If you want a getaway from the typical Baton Rouge scene, travel down a gravel road and visit Beauvoir Park. Nestled in the Historic Mid-City District is one of Baton Rouge’s secret entertainment hideaways. Eclectic exterior and interior greet you once you step on the property.
Do not let the boho vibes trick you — Beauvoir Park has a history with its roots being a construction company in the late 1930s.
Its current owner, Leslie Bratton, bought it from the previous owner and turned it into a landscape business. He raised his kids out on the lawn, but people slowly demanded that he rent it out for events such as graduations and parties.
“It has taken a little life of its own now,” Bratton said as soft rock music played in the background. “We used to seek out bands, but now bands seek out us.”
In a pre-COVID world, Beauvoir Park hosted St. Patrick’s Day parties, jazz and blues music festivals and Christmas celebrations.
From the ground up, Beauvoir Park brings nothing but comfort. The buildings, which are made from salvaged wood, are an abstract masterpiece. Bratton’s tree business mills trees into lumber they will use to build the structures. Visitors and customers donate artwork and other pieces.
Surprisingly, COVID-19 did not pull the rug from Beauvoir Park. In fact, it offered a positive impact. With a spacious area, guests can socially distance while being entertained.
“The parties we scheduled from inside all were canceled, especially after the governor issued the mandates,” Bratton explained. “Being outside was perfect. We kept it low to begin with and slowly expanded.”
For $20 a show, visitors can bring their own chair or blankets and food and drinks to watch the show and sit on the lawn. The park's capacity caps at around 150 people.
The Manship Theatre teamed up with Beauvoir Park to host some of their shows. The partnership, called “Manship in the Park,” has hosted four shows so far and another three are on the way.
Also on the 2-acre property is the hair salon, Salon Hue, and the multifaceted restaurant, BLDG 5, which is the fifth building on the property. Beauvoir Park offers more than music and entertainment. Within the park, there is a communal and welcoming environment.
“We demand that people leave 35 percent of good vibes, but most say they left 50 or 75 percent behind,” Bratton said as we walked around the property. Each person greets visitors with an amiable smile.
Beauvoir Park hosts a weekly yoga session at 5:30 pm for a $10 admission. Music at the Park happens on Thursday nights with new musical guests weekly.