Change is coming to Ville Platte’s downtown district.
An initiative to clean up the streets and bring more to the area is in the works, and business owners hope it can attract more customers.
Main Street Pub and Grill serves up more than just food. Historic photos inside the restaurant showcase a different era: a time when the city’s downtown district had more to offer for residents.
“We just need a lot of stuff to be done to the town. Hopefully, they bring it back together where we can succeed and bring this Ville Platte to life again,” said Main Street owner Eddie Mashni.
Mashni’s business is one of the few remaining in the downtown area. He says it’s difficult to keep the restaurant running.
“There are a lot of folks; they decide to get out of town and give their business somewhere else, said Mashni. “It’s hard to describe. It’s like going down and down, but we haven’t given up yet, and we hope we don’t have to give up.”
The chamber of commerce and the Evangeline Parish Tourism Board aren’t giving up either. They’re working on a revitalization plan to bring businesses back to the area.
Renee Brown with the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce already has ideas in store. “Where we can work together to actually go out and physically paint buildings, update the front of buildings, and getting our Main Street looking very fresh, bring it back to life.”
“There was a grant that we can apply to through our foundation that will help us do a community assessment. They’ll bring out students from UL, and they’ll get these ideas and strategies together and help us decide maybe what we need to do here. And we are excited,” said Rhonda Butler with the tourism board and the Evangeline Parish Foundation.
Right next to the museum in downtown Ville Platte, there will be a farmer’s market starting in March where you can listen to live music, purchase local food and support local businesses.
“Utilizing the downtown area the way it used to be and can be: I see more businesses filling more of the empty business spots,” said Brown.
The restaurant owner says, “Hopefully, it’ll bring us different faces, different customers, and maybe we’d all succeed, stay active, and stay in business.”