The Sperier Bar
Located at the northeast corner of Market Avenue and Second Street until March 1974, it was reported to possibly be the Pass's first nightspot outside of the famed "Hotels of the Pass."
Until Hurricane Camille in 1969, the lounge and sometimes pseudo grocery was a gathering place for Pass patrons and their friends. The downstairs bar reportedly supported the generations of Speriers who resided in the upstairs living quarters.
Customary for the times, there was an entrance for Whites and a separate entrance for Blacks. Later, the bars were joined into one.
The last owner, Louis J. Sperier, was forced to close the store and it was demolished for safety and health reasons. The repairs made following Camille were not sufficient to sustain its foundation damage or to eliminate the health hazards. Rotting timbers in the walls and risky flooring resulted in its being condemned by the City and razed.
Along with it went the dusty jukebox, weathered tables and rickety chairs. The wrecking crew disclosed a massive underground cache of ammunition reportedly left over from Civil War days.
Today, the grounds remain vacant and used as a parking lot.
On asking Billy Bourdin about a humorous story concerning the Bar, he promptly retorted that ol' man Parnell of the Tarpon Beacon claimed that if he took a picture of the front of Sperier's Bar and came back two weeks later to take another photo, people would swear that he had simply used the same negative twice.”
Very nice site on Pass Christian. Learned some things that I did not know. I would like to correct a couple of things on the Sperier Bar article, which was much appreciated since I spent a good part of my childhood there. My grandfather was Earnest "Chick" Sperier who operated the barroom downstairs in Sperier's bar. My grandfather Chick Sperier was an icon at Speriers bar, serving customers in Pass Christain for years and later after hurricane he ran the bar in the old VFW. He owned the barroom along with his brother Louis Sperier. My uncle Louis was rather recluse and was little seen and usually at his property in North Pass Christian, which is a story unto itself.
One memory I have is of him and "old man Radiak" , who owned a large house on scenic drive with several Roll's Royce's, sitting in the kitchen upstairs visiting and my Uncle Louie sipping his coffee off the saucer. Mr. Radiak was also eccentric and was later murdered in New Orleans for the large amount of money he used to carry on his person.
My grandfather signed his part of the old barrom over to his brother after hurricane Camille and after it was demolished he sold the property. The barroom was divided into black and white sections, with the black section having the juke box and the white section the tv. The long side of the bar was open to the white section and the short end to the black section. The halfs were always divided that way and never became one barroom as mentioned in the article.
After the hurricane and when the building was being demolished there was much speculation as to the possibility that the old septic system might have contained hidden confederate weapons and ammunition. To much dissapointment to us and Parnell McKay nothing was found in the brick septic tank. I well remember that brick tank which raised above the ground behind my grandfathers bar.
My family relations in the Pass extend back to the Pellerins and I will always have a special place in me for "the Pass"
Boyce Hornberger MD
Mrs. Margaret C. Farrell related that the old Sperier Bar down on Market and Second streets was originally the Curtis Grocery many years ago. And the Curtises lived upstairs.
"It was Mrs. Curtis and her elderly sister and her son, --- And they used to take me there for dinner every Sunday."