENS 101

Sept. 7 | 5:30-7 p.m.

Sept. 15 | 6-7 p.m.

Sept. 19 | 2-4 p.m.

Greenwood Community Park

Milford Wampold Memorial Park

Lovett Road Park

NATURE NIGHT HIKE + CAMPFIRE

ART UNWINED: COOL JAZZ

KAYAKS + COFFEE

Sept. 10 | 7-9 p.m.

Sept. 17 | 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 | 10 a.m.-noon

Zachary Community Park

Milton J. Womack Park

Milford Wampold Park

Milton J. Womack Park

SUNSHINE SOCIAL: BACK TO THE FUTURE 80S NIGHT Milton J. Womack Park

HOMESCHOOL DAY

SOLAR VIEWING

MUSEUM DAY Magnolia Mound

NATURE PIONEERS

SATURDAY MORNING STUDIO: MANEKI-NEKO Sept. 11 | 10:30 a.m.-noon

Highland Road Park Observatory Sept. 11 | noon-2 p.m.

CAMP-IN’

Lovett Road Park

Sept. 11 | 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

TEEN POP UP + UNPLUG

North Sherwood Forest Community Park Sept. 11 | 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

RIDE + ROLL

Perkins Road Extreme Sports Park Sept. 12 | 2-6 p.m.

Sept. 17 | 6-9 p.m.

Sept. 18 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

DOG DAY AT THE SWAMP

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

END OF SUMMER DOG POOL PAWTY Liberty Lagoon

Zachary Community Park Sept. 23 | 9 a.m.-noon

Palomino Drive Park

Sept. 25 | 9:30-11:30 am

E-SPORTS TOURNAMENT: SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE Red Oaks Park Sept. 25 | noon

Sept. 18 | 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

COMMUNITY WALK-A-THON

Highland Road Community Park Grand Pavilion Sept. 18 | 9 a.m.-noon

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 : Black Restaurant Week / Family takeout / Southern recipes

Bowled over

COLLIN RICHIE

Slurping up ramen and a variety of interesting flavors at Boru

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Studio E is a proven partner in creating your company’s narrative.

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How can we help elevate your company’s message? Let’s start a conversation. julio@studioe.us

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TA ST E / / THE BASICS: This ramen restaurant opened in Electric Depot in October 2020 as the brainchild of brothers Ronnie Wong and Patrick Wong, who share a history at Ichiban Sushi Bar & Grill. Next door, Patrick runs Sweet Society with shop co-owner Karen Vong. After a bowl of ramen, the ice cream spot can be reached through a central hallway for your dessert needs. WHAT’S A MUST: The ramen, obviously, which features housemade noodles and seven variations showcasing a medley of ingredients and flavors. For some light starters, try the Shoyu Goma Kyuri cucumber salad or the Blistering Shishitos for something spicy. And don’t forget the unique ice cream flavors at Sweet Society for dessert!

Above, the Kumamoto Black Garlic Tonkotsu ramen with sliced roast pork, and at right, the Vegan Shoyu ramen with green noodles and plenty of veggies.

R E S TA U R A N T R E V I E W

Boru

B Y D.J . B E AU T ICIA // P H OTO S BY CO L L I N R I C HI E

Our food critic’s name may be false, but the credentials are not. This gastronome has studied the history, cultivation, preparation, science and technology of food for more than 30 years.

boruramenbr.com 1509 Government St., Suite B Tuesday-Wednesday, 5-9 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m./5-9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m./5-9:30 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sweet Society ice cream shop Find it on Facebook Tuesday-Thursday, noon-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday, noon-8 p.m.

MY PARTNER LOVES ramen. Can’t get enough of the stuff. So when Boru popped into our heads as a dinner idea, the choice was simple. Located inside The Electric Depot on Government Street, the vintage warehouse-cum-modern-vibe suits the ramen restaurant well with brick walls, industrial concrete floors, and simple wood and metal dining tables and chairs. We began with a light starter, the Shoyu Goma Kyuri. Sliced cucumber with a sesame sauce and toppings looked so simple, but the flavors were anything but. Shoyu (Japanese soy sauce) sesame dressing, spicy sesame oil and katsuobushi (smoked, fermented dried tuna) created such umami that no cucumber salad could ever compare. It was a completely addictive combination. I was immediately drawn to the Blistering Shishitos starter because I could eat pounds of shishito peppers.

