Roadside Dining: Bowled Over
Red Stick Social opens as a 30,000-square-foot entertainment complex in Baton Rouge
With 10 bowling lanes, a stage for live music, a full-service restaurant, multiple bars, a rooftop deck and a beer garden, Red Stick Social, Baton Rouge’s newest hot spot, defies definition. Robert Lay was the developer who reimagined then reconfigured the 30,000-square-foot, 104-year-old brick building from its former incarnation as the Baton Rouge Electric Company, a power plant, into its current manifestation. Red Stick Social is the lively anchor for the Electric Depot, a campus with two other buildings with mixed residential and retail use.
Lay and his design team made every effort to maintain the building’s inherent gifts while bringing in both compatible and unexpected elements to keep things lively: A 22-ton overhead gantry crane now serves as a support for entertainment lights above the live music stage. Recycled bowling alley lanes were used in creating the first-floor and private fifth-floor bars, tables, and stage. These elements keep time with contemporary furnishings, exposed brick, vintage signage and an abundance of natural light. The building’s five floors are unified by a central atrium of sorts that makes activities on every floor visible to the others. The building can accommodate 600 people.
The first two floors of the five-story space are devoted to the Red Stick Social, the restaurant, where Chef George Sittig, an enthusiastic Lafayette native who has cooked in kitchens around the globe, keeps the focus broad with contemporary Acadiana/Southern and overlays ranging from the Caribbean to Korea. Look for crawfish, tasso, and macaroni bound together with a creamy cheese sauce; a fried seafood poor boy ladled over with crawfish etouffee; Nashville-style hot chicken set between two Belgian waffles and drizzle with praline butter; buffalo smoked wings; and a decadent four-layer chocolate cake filled with a rich chocolate ganache and accented with toasted almonds. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.
Upstairs, the third floor is devoted to six bowling lanes outfitted with balls painted colorfully to look like those one expects to find on a pool table. The fourth floor is devoted to private events while the fifth floor, which has another bar adjacent to four more bowling lanes and a verdant outdoor terrace, is also available for private events but will otherwise remain open to the public.
Art & Crabs
Burton Coliseum Complex
7001 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles
337-439-.2787 | artscouncilswla.org
Red Stick Social
1503 Government St., Baton Rouge
Presented annually by the Arts & Humanities Council and the SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau, Lake Charles’ Arts & Crabs festival will take place on Saturday, August 17th, 5pm-8pm, at the Burton Coliseum. A limited number of early bird tickets are priced at $30, and the remaining tickets will be $40 each. The homegrown event celebrates the ties between Louisiana’s greatest assets —seafood and culture. With the purchase of a wristband participants can sample extensive selections of crab and seafood dishes prepared by Lake Charles area chefs and enjoy beers paired with those dishes from Crying Eagle Brewing. Participating chefs will vie for guests’ votes in the annual “Best Crab Dish” award, which is determined by popular vote.
Arts & Crabs, recognized for the sixth year in a row as a “Top 20 Event” by the Southeast Tourism Society, will feature live music from Emily Simon are Keepin It Cajun and an eclectic art market with live demonstrations.
Funds raised at Arts & Crabs are reinvested back into the SWLA community through the Arts & Humanities Council’s year-round services and events.