Heart of Louisiana: Poor Boy Lloyd's - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Heart of Louisiana: Poor Boy Lloyd's

BATON ROUGE, La. - Six days a week, you can grab a quick poboy or a plate lunch at this downtown Baton Rouge diner just a few blocks from the State Capitol. But FOX 8's Dave McNamara found that on Friday nights, the meal is only part of the treat at Poor Boy Lloyd's. Dave found the customers dancing in the aisles in tonight's Heart of Louisiana.

For a half-century, people looking for a quick mid-day lunch in downtown Baton Rouge have found their way to Poor Boy Lloyd's, where depending on the daily special, you can get a steak, chicken and dumplings, red beans and rice or a seafood poboy.  But when the work week ends, the hours extend into the evening. On Friday nights, the food becomes the side dish. The main course this week is served up by singer J.J. Johnson.

"It's Friday! It's the weekend! Somebody make some noise!" J.J. shouts to the crowd as she serves up a big helping of soul, rhythm and blues and oldies.

"You worked hard all week," she says. "It's time to let your hair down."

And that's exactly what she pushes this crowd of diners to do.

"I see y'all brought my boyfriend here tonight," J.J. says as a 90-year-old customer helps her turn the aisle into a dance floor.

You can't let a good meal get in the way of a great time. And when J.J. says it's time to get on your feet, everyone joins in. She knows how to work a hungry crowd.

"Because people like to be a part of, and that's what I make my show," she says. "It's not about me, it's about my audience. And that's why I love being here." 

But if you go looking for Lloyd, you won't find him here.

Poor Boy Lloyd's gets its name from the original owner. But for the last 30 years, Fred Taylor has been the man behind the home-cooked food and music."

"When I bought the place, I never changed the name," Taylor says. "I left it the same name. It had a good reputation and a good business, and I said there ain't no sense in changing it. So I left it the same. Right now I'm known as Poor Boy."

And be sure you pronounce it correctly: The name is not poboy, it's poor boy.

"It's p-o-o-r. Boy, b-o-y. Lloyd. And it's just like the sign says," Taylor said. "We're not lying." 

It was Fred's idea to add the live bands on Friday nights, and now it's a weekly destination for people who want to mix good food with good music, a little dancing, and a lot of smiles.

With the Heart of Louisiana, Dave McNamara, FOX 8 News.

J.J. Johnson is just one of several performers who rotate through a schedule of Friday night appearances at Poor Boy Lloyd's. For more information, click here.

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