Banner photo for the news story 'Hinckley punters say howdy to new southern style bar called Baton Rouge'

Mason Moore - Hinckley Free Press

The new bar, named Baton Rouge, is decked out with Americana and classic American red booth seating, and serves up Brooklyn Lager on tap and Budweiser in bottles.

Baton Rouge bosses stated that the bar had gained its namesake from Oklahoman country artist Garth Brooks’ iconic chart-topping hit, titled “Callin’ Baton Rouge”.

It is housed inside of the former Ponchinellos Bar and Slice Shop, near the main takeaway, and has been undergoing interior renovations for the past few weeks.

It was quietly registered as a company in February when the space was snapped up and the business had first started to come into fruition. It is owned by four local businesspeople – Matthew Hogg, Lucy Hogg, James Smith, and Shaun Jones.

Matthew Hogg, Company Director for Baton Rouge, said: “We considered and looked at a few spaces in town, and even one in The Crescent, but we settled on here, as nowhere else has the character of this place. I wouldn’t change anything about it, and we can see all sorts looking on to Regent Street.

“Punters can start their pub crawls at the top of town then work their way down to Regent Street then have a drink here, or even just start and finishing drinking here. We have opened as we want to see Hinckley get back to its ‘glory days’ for nights out.

“The reaction to us opening has been bloody brilliant. Everyone has taken to it really well. We’re pleasantly surprised to see such a positive reaction from Hinckley residents, and those in surrounding areas, over a new country bar opening up.

“We’re looking to hold live music nights on Thursdays or Friday evenings, from seven to eleven.

“We want to have live pianists perform, as we’re inspired by Mimi’s in New York, and The Piano Works in Farringdon, London. They both have live pianists who talk to the audience, and takes song requests as patrons enjoy drinks and the entertainment.

When quizzed by the Free Press on if line dancing would be welcomed, Matthew said: “Anything that is good clean fun goes. If we can make room for it, then we’ll do it. We expect a lively atmosphere, and we will be both fair and firm when we need to be.

“We want people to have the same respect and trust in us and others as we have in them. We’re hoping that the place will police itself, and we’re good at dealing with customers when needs be as we have experience in the health and social care industry.”

James Smith, Co-owner of Baton Rouge and Owner of The Rendezvous Function Room, on Factory Road, jokingly quipped: “It’s not my first rodeo!”

Matthew further added: “Residents can expect good drinks, good music and a good alcohol selection. We’ll have a signature cocktail named ‘The Baton Rouge’, which is a traditional old-fashioned whiskey that will be hickory-smoked to finish, and our own take on an Espresso Martini.”

Some of the bottled drinks on offer include Corona, Budweiser, San Miguel, Guinness, and Old Mout Cider.

And, there will be two fresh draught beer offerings served up – the first is ‘Brooklyn Defender IPA’ from Brooklyn’s very own award-winning brewery, Brooklyn Brewery.

The second is a premium pilsner-style beer named ‘San Miguel’, which is brewed by Carlsberg UK. It has a foamy white head once poured, with a citrus aroma.

Commenting on the initial opening hours and days of trading, Matthew added: “We’ll see how it goes. There is every chance that we could just be Thursday, Friday, Saturday. The initial plan is to open Sundays.”

The proposed opening hours at present is on Thursday from 6pm to 12pm, and Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 1am.