It’s a wonderful snack I fell in love with years ago. Sprinkled with pungent bonito fish flakes, salt and a yuzu aioli, these shishitos are a perfect nosh. Fair warning, though usually quite mild, occasionally a pepper will really zing you with heat. Moving on to the ramen bowls, the Vegan Shoyu was highly recommended—especially as a counterpoint to the heavier Kumamoto Black Garlic Tonkotsu ramen. The broth had a pleasurable salinity with hints of smokiness. Thin green noodles that kind of tasted like matcha were mixed with shiitake, roasted radish, tomato and caramelized chopped onion to create a light yet complex bowl. An addition of dried seaweed helped marry the sea and land together. The Kumamoto Black Garlic Tonkotsu had a far richer, slightly thicker pork broth with lots of soy flavor. Chewy slices of kikurage mushrooms along with fresh bean

sprouts gave a ton of textural contrast to the soft noodles and the thinly sliced roulades of fatty roast pork. An ajitama half (two-day cured soft boiled egg) looked like a jewel glistening on top, and when the golden yolk was spilled and dispersed in the broth, a dainty indulgence emerged. After all the salty goodness, we needed a sweet palate cleanser. Attached by a short hallway at the back of Boru is Sweet Society, a shop dedicated to Asian-inspired desserts. We went all in with the pick-three Taiyaki Pockets rather than ice cream— though I did sample the most divine ube ice cream, a purple yam; as well as a pandan leaf ice cream, which is a tropical leaf with light flavors similar to coconut. Taiyaki Pockets consist of waffle cone-like batter poured into a charming fish-shaped mold, cooked crisp on the outside with a soft doughy inside that’s stuffed with filling. We

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TA ST E / /

chose custard, red bean and Nutella for our three. Mildly sweet vanilla custard oozed out of the warm fishshaped pocket, reminding me of a more adorable profiterole. The Nutella pocket was a bomb of sugar. Hazelnut flavors definitely came through, and we were both grateful the not-sosaccharine batter helped dissipate a bit of the overt sweetness. The red bean had the earthiness of, well, red beans with a soft sugariness that helped lessen the blow of the Nutella. I’ve always been fascinated by bean desserts and found the low sugar a delightful reprieve from the cloying nature of some other desserts. Sweet Society is part of the same restaurant family as Boru, so wander by after your meal, show your receipt and get 10% off. Some of the ingredients in both the savory foods and desserts may baffle the uninitiated, but the staff at both businesses are very happy to explain all the details. The most noteworthy compliment is that my partner, who actively seeks out ramen joints whenever and wherever available, loved it and was completely impressed by each delectable bite. A true stamp of unabashed approval.

The Blistering Shishitos starter slathers the spicy peppers in a yuzu aioli.

Server Julian Robertson brings out the Vegan Shoyu ramen bowl.

A Taiyaki Pocket at Sweet Society offers up unique ice cream flavors in a soft, waffle cone-like vessel shaped like a fish.

$5,000

COSTUME CONTEST!

SATURDAY OCT 30

FEATURING THE MOLLY RINGWALDS EVENT CENTER

Doors open at 8pm | Show opens at 9pm Tickets are $10 or FREE with a mychoice® card PURCHASE TICKETS AT For more information, visit LBatonRouge.com • 866.261.7777 Must be 21 years of age or older to enter Event Center and Casino. Entertainment is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Tickets may be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster. Tickets are non-transferable and non-negotiable. Subject to availability. Management reserves the right to cancel, modify or refuse this offer without notice at any time. Offer not valid for selfexclusion program enrollees in jurisdictions which Penn National Gaming, Inc. operates or who have been otherwise excluded from the participating property. ©2021 Penn National Gaming, Inc. All rights reserved.

GAMBLING 68 

PROBLEM?

[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

PLE ASE

CALL

800.522.4700.


TA ST E / /

Family style

Call ahead

Restaurants’ growing family meal options make back-to-school season easier

Even if you don’t see family bundles on your favorite restaurant’s menu, there’s a good chance they offer something like it. Check their online ordering portal, or give them a call.

ARIANA ALLISON

BLDG 5 The freezer case at this Perkins Road overpass spot is chock-full of Louisiana classics and interesting flavors like rabbit and pear stew and tom yum soup. Monday to Wednesday, you can order family meals serving 3 or 6, which usually include an entree, side and salad. Note: While BLDG 5 temporarily suspended this option in past months, the owners confirm it will resume shortly. bldg5.com

BLDG 5 offers a variety of to-go prepared meals, including specials for 2-4 or 4-6 people. Pictured: shrimp Creole, roasted Brussels sprouts, house salad, rosemary focaccia and hibiscus lemonade.

THROUGHOUT THE UPHEAVAL of the last yearand-a-half, restaurants and consumers realized just how much they rely on each other, and one of the best expressions of that symbiosis is the to-go family meal. A subset of the growing takeout business, which has exploded over the last few years, affordably priced family meals have become a mainstay of both national chains and local eateries. Here are a few of our favorite options.

—MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

Maxwell’s Market Opt in to its email list to receive a weekly menu for the market’s longstanding Wednesday supper club. Meals serve 2 or 4, and include homey favorites like pork roast and polenta or chicken piccata and spaghetti GOP (garlic, olive oil and Parmesan). When you enroll, select the Maxwell’s location that’s most convenient for pickup. maxwells-market.com/supper-club

City Pork What started as a Tuesdays-only family takeout option was so popular that it was extended to every weeknight. The $39 bundle serves 4, and comes with 2 meats, 2 sides and Texas toast. Choose from pulled pork, smoked chicken, baby back ribs, brisket and Cajun sausage, along with traditional barbecue sides. cityporkbr.com/take-home-tonight-1 Cafe Petra A newcomer to the Perkins Road/Essen Lane corridor, quick-serve Café Petra’s family package features a choice of 2 proteins selected from chicken shawarma, gyro and vegetarian-friendly falafel. For an upcharge, order grilled shrimp, chicken kabobs or kafta kabobs. Pair them with hummus, tzatziki, rice pilaf and salad. The meal serves 3 for $40, or 5 for $60. cafe-petra.com

