As most of you already know, we lost our beloved Red Bar in a tragic electrical fi re on Feb. 13, 2019. What an overwhelmingly hard day that was.
For the Belgian-born, father-and-son trio of Louis, Philippe and Oliver Petit, it was like watching a part of their life go up in flames. On that day, as the giant of a man I call “Oli” cried on my shoulder and I on his, he vowed to rebuild Th e Red Bar as close to the original as humanly possible. He told me, however, that he promised the bathrooms would be a little bigger and better. It was nice to have something to smile about that day as we ladies “might” have complained a little over the years about the restrooms.
Here we are months after, and I know I speak for so many when I say a resounding “thank you” to the Petits, the builders and the artists who gave us our magical place back. The Red Bar has been much more than a local hangout for me. Over the years, my sisters, my brother-in-law and I would come down to visit the coast, and Th e Red Bar would be our first stop. Every time we visited, it was like a family reunion. Some of my favorite people welcomed us with open arms. It felt like home.
About 13 years ago, the love of my life walked up on the bar’s famous back porch, and just like that, I moved from Tennessee and became a local. Who says you can’t fi nd true love in a bar? We did, and I happen to know we’re not the only ones.
Over the years, my family and I have celebrated more birthdays and special occasions at Th e Red Bar than I can count. Some of those celebrations were to say goodbye and celebrate those lives in our Red Bar family who have slipped away to the other side of the sunset. They may be gone, and Th e Red Bar may be new, but Oli made sure special places were created where those souls would never be forgotten.
Often vacationers wondered why locals packed the place at certain times on Sunday and most weeknights. They didn’t have to wonder long once they walked through the beautiful front door and heard the magic coming from the stage. Dread Clampitt and The Red Bar Jazz Band have been staples at Th e Red Bar for years and would be playing their hearts out. You never knew who might show up to play with them. Many musicians and artists would fi nd their way to Th e Red Bar stage because they had heard what amazing beautiful energy our special place held. Th e music made there, and every single person who makes sure all are welcomed and taken care of while visiting Th e Red Bar, are as important as the sand, the sun and the waves.
The music made there, and every single person who makes sure all are welcomed and taken care of while visiting The Red Bar, are as important as the sand, the sun and the waves.
On any given happy Sunday, Dread Clampitt starts to play Forever Young, and every single person in the place sings along. Can you hear it? You will never feel old at The Red Bar. You will only feel like you belong.
Written by Annie Lockamy
Annie Lockamy is a long time resident of the 30A area and Realtor with COASTAL LUXURY, a real estate firm that maintains a strong emphasis on intimate market knowledge and expertise in the luxury and Gulf-front market. Annie provides local real estate market insight and knowledge while providing a white glove level of service to her clients. Annie can be reached at 850.226.2888 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or
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