Baton Rouge-based Investar Bank has entered the New Orleans-area market with the opening of its first regional branch, an 8,300-square-foot full-service location at 500 Veterans Blvd. in Metairie.

The bank plans to reinforce its commitment to building a franchise in the region with the opening of a second banking office on Thursday, located at 2929 U.S. 190 in Mandeville.

Both locations provide consumer, small-business, mortgage and commercial banking.

“By strengthening our southeast Louisiana franchise, we’re able to introduce even more clients to the personalized service that is the hallmark of our locally owned, locally managed and locally staffed community bank,” said Stephen E. Wessel, the bank’s New Orleans regional president.

These openings expand Investar’s southeast Louisiana franchise to eight branches, with five others in Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Port Allen and Prairieville and another, pending regulatory approval, in Lafayette, expected to open next year.

Investar Bank had total assets of $342 million at Sept. 30.