BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisianians love flavor.

From the perfect amount of heat and garlic on our boiled crawfish to the symphony of seasonings that bring our jambalaya to life, Louisiana cooks know how to bring the flavor.

They also know when to embrace flavors from other cultures. This explains why locals are flocking to The Bullfish Bar + Kitchen, a Baton Rouge-based restaurant that features Caribbean foods with a Louisiana twist. Some of their menu items include conch fritters, Haitian griot, Jamaican jerk chicken, and catfish etouffee.

Owners Jasmine and Angel Lombrage said, “We have a fusion of Louisiana cuisine and Caribbean cuisine. That’s what makes us who we are.”

The restaurant has a new deal with two Southern University football players, Robens Beauplan and Joshua Griffin, a punter and a kicker, respectively.

Since July of 2021, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has allowed student-athletes to appear in ads for businesses and receive compensation for such commercial work. This is often referred to as ‘an interim name, image and likeness (NIL) policy.’

Student-athletes give local businesses a wider platform

Beauplan says he feels the updated NIL policy has a positive impact on Baton Rouge.

He said, “Businesses will see how athletes can help growing restaurants or other businesses. They can collaborate and everyone wins.”

Beauplan explained that he has family and friends in Florida and other places. So, when they come to visit Louisiana or see him supporting a particular business, they’re often motivated to look into that company.

“So, we help give them (local businesses) a wider platform. The businesses get more support from other places across the nation,” he said.

The Bullfish Bar+Kitchen

Beauplan and Griffin’s deal with The Bullfish Bar + Kitchen happened by chance.

It all started when Beauplan wanted to show Griffin some of the foods he’d grown up enjoying as a child in Haiti. That’s how the two stumbled upon The Bullfish.

As soon as they walked into the restaurant, they knew they’d come to the right place.

Beauplan said, “The owners, Jasmine and her husband, Angel, are very welcoming. They try to meet and talk to everyone who comes in. They took the time to meet us and when we told them we play for Southern, they were very welcoming.”

The two Jags said they were impressed with the friendly staff, the Caribbean music, as well as the general ambiance.

And then, there was the food.

Griffin enjoyed his introduction to Caribbean food, and Beauplan was pleasantly surprised to see such a wide variety of flavors on the menu. He said that instead of sticking with delicacies from only one Caribbean island, the restaurant went the extra mile. It featured specialties from The Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, and other Caribbean regions.

It didn’t take long for Griffin and Beauplan to realize they wanted to support the husband-and-wife team.

“After a couple weeks of talking and discussing a deal that will be good for all parties, we finalized an NIL deal, and we will be helping The Bullfish Bar,” Beauplan said.

Tough times never last, tough people do

The two Jaguars and the two business owners love food, but they have something else in common. They have the ability to withstand hardship or adversity. This is often called “endurance.” It’s a must on the football field, and it’s a necessity for a business owner.

Beauplan said he’s been through a lot as a student-athlete and in life. He said it’s taught him that, “sometimes when you go through negative things you feel like giving up. But what God has for you is what’s for you. So, one door may be shutting, but another will open. Just keep going. There can be joy on the other side.”

Jasmine Lombrage summed up her perspective on endurance with the phrase, “Tough times never last, tough people do.”

She said, “Every day is a different day, and what happened yesterday is not going to happen today. That’s a reminder to me that since the days change, the next day will be different. Tough times don’t always last but tough people do.”

As a restaurant owner, Lombrage said she and her husband have faced a number of ups and downs related to lack of support, encouragement, issues that revolve around race and prejudice. At times, such frustrations have been disheartening.

But Lombrage said, “I have to motivate myself and my team because I’m responsible for them. Knowing that even when times are tough, I’m the one that’s responsible.”

Lombrage echoed Beauchamp’s perspective as a student-athlete whose faced adversity when she added, “If you hang in there, you will make it out on the other side. Sometimes we measure success by the ability to get every single thing we want. But it’s not always that. Success is getting what we need.”

If you’d like to sample Bullfish Bar + Kitchen’s flavors, you can order online or visit the restaurant at 4001 Nicholson Drive, Suite D.