An iconic building off Pinhook Rd. in Lafayette is getting new life this fall from two brothers who know a thing or two about “good times.”

Steven and Patrick O’Bryan are the owners of Bon Temps Grill, and the brothers sat down with Megan Wyatt from The Advocate to spill the deets on a new concept they’re bringing to Lafayette before the end of the year.

You may have noticed the sign on the iconic Pinhook building on the outskirts of the Oil Center that used to house former Lafayette bars and restaurants including Jolie’s Bistro and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

It reads “Whiskey & Vine” and the concept behind the name is something that’s “not really here yet,” but will be soon as the opening date is quickly approaching.

More ‘Bon temps’ ahead

Although Whiskey & Vine will be different than Bon Temps Grill in terms of the look, menu, and feel, the basics will remain the same. Quality food and music will both be delivered at a high level; and while Bon Temps is built around a local Cajun concept, Whiskey & Vine aims to transport customers to the French Quarter of New Orleans the minute they walk through the door.

NOLA flavor

With food and drinks centered around Crescent City classics, Whiskey & Vine will also feature live blues and jazz nightly in what they described as a “big-city atmosphere” without having to take that two-hour drive down I-10.

While immersed in the sounds of the “golden era of New Orleans jazz clubs,” patrons will find hints of New Orleans throughout the rest of the space, from the names of their hand-crafted cocktails to the accents on both floors of the two-story building.

An iconic building

Speaking of the building, it has been around since the 1960s, playing home to numerous bars and restaurants in the area. Before building its location across the street, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse was housed there where Patrick O’Bryan actually worked as a bartender in the 1990s.

Google Maps
Google Maps

While the main bar remains unchanged, the O’Bryans have built additional bars on each floor and opened up the space by knocking down walls upstairs and downstairs.

Bring on the music

While the food and drinks will be at the center of the Whiskey & Vine concept, Steven O’Bryan says the “Big Easy feel” is the vibe they want customers to experience.

That's the whole feel of this place is that iconic, jazzy blues feel that you would get in a classic cocktail hour.

Patrick told Wyatt that people don’t realize how many jazz and blues musicians reside here in Lafayette, but they will now have a place to call home “in their backyard” as daily live music is the goal for Whiskey & Vine.

A little bit of irony

Pat and Steve’s Bon Temps Grill journey has been an interesting one; starting out in a small space on Verot School Road that now houses Mercy Kitchen. When Blue Dog Café closed shortly after the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, the brothers decided to make their move into the larger space.

While some folks may have raised their eyebrows at the timing of their decision to grow, Patrick told The Advocate the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

A lot of people thought we were crazy because it was in the middle of COVID. But for us, it made sense because if you think about it, we were at 25% occupancy and 50% occupancy with all those restrictions. When you have that small of a location, they were essentially telling us to close. Coming here to Pinhook, even with the protocols in place for COVID, we were able to spread out. We have over 300 seats in that location.

Jolie’s Bistro, the sister restaurant to Blue Dog Café was located there at 507 W. Pinhook Road. Now, Whiskey & Vine will be the sister business to Bon Temps Grill, just a few blocks away—but the brothers aren’t worried about affecting their current restaurant as Steven says “the more the merrier” when it comes to bringing “life to the area.”

Check out plenty more details, including menu items, hours, the projected opening date, and photos of the revamped space in the full story via The Advocate here.

Best of luck to the O’Bryan brothers as we all await more “bon temps” ahead.

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