2024 Best of 225 Awards: People & Entertainment

Best Local Visual Artist

Jennifer Bolanos,

Royal Rouge Photography 30.17%

The Royal Rouge Photography crew has traveled the country for shoots from Kentucky to California. But Bolanos and her team seem to know Baton Rouge best. Golden Mississippi River sunsets and historic downtown landmarks provide dramatic backdrops for stylishly staged wedding, quinceañera, graduation and family portraits. royalrougephotography.com


Jacob Zumo  13.27%

Glenn Eymard Photography  11.41%

Kimberly Meadowlark  7.91%

Laura W. Taylor  7.31%

Photos courtesy Royal Rouge Photography

Best Live Music Venue

Chelsea’s Live  20.99%

Disco nights, Shrek-themed raves, indie gigs and comedy shows. That’s just another week at Chelsea’s Live. Open since 2022, the music venue’s cool vibes and killer lineups have won the hearts of new fans—and old patrons of its predecessor, Chelsea’s Cafe. chelseaslive.com



L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge  17.33%

Varsity Theatre  16.46%

Manship Theatre  15.83%

Beauvoir Park  8.58%

Best Performing Arts Group

Theatre Baton Rouge  23.47%

From casting call all the way to curtain call, Theatre Baton Rouge’s renditions of shows like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Christmas Carol earn its talented casts and crews a spot in the limelight. theatrebr.org



Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra  20.92%

Center Stage Performing Arts Academy 13.64%

Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre  10.98%

Playmakers of Baton Rouge  9.88%

Best Local Chef

John “Spike” Graham,  Big Jake’s BBQ 16.43%

Chef “Spike” is always smoking in the Big Jake’s BBQ kitchen, chasing drool-worthy crusts on tender briskets and sauce-slathered ribs that just fall off the bone. This pitmaster takes things low and slow, but regulars of the St. Gabriel eatery swear it’s worth the wait. Find the restaurant on Facebook



John Folse, Chef John Folse & Co.  14.14%

Jim Urdiales, Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine  11.97%

Chris Motto, Jubans Restaurant and Bar  11.38%

Don Bergeron, Bergeron’s City Market  8.26%

John “Spike” Graham at Big Jake’s BBQ. Photo by Sean Gasser.

Best Local Bar or Restaurant to Watch Sports

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux 28.09%

With flat-screen TVs lining every wall, there’s no bad seat in any Walk-On’s. Keep an eye on the big game—and three others—while downing Louisiana-inspired dishes and frosty glasses of beer. walk-ons.com



Big Mike’s Sports Bar & Grill  12.36%

Mid City Beer Garden  12.10%

Superior Grill  10.35%

Ivar’s Sports Bar & Grill  7.08%

Best Family-friendly Attraction

Knock Knock Children’s Museum 29.22%

A dance studio? Check. A pint-sized grocery store and a cafe? Knock Knock has that. The museum promotes learning through play with 18 interactive stations suited for kiddos of all ages. Don’t worry, parents—it’s totally OK if you want to get in on the fun, too. knockknockmuseum.org



Mike the Tiger’s Habitat  19.64%

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo  14.90%

Louisiana Art & Science Museum  12.57%

Main Event  8.46%

Best Local Place for a Date Night

Gino’s Restaurant 16.59%

Let’s face it, nothing’s more romantic than going in on a shared spaghetti plate Lady and the Tramp-style. And Gino’s—around since 1966—has hosted its fair share of date nights and anniversaries. ginosrestaurant.com



Tsunami  12.97%

BLDG 5  10.66%

DiGiulio Brothers Italian Cafe  10.35%

Supper Club  10.00%

Best Local Social Media Influencer

Joey Cavalier, Eat the Boot 24.51%

Don’t scroll through Eat the Boot’s Facebook group on an empty stomach. What started as a space where founder Joey Cavalier and a few friends could share food reviews has morphed into musings from thousands of locals feasting their way through the state. There’s a podcast, too. On second thought, better bring your appetite. eattheboot.com



Mark Belgard, Ascension Parish Department of Memes  16.87%

Jordan Basham, Where to Geaux 225  16.34%

Mikaela Medica, BR Foodie 225  8.86%

Maameefua Koomson  8.70%

Joey Cavalier of Eat the Boot. File photo by Collin Richie

Best Radio Station

92.7 – KLOVE 15.02%

Listening to the radio is one life hack for making sitting in Baton Rouge traffic more bearable. KLOVE provides a break from pop hits and mundane talk shows with its flow of contemporary Christian music. listen.klove.com



100.7 – The Tiger  13.50%

98.1 – Eagle  11.27%

103.3 – Classic Hits  10.52%

102.5 – WFMF 10.07%

Best Radio Personality

Big D & Bubba  25.89%

This well-known country radio duo met in Baton Rouge at a station where Big D hosted a morning show and Bubba worked afternoons. Today, they host a talk show together that is syndicated on stations around the country, including 100.7 – The Tiger. bigdandbubba.com



Murphy, Sam & Jodi  23.58%

Matt Moscona  14.97%

T-Bob Hebert  13.52%

Kool DJ SupaMike  10.54%

Best Local News Personality

Kiran Chawla, Unfiltered With Kiran 51.23%

If there’s a hot news scoop, odds are Kiran Chawla already knows all about it. Unfiltered With Kiran tackles hard-hitting topics, from local crime to politics, on its website, podcast, social media pages and YouTube channel. unfilteredwithkiran.com



Sylvia Weatherspoon, WBRZ  10.58%

Jay Grymes, WAFB  7.38%

Jacques Doucet, WAFB  5.34%

Greg Meriwether, WAFB  4.85%

Kiran Chawla of Unfiltered With Kiran. File photo by Collin Richie.

This article was originally published in the July 2024 issue of 225 Magazine.