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Lafayette’s Oil Center Gets New Life

Oil Center

Lafayette’s Oil Center was  known as “The center of it all” in the 1950′s.  It was established to centralize the oil industry in South Louisiana.  Offices at that time were scattered between Lake Charles and Lafayette.

By 1956, there were 30 offices, a private club, a few shops, several restaurants, and a post office in the Heymann Oil Center.

The revitalization of Downtown, and the establishment of River Ranch have led to the oil Center being somewhat forgotten.

That’s changing. New businesses are moving in, and a $52.5 million dollar renovation of Lafayette General Medical Center has further fueled growth.

The Palmetto Club opened last year in the former location of  A La Carte.  Bella Figura restaurant will be reincarnated as Café Bella in the Oil Center. Its Kaliste Saloom location will become La Madeleine Country French Café.

Mixology, Harold Clark, Lafayette Art Gallery,The Bird’s Nest, Acme Burger, The Palmetto Club,Teche Federal Bank,  American Pop Art, Greek Expressions, Glamour House boutique,  and Joie de Vive Salon have all moved into the Oil Center in the past year.

New owners are coming in, buying and remodeling and really giving the Oil Center a facelift. There’s been several businesses that have retired. It’s an exciting time because we’ve got a lot of new faces and businesses and it’s a broad spectrum from retail to furniture design to restaurants and art galleries. It’s been an exciting time. -  Chavanne Stine, executive director of the Oil Center Association.

In a time when uncertainty and worries about the economy prevail nationwide, it looks like Lafayette Louisiana is a very good place to be!

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