Julie Bennett, of Leesville, is carrying on a family tradition with the opening of Smitty's Bar.
Bennett's great-grandfather Hershel Smith was a bar owner, who started his business on Sept. 3, 1965. Following in the same tradition, Bennett’s grandfather, Jimmy Smith owned the original Smitty’s Bar.
53 years after her great-grandfather opened his doors for business, Bennett will be opening her own bar, down to the exact day.
Smitty’s Bar will be replacing the Chunky Monkey on Pitkin Hwy in Leesville.
The new bar is set to host a grand opening on Sept. 8.
Bennett promises a good time at the grand opening that will begin at noon and last “until the last person leaves.”
During the grand opening, Smitty’s Bar will be raffling off two crates full of goodies and will have free t-shirts for the first couple of attendees. Raffle tickets will be sold at $2 a ticket or $9 for five tickets.
Bennett and her husband both work as first responders and she shared that there will be weekly drink specials for military and first responders.
Smitty’s bar will also have pool tables for people to enjoy and will be open from 8:00 a.m. until the last person leaves.
The idea of Smitty’s Bar came to Bennett as a way to honor her grandfather who she had a close relationship with.
“His bar was his baby and he was my baby,” Bennett shared.
The original plan for the business was for it to be something Bennett and Smith could do together.
She had hopes that Smith would take on some of the bookkeeping aspects of the bar as something to do in his retirement.
Unfortunately, life intervened and Smith passed away before Bennett put the plan into motion.
Instead, Bennett named the bar Smitty’s to honor Smith and views this new business as a way to honor his memory and carry on the family tradition.
Smitty’s Bar is located at 1454 Pitkin Highway Leesville, La, and will be open for business Sept. 3, with the grand opening to follow on Sept. 8.