Don’t be fooled by the glossy 36-foot bar or flat-screen TVs that line the walls of Spanky’s Daiquiris on Ben Hur Road. Owner Brett Millet says the 30-year-old business started from humble beginnings.
Millet and Joe Maranto were in their 20s when they made trips to Daiquiri Cafe on Lee Drive for New Orleans-style daiquiris. Growing up on the south side of Baton Rouge, the pair grew tired of having to drive more than 10 minutes to get their favorite drink.
After throwing around quirky bar names and finalizing a location, Millet and Maranto opened the first Spanky’s Daiquiri shop on Sherwood Forest Boulevard in 1988. With the help of their family and friends, they gathered daiquiri mixing supplies from New Orleans, made their first bar menu and began developing a loyal customer base.
“It became like a Cheers bar. It turned into a place where you stop in to have one beer, then three hours later, you’re still there,” Millet says.
Since then, Millet opened a second Spanky’s in Prairieville in 2002, took on new partner Joey Faulk in 2009 to run the first shop, and together opened their latest bar on Ben Hur Road last June in one of the many shopping centers that have exploded around Burbank and Lee drives in the last two years.
While their business has seen many changes, Millet says its quality, rich-tasting daiquiris have stayed the same. Spanky’s on Ben Hur offers a variety of frozen daiquiri flavors, beer on tap, a full-service bar with mixed drinks and wine. It has 11 daiquiri machines with premixed flavors like White Russian, Piña Colada and Spanky’s Adjustment, which includes an eye-opening mix of Everclear, Crown Russe vodka and James Harbor rum.
At Spanky’s, it’s the small touches that make the interior so special. There are black and white posters of characters from The Little Rascals mounted on the walls. Ice buckets from beer brands are used as lamp shades, and Christmas lights are strung over the bar, creating a warm and cozy feel. After grabbing a drink, customers can play darts and arcade games while catching up with friends.
“We are excited to bring the Spanky’s tradition to the Burbank location,” Millet says. “As our saying goes, not all daiquiris are created equal. Come taste the difference.”
Spanky’s Daiquiris is at 411 Ben Hur Road. Its hours are Monday to Saturday, noon-2 a.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m.-midnight.