Izzo’s Illegal Burrito The Baton Rouge-based burrito chain provides a DIY fajita option that serves 4-5 people for $45. It includes a combination of grilled steak and chicken with warmed flour tortillas and all the trimmings. The package includes a side of Mexican rice, as well as tortilla chips, salsa and queso. izzos.com

Ingle Eats Sign up for weekly newsletters, and choose from fresh and frozen dishes available for pick up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The changing menu includes dishes that only require reheating, like chicken stew, as well as DIY meals that mimic home delivery kits, like shrimp tacos. Don't miss the frozen breakfast items, party dips and extra entrees to stock the freezer. ingleeats.com

Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine Mestizo’s robust take-out business got decidedly familyfriendly during pandemic time with the addition of $50 meals that serve 4. Entrees include chicken fajitas, burritos, grilled chicken, enchiladas or tacos, served with the requisite Tex-Mex sides and chips and salsa. mestizorestaurant.com/catering

Bistro Byronz Throughout the pandemic, Bistro Byronz made life easier with neighborhood delivery. While that trend slowed as on-premise dining reopened, you can still order family meals online. Options serve about 4 for $40, and feature some of the most popular dishes, like pot roast Creole or Chicken Paillard. bistrobyronz.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Expect widespread accumulation of indulgences From the brilliant colors in the gardens of Houmas House, to the explosion of flavors at one of our local restaurants, from Louisiana’s second largest historic district to a Sugarcane Distillery, there’s just so much to see, taste, experience and savor in Ascension Parish - Louisiana's Sweet Spot.

A Mix of History and Culture | visitlasweetspot.com 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] September 2021 

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TA ST E / / EVENTS

Spending power

By Maggie Heyn Richardson // Photos by Collin Richie

Black Restaurant Week is back, offering a reminder to be intentional about where you eat

Chef David Suarez of Royal Taste of Jamaica chats with Baton Rouge Black Restaurant Week creator Geno McLaughlin.

THE CHICKEN CURRY special at Royal Taste of Jamaica is bellywarming goodness. Falling-off-the-bone dark meat chicken is browned and bathed in a golden curry sauce scented with warm, earthy spices. Fluffy white rice absorbs each saucy bite, and the side of chopped, stewed cabbage shows how it’s possible to coax a lowly vegetable into something elegant, even when it’s served in a Styrofoam container. Royal Taste of Jamaica, a cheery spot downtown with a canary yellow interior, is one of the scores of Black-owned eateries in Baton Rouge that will be featured during the 2021 Baton Rouge Black Restaurant Week, which takes place Sept. 20-26. The weeklong celebration calls attention to the large number of culinary establishments run by Black proprietors, and encourages diners to support them, says creator Geno McLaughlin. Stewed oxtails with rice and cabbage “This is really about at Royal Taste of being intentional in Jamaica choosing where you eat,” says McLaughlin, who likens the effort to the shop-and-eat-local movements that placed a priority on supporting homegrown businesses. Similarly, many Black-owned restaurants are mom-and-pop hidden gems, and most have been established through bootstrap persistence rather than outside investment, he says. The idea for Black Restaurant Week sprouted in 2018, when McLaughlin says he noticed an absence of Blackowned restaurants included in the annual event Baton Rouge Restaurant Week, then organized by Dig Magazine. Now hosted by the site EatBR.com, the event usually takes place in the summer, (although this year’s was canceled due to restaurant staffing issues). Baton Rouge Restaurant Week, and others like it around the country, promote a list of participating restaurants that have agreed to offer special prix fixe menus during the week. It has traditionally been a way to bolster business in

Try these A sample of Black-owned restaurants around Baton Rouge to support during Black Restaurant Week, Sept. 20-26.

the slower summer months. And for consumers, especially in big cities, it’s been a way to experience fine dining establishments at a lower price point. McLaughlin, however, has a different goal. Restaurants won’t have to opt in, or be expected to offer specials. He simply wants to encourage diners to support Black-owned restaurants—and not just during Black Restaurant Week. Rather, McLaughlin wants it to become a year-round state of mind in which local residents circulate dollars in businesses that have not had the same access to credit, capital and private investment that white-owned businesses have, he says. “I just thought it was a timely conversation, saying that Black restaurants weren’t being represented, so why don’t we have our own restaurant week?” McLaughlin says. “That’s kind of the story of Black people a lot of times, whether it’s HBCUs or Black Entertainment Television. Because of a lack of representation, we go and do something to highlight our own, so

that we can be successful.” McLaughlin says Royal Taste of Jamaica is one of his favorite success stories. Owners David and Miya Suarez started the business originally as a home-based catering operation in 2018, then transitioned in March 2020 to Millennial Park, a shipping container park with counter service restaurants on Florida Boulevard. In spring 2021, the Suarezes moved their concept into the former Christina’s Restaurant location downtown on St. Charles Street. It’s not just restaurants that McLaughlin wants to highlight through Black Restaurant Week. He’s also using the occasion to encourage Baton Rougeans to do business with more Black-owned caterers. “We want to bring awareness about these businesses,” he says. “And say hey, why not give them a try?” For more information, find the event on Instagram, @eatblackbr, and on Facebook, Black Restaurant Week Baton Rouge.

