How restaurants around town pay homage to LSU

There’s a photo showing Joe Burrow in the bathroom at MJ’s Cafe.

Striking the famous Heisman pose, he’s framed perfectly by the bathroom’s pink tiger-printed wallpaper. Burrow just had to stop by the plant-based restaurant for a healthy meal before playing in the national championship, according to MJ’s Instagram page.

OK, so, the photo is not real.

But owner Mary-Brennan Faucheux says she couldn’t resist posting the Photoshopped image of the celebrated quarterback inside her LSU-inspired powder room before the big game.

“Most people thought the photo was real, and we wish it was,” she says.

During the restaurant’s 2019 move to its Government Street location, Faucheux worked with design team Tiek & Co. on the vision for the space.

“I wanted fun, exciting wallpapers for the bathrooms. When they found this print, I absolutely loved it,” Faucheux says. “It’s classy, fun and LSU-approved.”

The pink tiger-printed wallpaper in MJ’s Cafe’s bathroom.

The wallpaper is a subtle, stylish nod to LSU’s live mascot, following a long tradition of Baton Rouge restaurants paying homage to the team.

Some of Baton Rouge’s oldest restaurants have found ways to celebrate the school’s sport’s legacy. TJ Ribs is like a mini museum of LSU memorabilia and photos, perhaps most famously home to Billy Cannon’s original 1959 Heisman Trophy. Steps from campus, The Chimes’ Highland Road location has its own historic mural of Mike the Tiger and the football team. Mike Anderson’s Seafood, opened by the All-American LSU linebacker himself, is full of interesting photos and artwork celebrating the team.

And like MJ’s, newer restaurants have found modern, creative ways to remind diners they’re in Tiger country.

Inside the new Cheba Hut restaurant, artist Marc Fresh recently painted a playful image of a tiger wearing overalls and clutching a football.

With LSU-themed decor, restaurant owners can be sure of one thing: die-hard fans are bound to show up, ready to snap pictures.

“We have had many people just take photos in the bathroom,” Faucheux says of the pink tiger wallpaper, “and that always brings us so much joy.” mjscafebr.com

This article was originally published in the August 2021 issue of 225 magazine.