Meet The Neighbors introduces you to some of the remarkable people who live and work in the Baton Rouge area. Do you know someone we should meet? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and keep up with Meet The Neighbors, follow us on Tumblr.
Franklin Brown has owned Bayou Café at 5688 Airline Highway in Scotlandville since 2000.
Brown says his first love is Southern University, where he graduated in 1975. He says the entire North Baton Rouge community comes in close second. In his last 14 years of business, Bayou Café has become something of a meeting place. In the mornings, the place is slammed.
I always kind of had a passion for cooking. I never thought that I had in my mind that I would go into the food business, after coming out of school. But driving around in the community there was not a restaurant that could seat fifty people out here and we eat a lot and a place to hold a meeting.
One of the things about Bayou Café, you know, you come here and you’re going to get good food and you be informed about what’s going on in the community. You learn about politics, you learn about the people that represent you, and the people that are planning to run, you know who. So a lot of people when they get ready to launch their campaign, they come in here and ask my opinion because we’re somewhat like a weather forecast, you know, we can forecast what’s going on because we communicate with the people here. They give us the feedback and we pass it onto them.
Everybody comes here. I guess if they’re in Baton Rouge and they’re important, they’ve been to Bayou Café. People from the Obama campaign, during his first term, they met right at this place and after meeting here, I met some important people with his campaign and in 2009 I was invited to the White House.
All of the politicians, the clergy. Like today, every Thursday, all the preachers meet here for breakfast.
People come into the place in the morning and they’re eating breakfast and every morning they’ll come in - I call it barber shop talk...you know you go to the barber shop, you go to the beauty shop, everybody talks. Or when they come in they sit around a table they eat breakfast, they’re going to talk