Old Town heats up for 2nd Saturday
By Echo Staff
Jan 7, 2014, 17:30
In most of the country, January and February have a reputation for being the grim winter months, but on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, people begin celebrating the Mardi Gras season with parades, family gatherings and of course - great food!
Old Town Bay St. Louis will be a hub of family carnival activity throughout the season and the fun kicks off on the January 11th Second Saturday Artwalk. While Old Town stays lively all day, look for live music, gallery openings, shop and restaurant specials to gear up from 4-8 p.m.
As part of the Artwalk tradition, two businesses are chosen each month to take the spotlight. The January Hot Spots are Charlotte’s Hair Salon and Gifts (125 Main Street), and the Ugly Pirate (144 DeMontluzin Street).
You don’t need a parrot or a peg leg to find a warm welcome at the Ugly Pirate, just a few steps from Main Street on the corner of Demontluzin and N. Second Street.
In fact, walking into the small café is like going into the cozy den of a favorite uncle. It has rustic wood walls, fun seafaring décor and lighting that is easy on the eyes.
This family-owned and operated business is also a family-friendly business, serving up menu items that appeal to all ages, along with craft beers and wine – all in a non-smoking environment.
Owners Susan and Keith Rubio have been married for thirty-seven years and with three children and three grandchildren, the couple understands the makings of a popular family hangout. And it helps that everyone who works at the Ugly Pirate is either a family member or long-time friend.
Susan says that the menu favorites are items like the “Popeye Bread,” (one of her own recipes), an open-faced grilled cheese and spinach appetizer. Pizzas are individually made with fresh ingredients, with the overwhelming popular choice being the “Ugly Pizza,” which includes “everything.”
Susan says they create custom pizzas to accommodate customers, even using toppings like roast beef on request.
Just about every night in the week, the Ugly Pirate features a special. On Monday nights, dine-in customers pay only $10 for any large pizza. Tuesday evenings include Happy Hour from 6pm – 8pm. All ages flock to the Ugly Pirate on Thursday night for trivia competitions. Friday night is officially Family Night, with kids (12 and under) getting a personal pan pizza for free.
Weekends, the Rubios schedule live music on Saturday nights, usually top local musicians. And whenever the New Orleans Saints are playing, the Ugly Pirate is a favorite place to watch the games, since patrons enjoy good company and drink specials.
“We’re a little place, but we do a good business,” says Susan Rubio. “It’s a fun atmosphere and many of our customers have become like family through the years.”
During the January Second Saturday at the Ugly Pirate, catch the Saints in the playoff game starting at 4:30 in the afternoon. After the game, “BSL” will perform, featuring local guitar legend John Bezou, Jerry L'Enfant on drums, and Ed Rafferty on bass. Susan notes that “of course, we’ll have drink specials during the game, as usual!”
Just a block away, at 125 Main Street, the mother-daughter team of
Charlotte DeMetz Ladner and Jackie Ladner have a unique business that combines an artsy home décor and gift shop with an intimate hair salon.
Charlotte’s Hair Salon and Gifts has been operating in Old Town for
over three years. It’s now located in corner of the historic Masonic Temple building, one of the most striking buildings in Old Town. The salon has a prime corner spot, wrapped by huge windows that look toward the water.
Visitors enter into a cozy gift shop area, which stocks artsy items like colorful rugs and collectible plates covered with fanciful local scenes and seafood designs from Sylvia Corban. According to Charlotte, other hot new sellers are eye-catching nautical bags and totes made by Ella Vicker from recycled sails. T-shirts by Colored Comfort are also popular gift items, especially for men, since they sport cool drawings of Gulf Coast fish.
Charlotte DeMetz Ladner, known to long-time clients as “the Queen
of Color,” reigns in the adjacent full-service salon. As a stylist for over 25 years, Charlotte offers coloring, high-lights and some of the chicest hair cuts on the coast. Some customers drive from as far away as New Orleans for appointments.
Charlotte says that the full service salon welcomes every member of the family – which is one reason for its popularity. Men, women and children all enjoy getting their hair cut while looking out toward the scenic waterfront.
“It’s such a relaxing view,” says Charlotte. “And all my customers love the location. When they come to get their hair styled, they can also shop for fashions right here in Old Town or have lunch or dinner at one of our great restaurants. And parking’s never a problem either.”
“My husband says that New Orleans is the “Big Easy” and Bay St. Louis is the “Little Easy,” Charlotte continues. “There’s no other place like it!”
During Second Saturday, “The Twentysomethins,” featuring Dustin Saucier and Brandon Tingstrom will be performing on Main Street outside Charlotte’s Salon, while inside, they’ll be serving refreshments. Visitors will also want to register for the drawing of a free Sylvia Corban entry rug.
Also on Second Saturday, artist Doyle Yeager will host a collection of his works at 121 Court Street, at the home of Tina Landes, beside the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce.
An former gourmet shop owner and interior decorator by trade,Yeager is a self-taught artist who began painting after Hurricane Katrina.Admirers and collectors of his works often express delight at his works, such as fanciful chickens and roosters, bright and dramatic fish and his many colorful characers, which seem to be inhabitants of some exotic Caribbean Island.
Recently, Yeager has begunt o explore deper subjects, such as religious icons and imagery, natural-looking floral arrangements and bold-shaded nudes.
Landes will host a reception including free wine and cheese as patrons meet with the artist and enjoy his collection of paintings.
For complete details about the Second Saturday Artwalk, go to: www.baystlouisoldtown.com