A sprawling new sports bar and restaurant complex near the Louisiana Superdome opened last week, skidding across the finish line just in time for the Saints home opener against the Chicago Bears.
Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar (1009 Poydras St., 309-6530; www.walk-ons.com) and Happy's Irish Pub (1009 Poydras St., 304-9236; www.happysirishpub.com) are both expansions from the same Baton Rouge-based management group. Developed together, they took over the former address of a Smith & Wollensky steakhouse, which had been empty since Hurricane Katrina.
Walk-On's originated as a sports bar and grill practically within field goal range of Tiger Stadium at Louisiana State University. It has since grown into a chain with a second location in Baton Rouge and another in Lafayette.
The dining room of the New Orleans location is covered with large, flat-screen TVs and has a large bar with booths equipped with self-serve beer taps. The restaurant's menu covers familiar bar-and-grill territory and adds a sort of Louisiana/Tex-Mex theme with lots of tortillas, cheese, crawfish and fried seafood. Walk-On's serves lunch and dinner daily and is open to all ages.
Just next door, Happy's is strictly a bar, and it's one that seems in line with the "breastaurant" concept. Barmaids wear the classic Catholic-schoolgirl-gone-bad uniform, with skimpy skirts and midriff tops. Happy's has two rooms fitted with deep booths and more TVs, plus an open courtyard. — McNulty