Not a House of Ill Repute
I was one of many people that leased/rented the Colonels Club under the
Perkins Rd. overpass. I leased it in the early seventies. In the sixties and seventies
it featured a lot of local bands and some national bands. It was a private club and
could be open when the regular bars were closed. The building and name was
owned by a Mr. Sheppard. He was eighty two years old when I had the club.
He graduated from Auburn University in 1916 as an electrical engineer. I used to
tease him and say, "I didn't know they had electricity back then Mr. Shep."
Whenever we had an electrical problem with the lights or power on the stage, he
would trouble shoot the problem. He would go to the breaker panel and lick his
index finger and is thumb. He would then put them across the breaker feeling the
problem circuit. He would then say, "You have power here," or "You don't have
power here." I don't see how he didn't get shocked.
The building was interesting. It had a complete kitchen upstairs that was
accessible by a set of stairs that was behind the bar. It had stairs going nowhere. It
had several doors that went nowhere. It had a small room and a shower on a third
level. On the ground floor, left of the stage was a big room which held a Cessna
140 airplane. One time Mr. Shep cranked the engine up inside the room and blew
out all the suspended ceiling tiles.
When I first opened the Colonels Club, I tried to advertise in various ways. I
had hand outs made and passed them out on the LSU campus. I rented a sign on a
trailer and pulled it around the neighborhood and on the LSU campus. Sometime I
"broke down" on the side of the road with the sign on a heavy raveled road. We
had limited advertising on radio. To get new customers we even had an All the
Beer You Could Drink For a Dollar night. That was a mistake. I have never seen
so many drunks in one place in my life.
My wife and sister-in-law worked as waitresses while I got the business
going. One evening as they were coming to work, a car stopped in the parking lot
and a LSU student was pushed out of the car door. Just as he regained his balance
from being pushed out of the car, my wife and sister-in-law went over to him.
Wanting him to feel welcome and get his business, they put their arms around him
and told him to come on in and have a few drinks.
He turned around and started running after the car that he had been pushed out
of. As I watched from the door, I shouted to my wife, "What was that all about?".
She said, "I don't know. All we did was ask him to come in and have a few
Later we found out that the student was going through an initiation for a frat
house. They had told him that the Colonels Club was a house of ill repute and
dumped him out of the car just as my wife and sister-in-law arrived. When they
went up to him and were real friendly it reinforced what the boys in the car had
told him. Although he wasn't old enough to purchase alcohol, his "frat buddies"
were, and they ended p being good customers.