The Bullfish Bar+Kitchen Fusion of Southern and authentic Caribbean cuisine 4001 Nicholson Drive Find it on Facebook Joe’s Grill Bar and Lounge Sliders, seafood boxes, fried turkey wings and signature cocktails 209 West State St. Find it on Facebook Memphis Mac BBQ 12-hour low and slow Memphis-style barbecue 2785 Larkspur Ave. memphismac.com Odom’s Kitchen Chili-glazed salmon, barbecue eggrolls and other Southern American fare; daily lunch specials and private chef catering 6120 Airline Highway (inside Tops Ultra Lounge) eatwithodoms.com Royal Taste of Jamaica Jerk and curry chicken, fresh fish, goat, oxtails and other authentic Jamaican specialties 320 St. Charles St. Find it on Facebook

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TA ST E / /

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TA ST E / /

DINING IN

Southern comfort A warm, country meal that’s quick enough for a busy weeknight BY TRACE Y KOCH A N D ST E PH A N IE R IE G E L PHOTOS B Y A M Y SH UT T

AS WE SAY goodbye to summer—on the calendar, at least—we begin to think about cooler months ahead and the comfort foods that fit in with the season. This month, we came up with a down-home, Southernstyle supper that is easy to prepare and will get you ready for fall. We braised pork ribs in brown gravy and served them up with a mess of smothered greens and spoon bread. This is a great meal you can make on a busy weeknight, because it can be put together in about 30 minutes and is finished off in the oven or slow cooker. The smothered greens and creamy spoon bread are the perfect complement to this cozy meal.

Cause a Racket this fall!

On the menu • Braised Country-style Pork Ribs in Brown Gravy • Spoon Bread • Smothered Collard Greens Recipes by Tracey Koch

S IG N U P T ODAY !

BREC Youth TENNIS PROGRAMS!

Braised Country-style Pork Ribs in Brown Gravy Country-style pork ribs are not technically cut from rib—they actually come from the shoulder area of the pig. They generally are boneless, but you may find some that contain a bit of bone from the shoulder blade instead of a rib bone, as is found in a true rib cut like baby back. Still, they are called “ribs” because the texture and consistency of the meat is similar to that of a true rib. We love working with country-style ribs because they have a lot more meat than regular ribs, and are therefore much more versatile. Many rib recipes call for smoking and barbecue sauce, but we prefer to braise them in a rich brown gravy. Braising is a delicious way to prepare rich meats. The slow, moist cooking method helps to break down the meat, making it tender and full of flavor. The gravy adds that comfort food touch, guaranteeing your family will love them.

Servings: 6 2 pounds country-style pork ribs 1½ teaspoons Morton’s Nature’s Seasons 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1 cup chopped onion 3 cloves garlic, minced ½ teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper 1 cup dry white wine ¼ cup dry roux powder 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. 2. Season the ribs with the Morton’s

seasoning. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven. Brown the seasoned ribs 3-4 minutes per side.

3. Remove the ribs and set aside. Add

the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften.

4. Add the minced garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Continue cooking for another 30 seconds.

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5. Turn off the heat and add the white

wine. Use a spoon to scrape the brown bits from the bottom. Turn the heat back on to medium and bring the mixture up to a simmer.

6. In a bowl, whisk the roux powder with

the chicken broth and slowly pour it into the skillet. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and has thickened a bit.

7. Place the ribs back in the skillet and

cover. Bake in the heated oven for 1½-2 hours, checking every couple of minutes to make sure there is enough liquid covering the ribs as they braise. Add some extra broth if the liquid reduces too quickly.

8. Remove the ribs once they are

completely fork tender but still hold their shape. Serve with your favorite side or Spoon Bread and Smothered Collard Greens (recipes follow).

Editor’s note: If using a slow cooker, follow the directions through step 6. After that, place everything into your slow cooker and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until the ribs are fork tender.

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TA ST E / /

Smothered Collard Greens

Spoon Bread This is a quintessential Southern side dish. It is a cross between a creamy side and a soft, fluffy cornbread. You can serve it alongside stews and braised meats, because it makes a great vessel to sop up gravy. Dating back to the mid-1800s, spoon bread generally consisted of cornmeal, butter, salt and milk. It is sweetened with a little sugar and enriched with egg yolks. Egg whites are then beaten till fluffy and folded in to create a light dish similar to corn souffle. We liked incorporating sautéed onion and dried thyme to add a little more flavor. You can also add cheese to the cornmeal mixture to punch up the flavor even more.

Servings: 6 2 tablespoons butter ½ cup chopped onions ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper ¼ teaspoon sugar ¼ teaspoon dried thyme 2½ cups whole or low-fat milk 1 cup cornmeal ¼ cup sour cream 2 eggs ¼ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees and spray a 9-by-9-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a heavy sauce pot, melt the butter,

and add the onions, salt, pepper, sugar and dried thyme. Sauté 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat or until the onions are very tender.

