No need for advertising, Bea’s Place, a local Vernon Parish tavern situated at 2044 Tower Road in Cravens has been in business for over 38 years, and is owned and operated by Beatrice Watkins.

No need for advertising, Bea’s Place, a local Vernon Parish tavern situated at 2044 Tower Road in Cravens has been in business for over 38 years, and is owned and operated by Beatrice Watkins.

Bea’s Place opened for business on Sept. 30, 1978, and made a little over $100 its first day. After her husband, Paul, died in 1984, she decided to continue to run the family business on her own.

Watkins is very independent and lives alone, although family members live close by on surrounding property. Watkins was recently given a clean bill of health and although she doesn’t drive anymore, she still sees to the daily operations of her business, along with the help of her family members. Watkins hobbies include gardening, reading, shopping, decorating the bar for every holiday/occasion and spending time with family and friends.

“If you want something done, and done right, do it yourself,” Watkins said. “I’m most grateful for my health, family and friends and I want to be remembered as a successful pillar in our community.”

Beatrice is the daughter of the late Charlie and Maudie Bass and was born at home on Jan. 22, 1922, in Cravens. Her father was a carpenter and her mother was a housewife. She is the eldest of six siblings, including L.J. Bass of Rosepine, LaVera Woods of Cravens, Dorothy White of Cravens, J.T. Bass of Georgia and the late Laverne St. John.

She attended school at Gravel Hill but didn’t finish because her mom had to have surgery and she had to help tend to her family.

Watkins recalls hard times growing up. Her greatest accomplishment in life is being able to raise her three children, Gwen Jackson of Texas, Versie Berry of Texas and the late Ronald Cryer. She is blessed to be part of a 5-generation family, while having seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

While most customers are locals, family and friends, a majority of her customers are out-of-town hunters from all over Louisiana. Before their hunting trip ends, they head to Bea’s.

One thing’s for sure, when they walk through the doors, they go straight to Mrs. Bea for a hug and kiss before they ever sit down and order a beer.

Watkins has touched the lives of many people and all are inspired by her courageous efforts of running such a successful business.