A restaurant or TV studio? It is Previous Faculty BBQ & Smokehouse, the place you possibly can eat and watch a present | Meals/Eating places

Calling the concept a little bit loopy makes Alan Traylor break into laughter.

He is aware of it was greater than just a bit.

“It was positively a loopy thought,” he mentioned. “However Bert and I’ve at all times provide you with loopy concepts — and we have been capable of make them work.”

A via Previous Faculty BBQ & Smokehouse. Employees video by Robin Miller

Bert Carson, Traylor’s enterprise companion, owns and operates Pelican Broadcasting Co. with Traylor. However, they speculated, “What would occur if the broadcasting firm moved its studio right into a restaurant?”

And what if that restaurant served up high quality barbecue to diners whereas tv personalities talked politics and sports activities on a studio stage?

Nicely, the concept should not have been too far off — as a result of it is working at Previous Faculty BBQ & Smokehouse. Higher but, its success has Traylor occupied with including music performances to his tv lineup.

Previous Faculty BBQ & Smokehouse on Coursey Blvd.

Nonetheless, the true pull for patrons is not the intense lights of the studio however the barbecue, a lot of it smoked for as much as 12 hours by head prepare dinner Terry Jackson.

The restaurant opened in 2018 at 10655 Coursey Blvd., a little bit greater than a yr earlier than the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. Its unique menu supplied ballpark-style fare, however that modified after Traylor closed its doorways firstly of the state’s 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.

All through 2020, Traylor used the constructing solely as a sound stage. Throughout that point, he seen that Baton Rouge’s barbecue scene had some room for an additional participant. So, Traylor reworked his menu into a top quality barbecue fete — and prospects have responded.

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Pork ribs, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and Texas toast, at Previous Faculty BBQ & Smokehouse on Coursey Blvd., Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022.

“I’ve a pair that is available in day by day to order pulled pork sandwiches,” he mentioned. “And I’ve one other buyer who has advised me that our ribs are the perfect he is ever eaten. And that is a praise, as a result of he is labored within the restaurant enterprise.”

Previous Faculty BBQ’s major eating room’s partitions are full of Louisiana music memorabilia representing artists with whom Traylor labored as a music promoter. He nonetheless represents such nationwide bands as Lillian Axe, and his spouse, Louisiana singer Debbie Gautreau Traylor is a member of the Louisiana Music Corridor of Fame. A framed copy of certainly one of her information is also on the wall. LSU memorabilia is stirred into the combo.

Flip left into the bar space, and native tv and radio character Clarence Buggs is within the midst of a reside broadcast. No less than on at the present time. Tomorrow, the sound stage will function a distinct spotlighted character. The reveals are broadcast on Pelican Broadcasting, KPBN-LD Channel 14.

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Pelican Broadcasting’s Clarence Buggs Present is below method, cameras aimed on the set within the bar of Previous Faculty BBQ & Smokehouse on Coursey Blvd., Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. The displays face these consuming in the principle eating room of the restaurant.

Patrons sit on the bar whereas Buggs runs via his present. Diners are also welcome to take a seat at one of many tables within the bar space in the event that they need to take within the present whereas consuming — and neither aspect of the enterprise has ever conflicted with the opposite.

“We’re taking pictures as much as six reveals every week right here,” Traylor mentioned. “And you’ll simply are available and be part of it.” 

Traylor knew he was taking an opportunity with the operation. His enterprise companion beforehand owned a restaurant in Baker, however Traylor had no expertise within the enterprise.

And he knew that working a restaurant was completely different than working within the leisure enterprise.

“I imply, we had been actually searching for a spot for a sound stage,” Traylor mentioned. “We’ve a TV station — Pelican Broadcasting — on Florida Boulevard, and we’re wired it to ship up a fiber feed from right here again to the TV station as an alternative of utilizing satellite tv for pc.”

Traylor knew that, if Previous Faculty BBQ labored, the set-up can be one-of-a-kind within the Baton Rouge space.

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Head prepare dinner Terry Jackson works within the kitchen, getting ready a pulled pork sandwich, baked beans, macaroni and cheese and coleslaw plgte at Previous Faculty BBQ & Smokehouse.

“We thought it could be distinctive,” Traylor mentioned. “And I do not know of every other. Our idea was to come back in right here, shoot TV reveals reside or tape. We may have audiences, and so they may sit right here and eat. It might be a little bit mini Disney or mini Vegas, the place individuals may have one thing to eat, a few drinks and watch the present.”

The reveals largely revolved round sports activities, however the lineup has slowly expanded with applications about native points. Now Traylor needs so as to add native bands to the lineup, whose weekend performances may very well be aired reside or taped for later broadcasts. 

Traylor is planning a number of beauty modifications in the principle eating space. As for the meals, he leaves that to Jackson, who is aware of simply how lengthy to smoke meat for every dish on the menu. The shopper favourite is the brisket, adopted by the pulled pork sandwich. There’s additionally excessive demand for the St. Louis ribs, which are available units of three, six or a whole slab.

The menu additionally presents burgers, monster potatoes topped with a wide range of toppings, together with brisket, chili, cheese or shredded rooster or pork. Barbecue plates and household packs additionally can be found. 

Previous Faculty BBQ serves up its personal mix of barbecue sauce, which Traylor plans to market. He is additionally occupied with increasing the menu to supply such prospects as barbecue brisket wraps.

For now, he is targeted on rising his buyer base.

“You already know, I believed we may make this work,” he mentioned. “And we’re. The prepare dinner is aware of what he is doing, the service is sweet, and 95% of the feedback we get are extraordinarily constructive. It is comfy, pleasant surroundings. I am actually satisfied I’ve obtained idea.”