Dig Baton Rouge

Bandit Takes Off

By Matt Starlight

The old cliche says that when it comes to real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. It may be a tired phrase, but it makes sense when talking about 623 East Boyd.

Unfortunately for the renowned chunk of space that’s housed Shady’s, Tops, and The Levee, maintaining an occupancy has proved more difficult than driving to campus during contraflow. Coming this fall, however, is a new bar with a whole new approach that’s primed to break the long running losing streak that ideal piece of land has weathered thus far.

The Bandit Bar is the newest tenant of that famous spot on East Boyd.

Co-owner Kyle Evans has big plans for The Bandit, which derives it’s name from everyone’s favorite song from the LSU Tiger Band.

Co-owner Kyle Evans says The Bandit’s name pays tribute to the Tiger Band’s classic tune, “Chinese Bandits.” Photo by Bri Basco
Co-owner Kyle Evans says The Bandit’s name pays tribute to the Tiger Band’s classic tune, “Chinese Bandits.” Photo by Bri Basco

The Bandit was a play on the ‘Chinese Bandits.’ We want to stay in the LSU ballpark and give credit to them. We’ll have some paraphernalia up giving a nod to the bandit as a whole,” said Evans.

Naming their new bar after something so profoundly LSU is no surprise; Evans spent four years as a Tigerland worker, climbing his way from the front door to the general manager spot at Mike’s under previous GM Daniel Gershen. Now, as co-owner of the newest member of the Tigerland family, Evans has a plan centered on a strong foundation of business acumen.

We have a solid base for systems and operations, as well as a proven formula that me and they are bringing to the table with their experience as well. I think that all that put together with what we’re putting into the bar is going to be something special,” said Evans. “We’re really experienced and very thorough in our process.”

That’s not to say that the place won’t have a bit of flash.

We’re going to bring a nice college atmosphere, party atmosphere, and bring that upscale service that the downtown people are bringing in. It’s going to be the best of both worlds. Downtown meets Tigerland,” said Evans. “LSU, college theme, party spot, major sound system, pretty much trying to do an upgraded Tigerland bar.”

To accompany their “downtown meets Tigerland” mindset, the ownership crew has sunk plenty of cash into the place and have a laundry list of tangible improvements to show for it.

It’s going to be a completely different place; it’s going to be really something special. We got a couple stages, an all new sound system, we’re dropping in big 65 inch TVs everywhere, big projector, a whole new bar, new lighting, it’s awesome,” explained Evans.

The Bandit is set for the grand opening night on August 24, which is bid night to the Greek crowd (one of Tigerland’s biggest nights of the year).  When that night rolls around, don’t write off The Bandit; it’s poised to break the mold.

After varying degrees of success over the past few years, that spot tucked away between the laundromat and the Greek restaurant has certainly seen it’s ups and downs. Now, it’ll be led by a new group of young owners, all dedicated to making this bar a little different than the normal Tigerland scene.

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