3. Add in the milk and bring it up to a

slight simmer. To prevent the cornmeal from lumping, quickly whisk in the cornmeal and continue stirring over the heat until the mixture is thick and smooth. Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream. Allow the mixture to cool.

4. While the mixture is cooling, separate

the eggs into 2 bowls.

5. Whisk the egg yolks and baking powder together and then stir this into the cooled cornmeal mixture.

6. Use an electric mixer to whip the egg

whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cornmeal mixture. Carefully spoon everything into the greased casserole dish.

7. Bake the spoon bread for 35-45 minutes or until the top is golden and the center is set. Serve right out of the oven with butter.

Smothered greens are a delicious and healthy vegetable and make a nice accompaniment to just about any type of meat. There are several types of hearty greens to choose from, including collard, mustard and kale. They are deep, dark green and chock full of vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as calcium. When they are simmered down with onion, tasso and garlic, it transforms them into a savory side that is nutritious as well as delicious.

Servings: 6 2 pounds washed and trimmed collard greens (or any fresh dark green) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup roughly chopped tasso ½ cup chopped onion 2 tablespoons chopped garlic 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon sugar ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 2½ cups low sodium chicken broth 2 tablespoons hot sauce

1. Make sure the greens are

completely washed and free from any sand and grit. Trim the stems off the leaves and give the leaves a rough chop.

2. In a heavy large pot, heat the

olive oil and sauté the tasso and onions for 4-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté an additional 30 seconds.

3. Add in the greens, salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, chicken broth and hot sauce, and stir well to combine.

4. Bring everything up to a simmer and cover. Turn the heat to low and continue simmering, covered, stirring occasionally until the greens are very tender. Serve immediately.

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• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • 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

BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER THE GAME

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CULTURE I N S I D E : ‘Green Book’ exhibit / Rap documentary / Music and arts events

Space for

making The Arts Council’s new community center brings a fresh approach to supporting artists

COLLIN RICHIE

B Y M AG G I E HE Y N R I C HAR DS ON

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C U LT U R E / /

TO BATON ROUGE’S creative class, the much anticipated Cary Saurage Community Arts Center sounds like heaven. There’s a kiln room for ceramicists, a black box theater for actors and a recording studio for musicians. There’s ample, flexible studio space where artists can work or collaborate with others. There are community rooms for art exhibitions and live performances. There’s a permanent gallery, a retreat area and a rooftop terrace with downtown views. The newly minted hub for local arts sits in the former Triangle Building, a once-empty building on St. Ferdinand Street noticeable for its distinct wedge shape. The 1950s structure saw a $3 million transformation that signals a new approach to how the Capital City fosters its arts and culture scene, says Renee Chatelain, the Arts

Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s executive director. “It’s a pretty extraordinary space,” Chatelain says, “and it’s going to mean so much to artists and to the community.” Along with creative spaces, the center is also the new permanent home of the Arts Council’s administrative offices, previously located for more than 40 years on the second floor of the historic Bogan Fire Station on Laurel Street. Among other advantages, the move will give the Arts Council a chance to install pieces from its own permanent collection of visual art throughout the center. The collection includes

paintings, stained glass, wood carvings, sculpture and other pieces the organization has either commissioned or collected over its decades of operation in Baton Rouge. Chatelain says one of the most important aspects of the community arts center is the artists’ studio space, which she says was a direct response to requests from local artists. This part of the building has been finished in an open, minimalist manner so artists can design their individual spaces in a way that best accommodates their work. “Early on in the process, we heard, ‘Don’t build it out, keep it open.’ So we’re letting artists create the space as they see fit,” Chatelain says. “One artist might need a 5-by-5-foot space, and

another may need 20 feet.” The space is available on a firstcome, first-served basis and must be reserved in advance. The Arts Council initially planned to welcome the public to the new space with a grand opening in September. But because of the alarming spread of the delta variant in August, that event was rescheduled to January 2022. Still, Arts Council staff has already begun operating out of its new digs—and plans to provide space to local artists and arts groups ahead of next year’s grand opening. artsbrs.org Editor’s note: 225 editor Jennifer Tormo is on the Arts Council board.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Cary Saurage Community Arts Center

MAH COURTESY RITTER

COLLIN RICHIE

ER ARCHITECTS

The rooftop deck of the arts center will have plenty of seating and space for outdoor events.

Retired from Community Coffee, a business started in 1919 by his grandfather, philanthropist Cary Saurage has invested in the arts and cultural landscape of Baton Rouge for decades. Saurage has an extensive art collection and is a longtime advocate for and supporter of the arts in the region.

