MAMOU, La. — An iconic bar has reopened its doors today.
Fred’s Lounge, a staple of the town, is back after being closed for more than a year because of the pandemic.
People say there’s something special about Fred’s, and they’re so glad it’s back.
It might be the live music or the fact that it was 11 o'clock in the morning, but it feels like midnight in the bar. Either way, when the pandemic forced the bar to close, many regular customers were devastated.
“It was like our home was shut down,” said Don Fontenot, a musician that performs at the bar. “I consider this place one of my homes, so to speak. That’s what it was like. It was a loss.”
He says he has played in festivals and bars for over a decade, but there’s nothing like performing at Fred’s.
“The crowd, they’re excited, they’re over-excited to hear you play,” he said. “Some festivals and stuff that we used to play, you’re more like a jukebox.”
The closure of Fred's last year came as a surprise to some.
“We were actually here the day before it closed and didn’t find out till the next morning,” said Willis Deshotel. “[We were] kind of disappointed... It’s our normal go-to.”
But now, that disappointment is gone. The music is playing, the bar is buzzing, and the crowds are enjoying their time at Fred’s.
“It’s an icon,” said Deshotel. “Everybody knows about it. I’ve had shirts from Fred's before, I worked all over the country, wore the shirts on flights and everywhere I go, people will come up to me and talk about Fred's. It’s known worldwide.”
For musicians and customers alike, Fred’s reopening is a homecoming over a year in the making.
“When I walked in, I looked around I said, I'm back home,” said Fontenot.
Fred’s Lounge only opens on Saturday mornings, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Some unusual hours they only break during Mardi Gras, when they have live music playing for 8 hours straight to keep the party going.
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