Investors, developers and contractors joined Zachary city officials and homeowners for a groundbreaking ceremony inside the Americana neighborhood development on June 7.

The ceremony kicked off the construction phase of The Villages of Americana, which will feature two mixed-use buildings, as well as Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar.

At the gathering, Brock Kantrow and Emelie Alton said Bistro Byronz will be one of the first retail tenants at The Villages. Bistro Byronz has two Baton Rouge locations as well as one in Mandeville and Shreveport.

Built by Commercial Properties Realty Trust, The Villages project will serve as the gateway into the Americana community and sits on 5 acres of land located off the new roundabout and Mount Pleasant Boulevard (La. 64).

Each building will consist of 30 one- and two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors with 10,000 square feet of retail space on the bottom.

Across from The Villages will be Walk-On’s, which is expected to open in early 2017.

“Once the holidays have ended and staff is trained seems like a good time to open,” said Brandon Landry, co-owner and founder of Walk-On’s Enterprises.

“The city of Zachary helped create the perfect catalyst with the Americana neighborhood, the new YMCA and being so close to Zachary ballparks. It’s what led us to this great location,” said Landry.

The Walk-On’s restaurant will measure about 6,100 square feet, offer its signature menu, a bar and outdoor patio area, numerous flat-screen TVs and a to-go area.

Bistro Byronz will measure 4,200 square feet and offer outdoor dining.

“We wanted to create a concept that was replicable, taking the core components of what has worked from the beginning about Bistro Byronz but be flexible and adaptive with other elements, so that it is truly a neighborhood bistro that feels true and complementary to the areas we land in,” said Alton, CEO and member of the Kantrow family.

“Americana is a perfect fit for us,” said Kantrow, COO of Bistro Byronz. “It’s community oriented and allows us to become an integrated part of the Zachary community.”

John Engquist, Americana investor/developer, said he wanted to help bring the perfect dining options to Americana that matched the feel and spirit of the development.

“Zachary will be an incredible market for Walk-On’s and Bistro Byronz, and our location is unique in that we attract people from four other parishes to buy products and take advantage of Zachary services,” Mayor David Amrhein added. “This is a step up for us and to have both these restaurants come here adds tremendous credibility to the area.”

Attorney and investor Charles Landry said Americana has sold 37 homes (four in the past month); is hosting events at The Pointe; and residents are visiting the YMCA daily.

“This will completely transform the west side of Zachary and create another hub of commerce in the northern part of the parish,” he said.

Americana also will feature Provident Resources Group, a $20 million, 100-bed senior living facility, which is set to begin construction later this year.