A rendering of the Cary Saurage Community Arts Center, as seen from St. Ferdinand Street

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COURTESY RITTER MAHER ARCHITECTS

A rendering of the “Shell Gallery,” at the narrow point of the building where St. Ferdinand and Somerulos streets meet


C U LT U R E / /

MUSIC

DOCUMENTARY STILLS COURT

Golden era

New documentary shines light on Baton Rouge’s underground rap scene FOR SOME TIME NOW, Baton Rouge has been considered a hidden gem of rap and hip-hop talent. Red Stick-born stars such as NBA Youngboy and Boosie BadAzz have become household names, but it’s the city’s underground rap scene that is fostering a surge of young talent. In a documentary that debuted in late July, filmmakers and Baton Rouge natives Maison Kwame and K.C. Simms set out to show that surge and provide a glimpse of what it’s like to live and rap in Louisiana’s Capital City. WTF! (We The Future) features a roster of more than 20 local rappers. “There isn’t just one thing that comes out of Baton Rouge,” Kwame says. “It’s not just gangsta rap. It’s a whole multitude of things that we’re bringing to the culture.” The film is split into two chapters. The first focuses on life in Baton Rouge—what it’s like to grow up amid the myriad challenges in the city, such as its staggering violent crime rate. “You hear so many negative connotations about the city,” Simms says. “As a kid growing up, you

internalize a lot of it, and you grow up almost with this self-hatred about the place that you came from.” Kwame and Simms explore how that volatile environment shaped local rappers, both personally and artistically. If you grew up in Baton Rouge, it’s going to show in your art, Baton Rouge rapper Jireh Toussaint says in the film. “What makes us unique is the circumstances (we) had to come up through,” Toussaint says. Joining Toussaint to give their perspectives are Brandom the Goat, Jazz Bandito, Caleb Brown, Jose Xavier, members of the Col-Der-Sac collective and many more. The latter half of the documentary shifts the focus to the music and the rappers’ budding careers amidst an underground rap scene that is on the verge of a kind of “golden era,” according to the filmmakers. In the long run, Kwame says

MUSIC BEST BETS SEPT. 2 Baton Rouge’s favorite folk duo Clay Parker and Jodi James take their musical stylings to La Divina Italian Cafe. ladivinaitaliancafe.com

TATE TULLIER / COURTESY THE MUSICIANS

ESY THE FILMMAKERS

is is featured in the Local rapper Tre Lou The Future) documentary WT F! (We

SEPT. 3 Local venue Mid City BallClay Parker room will host a special benefit concert and Jodi James called the Bloodsuckers Ball, featuring bands Ventruss, Honor Me, Sometimes I Swear and DownCast, as well as handmade glass art from Ouro Boro and Co. Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Doing so will offset the price of admission. midcityballroom.com Aaron Lee Day (know n as Ronday and Robert ) Hishaw (k nown as V !lla)

he believes Baton Rouge has the potential to become a “cultural hotspot” on par with hip-hop capitals like Atlanta and Houston. All that’s left for that to happen, he says, is for someone to shine a light on the city and illuminate its thriving underground culture. And with this documentary, that’s precisely what he and Simms aim to do. See WTF! (We The Future) on the 166 Productions YouTube channel.

SEPT. 10 Legendary Southern rock group Marshall Tucker Band racked up plenty of accolades during a decades-long career. Now, the acclaimed group brings its sound to L’Auberge Casino & Hotel. lbatonrouge.com SEPT. 24 Country legends Mikey Gilley and Johnny Lee band together for the Urban Cowboy Reunion show at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel. lbatonrouge.com Editor’s note: Event listings were as of press time in mid-August and subject to change. Check with the venues for the latest updates.

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C U LT U R E / /

ARTS

New exhibition on the ‘Green Book’ shows the struggles Black families faced when traveling under Jim Crow—and the places that helped them By Benjamin Leger

THAT MAY JUST be a chauffeur’s cap sitting in a display inside the Capitol Park Museum. But it has a dark and dangerous story to tell. It’s a story of traveling in disguise and thwarting mobs in sundown towns. Of the risks Black families endured just to hop in the car for a road trip. For Black Americans in the mid20th century, that chauffeur’s cap could save their lives. It’s part of a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition on view now at the Capitol Park Museum about The Negro Motorist Green Book. Published in the 1930s-1960s, the small guidebook sought to help Black families navigate the road during Jim Crow. These newly middle class families were just starting to purchase cars, and often looking to migrate to bigger cities. But they still faced

discrimination, the refusal of a decent meal or lodging in unfamiliar towns, or outright arrest by rural police forces for arbitrary reasons. The Green Book was a resource highlighting businesses, gas stations and restaurants that were willing to serve Black people. It warned of those “sundown towns” where non-whites would likely be arrested—or worse—if they were present after dark. Many families had developed their own strategies for navigating these dangers, such as that curious chauffeur’s cap. In the event of a traffic stop, the patriarch of the family would quickly slip on the cap and tell the police officer they were just on their way to pick up their boss—thwarting any unfounded suspicions they might be driving a stolen automobile. “We don’t often get exhibitions this large, and this one is so powerful,”

COURTESY WANN RADIO STATION RECORDS, ARCHIVES CENTER, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

Hit the road

Four young women standing beside a convertible automobile, circa 1958.

