Walk-On’s has signed up its first franchisee, who plans to open a location of the sports bar and grill in Lake Charles by the end of the year.

Clarence “CO” Vallet will open a Walk-On’s at 5313 Common St., just south of McNeese State University.

Vallet, who has 35 years of experience in the service industry, said he first became aware of Walk-On’s about a year ago. “I couldn’t be more convinced that it’s an ideal fit for Lake Charles,” he said.

About 120 people are expected to work at the restaurant.

Walk-On’s began franchising a few months ago. There are four company-owned restaurants in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette. Restaurants in Houma, in the Americana traditional neighborhood development in Zachary and at the Juban Crossing shopping center in Denham Springs should be open by the end of the year.

Brandon Landry, who co-founded Walk-On’s, said he’s always felt that Lake Charles was a perfect destination for the restaurant, because of McNeese and the diverse economy there.

“We believe the timing is perfect for us to franchise Walk-On’s, and I couldn’t be more pleased to get the ball rolling with CO,” Landry said. “He shares our vision for the brand and understands how to translate its distinctive qualities to the local market.”

Vallet has said he would like to open additional Walk-On’s, but Landry said the current focus is on getting the Lake Charles location up and running.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.