When Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the closure of bars and in-restaurant dining on March 16, 2020, Red River Brewing followed his orders and closed its doors. Three months later, the Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) portfolio company reopened as Red River Brewpub.
“We felt having the moniker of brewpub showed that we have food, that we have a restaurant,” said Ally Bean, Managing Director of Red River Brewpub. “We had a meeting with our investors just days before the governor’s shutdown order, so because we had presented a game plan, we were able to use the downtime to do it right.”
Bean says they were able to use the three-month COVID-19 shutdown to rebrand Red River Brewing Company which was established in 2012. In 2018, the company switched its business model from beer distributor to brewpub with the addition of in-house dining. The brewpub’s menu now resembles a traditional bar menu that Bean describes as an all-American menu with a southern nuance. Menu items include the Bacon Jam Burger and Betty Jo’s Pimento Cheese sandwich, which is named after Bean’s grandmother.
“We will continue to brew and offer beers that celebrate Shreveport and Louisiana, like our River Monster, which is named after a hippo that escaped and was found in the Red River,” said Bean. “We want our food to personify that and continue to tell stories of this area.”
Red River Brewpub is able to remain open as a restaurant while bars across the state are closed under a governor mandate for the second time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Red River Brewpub continues to offer a unique experience for its customers. The brewpub remains family friendly, and those under 21 years old are welcome. Red River Brewpub continues to partner with Sanctuary Glass so customers can make custom glass art and Smith Family Farms for fresh, free-range meat.
Red River Brewpub is located at 1200 Marshall Street on the outskirts of downtown Shreveport. Its hours are 11am – 9pm Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and 11am -10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
A division of BRF, EAP serves as the region’s startup accelerator and small business resource, analyzing the viability of ideas and products, matching entrepreneurs with informed investors and other funding opportunities and nurturing them through the critical steps toward market. EAP provides a suite of services to build sustainable and profitable companies in North Louisiana. EAP, through NorLEAP, has expanded its services across 21 North Louisiana parishes and spearheads North Louisiana university pitch competitions.