says Rodneyna Hart, museum division director for the Louisiana State Museum, which includes Capitol Park Museum among its nine facilities. “I’m excited that people can have important conversations around history and culture with this exhibition, and that the museum can facilitate that conversation.” While organized through the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the local leg of its tour highlights several Louisiana businesses featured in the Green Book, such as Dookie Chase’s Restaurant in

New Orleans and the Hotel Lincoln on 13th Street in Baton Rouge, which provided lodging for some iconic Black performers and touring jazz and blues musicians. Hart says while the Green Book featured more than 70,000 small Black-owned businesses during its decades of publication, many of those businesses or physical buildings no longer exist, such as a gas station in Scotlandville that was one of the first owned by a Black person. Part of the reason such historic places are now lost to time is because

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preservationists overlooked Black landmarks in years past, Hart says. “It’s only now that people are starting to even include racial diversity in the types of businesses they are trying to preserve.” Even artifacts and images related to the still-standing Hotel Lincoln are hard to come by. The Capitol Park Museum worked with the East Baton Rouge Parish Library to find images related to the hotel, but they were only able to come up with a small advertisement in a 1958 city directory, which called it “The House of Hospitality and Courteous Service.”

The Hotel Lincoln on 13th Street often hosted visiting Black entertainers, like Aretha Franklin, James Brown and B.B. King, who were booked to play local venues but barred from staying in downtown hotels. Built in the 1950s, the hotel was abandoned for many years before being bought a few years ago by a group of developers with hopes of renovating it into apartments.

And so, exhibitions like this one seek to shine a light on those remaining artifacts that tell the story of the Green Book and the challenges of traveling while Black. “I want people to look at an object in this exhibition and understand that there was a person connected to this—that they are the story the (artifacts) represent,” Hart says. “I hope that people can really spend some time with the exhibition and soak it all in.” Cover image from the 1947 edition

See the exhibition

“The Negro Motorist Green Book” is on view at the Capitol Park Museum Aug. 21-Nov. 14. Find out more information at louisianastatemuseum.org and track upcoming events tied to the exhibit, such as documentary screenings, on the Capitol Park Museum’s Facebook page.

ARTS BEST BETS a band of dwarves on a dangerous journey through Middle Earth. theatrebr.org

COURTESY VIRGINIA ARTS FESTIVAL

TAKEN FROM GOOGLE STREET VIEW

C U LT U R E / /

ALL MONTH The Raising Cane’s River Center will host a one-of-a-kind exhibition on Michelangelo’s legendary Sistine Chapel frescoes. The paintings have been reproduced in a large format, displayed on the floor to allow viewers a closeup exploration of the works. raisingcanesrivercenter.com SEPT. 17-26 Theatre Baton Rouge’s Young Actors Program presents a stage production of The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkein’s classic tale of Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf and

SEPT. 18 Baton Rouge Gallery hosts the fourth screening of its Movies and Music on the Lawn film series, featuring a performance by Minos the Saint and a screening of the 1927 silent comedy The Kid Brother. batonrougegallery.org SEPT. 23 The Manhattan Short Film Festival will be screened at Manship Theatre, where attendees will get to vote on best film and best actor. This unique event streams simultaneously in more than 500 cities across six continents. manshiptheatre.org Editor’s note: Event listings were as of press time in mid-August and subject to change. Check with the venues for the latest updates.

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Issue Date: September 2021 Ad1 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.

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September

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all month

RHYTHM OF THE RIVER Opportunities abound to explore the local art scene of Baton Rouge during the Ebb and Flow Festival, the Capital City’s premiere arts extravaganza. Festival events run throughout the month, with a vast list of businesses and organizations in participation. ebbandflowbr.org

18

FEEL THE BLUES Celebrate Baton Rouge’s rich history with the swamp blues at the annual Baton Rouge Blues Festival, a local tradition since 1981. Local, regional and national acts all come out to the event to sing, strum and pick their hearts out at this beloved festival. batonrougebluesfestival.org

LOOKING FOR A GREAT SPACE FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT? Bluebonnet Swamp is available for birthday parties, business meetings, weddings and group tours! CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO 10503 N. Oak Hills Parkway

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COURTESY BATON ROUGE BLUES FESTIVAL

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

ON THE ROAD NEW ORLEANS

SEPT. 1-5: COOLinary New Orleans, neworleans.com

504

SEPT. 3-6: Southern Decadence, facebook.com/groups/sodec


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to watch

ALSO THIS MONTH

RAEGAN LABAT

ALL MONTH Louisiana Culinary Institute will conduct a series of leisure cooking classes this month, featuring lessons on steak, fried chicken, bread bowls, pasta and more. lci.edu

STO

CK

PH

OT

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LIVE AFTER FIVE The Downtown Business Association of Baton Rouge has postponed this fall’s concert series. There hasn’t been a Live After Five season since 2019, though organizers hope the delayed event can return “once the current surge has subsided.” downtownbr.org

BANDITO FOOD & MUSIC FESTIVAL The alt-country music festival mixed with tacos and barbecue was originally supposed to take over downtown in August. It has been postponed to an unspecified later date. Find the event on Facebook

• 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.

