On the Move

Kari Walker named DLRBA executive director

New position will help organization’s mission to serve as unified voice for bars, restaurants and service industry businesses Downtown.

Kari Walker has joined the Downtown Lafayette Restaurant and Bar Association as executive director, a newly created position. Walker will aid in the organization’s mission to serve as a unified voice for bars, restaurants and service industry businesses in Downtown Lafayette.

Kari Walker
Photo by Travis Gauthier

Walker, 32, relocated from New Orleans to Lafayette in 2003. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from UL Lafayette and is a former lifestyle writer for The Independent and ABiz, having contributed stories about local restaurants, food and drink trends and economic development. While at The Independent, Walker worked closely with the EatLafayette campaign and helped spearhead the inaugural Food Wine Beer & Spirits Experience in 2014; she also helped launch the family-friendly Baby Care Center initiative in partnership with Festival International de Louisiane.
“I believe Downtown is a place for everyone,” Walker says in the press release announcing her new post. “With growing options for dining and entertainment cropping up all over Lafayette, it’s important for DLRBA to work together and let the public know Downtown is a good place to be for all things social. DLRBA can be the voice of the service industry and merchants who are proud to call Downtown Lafayette home all while finding ways we can improve an area that’s already rich with traditions and joie de vivre.”

DLRBA has launched several initiatives and partnerships aimed at increasing Downtown’s vibrancy, including the city’s first Uber station, Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market in Parc Sans Souci, Project Front Yard Sunday Downtown Clean Up and the first Fourth of July event, Uncle Sam’s Jam.

Walker and DLRBA members plan to develop additional initiatives and events showcasing food, drink and entertainment to draw in visitors of all ages.

“During my time in Lafayette I’ve had the opportunity to experience Downtown as a college student, young professional and as a parent looking to share the culture with my family — it’s an area constantly evolving with an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to push innovative ideas forward, attracting both locals and tourism to what Downtown has to offer,” adds Walker.

For additional information about the DLRBA, click here.