MORE EVENT UPDATES Subscribe to our e-newsletter, 225 Daily, for the latest updates on fall festivals and happenings, including the modified plans for events like Fête Rouge, Fifolet Halloween Festival, Louisiana Book Festival and more. 225batonrouge.com

LAFAYETTE

SEPT. 11: Second Saturday ArtWalk, downtownlafayette.org

ALL MONTH Every Wednesday night at The Station Sports Bar and Grill is an open mic comedy night. Anyone is welcome to sign up and share their comedic talents—first timers and seasoned comics alike. thestationbr.com/comedy SEPT. 1 Local dance theater organization Of Moving Colors Productions hosts its fifth annual Byrde’s Dancers Scholarship Luncheon. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Byrde’s Dancers Scholarship Fund, which provides arts opportunities to underprivileged children. ofmovingcolors.org/byrdes SEPT. 11 The September MidCity Makers Market will be held at Circa 1857, with a wide selection of furniture, antiques, arts and clothing. Come out to shop and show your support for local artists and craftsmen. midcitymakersmarket.com SEPT. 7, 14, 21, 28 Every Tuesday night, it’s time for Tacos, Tights and Bikes with Geaux Ride. Join fellow cycling enthusiasts and cruise the city before enjoying a taco from local food truck Taco Tuesday. geauxridebr.square.site SEPT. 30 BREADA celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Red Stick Farmers Market with a virtual edition of its annual Farm Fête. Support the market by bidding on culinary items in a live auction. Find the event on Facebook

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Rising toll broke down in tears, releasing months YOU CAN HEAR about it on the worth of pent-up fear and isolation. news, but it’s so different when you Over the next few weeks, I’d set see these patients face to face, Janell more middle-of-the-night alarms Schexnaydre told me in March 2020. to get everyone else in my family a It was the earliest days of the shot. I can’t describe the relief and pandemic, and Schexnaydre was gratitude I felt knowing that my working as a registered nurse in the immunocompromised uncle—who had emergency department at Ochsner been wearing KN95s so religiously in Medical Center in Baton Rouge. his 1,000-person office that his ears She was one of the many frontline were constantly bleeding workers 225 interviewed from the painfully tight throughout last year, straps—was vaccinated. documenting their expeWhen it was finally riences doing everything my turn to get the shot, from intubating patients I proudly took a selfie to sanitizing the ICU to holding my vaccine card, finally administering the grinning behind my first doses of the vaccine. mask. Now, I look back Back in March, when at that picture, at my it was still hard for most naive smiling eyes, and of us to picture what just feel sadness. was going on inside local Never would I have hospitals, the stories By Jennifer Tormo dreamed that a few they shared completely weeks later, precious shaped how I thought of vaccine shots would be getting the coronavirus. Honestly, I think their thrown away. Or that soon, Louisiana words will haunt me forever. would start breaking daily records for “As somebody who has seen how infections and hospitalizations. bad the virus can be firsthand: This Last spring, when everyone was is real. It’s not being overblown,” said sending flowers and donating meals to Nicole Allen, a nurse practitioner in health care workers, they told 225 that the intensive care unit at Ochsner. as hard as the battle was, it was made “These patients are coming into the manageable by the outpouring of hospital knowing they’re sick but not support and love in the community. having any idea that they’re critically How must it feel now, though, to ill or that they’re so sick that they still have hundreds of patients in the might not go home.” hospital—many of whom chose not to “We see death. I mean, I’ve been get a vaccine that might have predoing this for 28 years,” Our Lady of vented them from being there? the Lake respiratory therapist Melanie Last year, more Louisianans lost Guillory said, “but not to this extent.” their lives to the virus than accidents, And nine months later, when the stroke and diabetes combined in 2017. first vaccines were administered to Ninety percent of patients hospitalmedical workers in December, I was ized with COVID-19 this summer struck by how heavy the atmosphere were unvaccinated. The vaccines are still felt inside the local hospitals. safe and effective against preventing Meshoca Williams, a licensed hospitalization and death. All of that practical nurse at Ochsner, data is from the Louisiana Department administered the first vaccines to her of Health and is corroborated by every fellow health care workers. But even hospital system in the state. amidst the happy tears she was seeing I know we’re all tired of something— every day, she did not mince words. whether it’s the annoyance of wearing “We are still at war,” she said. masks, the crushing disappointment All of this is why one night this past watching events get canceled again, or January, I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. the prospect of remote school or work. At 5 a.m., the first COVID-19 vaccine But that’s nothing compared to appointments for the elderly would the exhaustion and trauma hospital be opening online. I was going to do workers are feeling now. whatever it took to get my grandPlease get the vaccine. The mother an appointment. And when pandemic has already stolen so much my grandma walked into the grocery from all of us. Why are we letting it store the day of her shot—her first time take more? in a public place in nearly a year—she

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FRAMED //

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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[225] September 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

PAINTING BY BARBARA BJORK FORNIAS / facebook.com/Barbjork GET FEATURED We love spotlighting local photographers, artists and designers for this page! Shoot us an email at editor@225batonrouge.com to chat about being featured.


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Profile for Baton Rouge Business Report

[225] Magazine - September 2021  

[225] Magazine - September 2021  

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