Jordyn Voisin features editor
Nestled in the heart of Pierre Part off U.S Highway 70, is an old, abandoned building wasting away from the effects of time.
Since its opening in the 1930s, the building has been a thriving bar, restaurant and dance hall known as the Rainbow Inn.
Eve Justilian who moved to Pierre Part in 1992, heard of the Rainbow Inn long before she arrived in town; but when she finally walked through the doors she felt like she was in “a part of history.”
The Rainbow Inn was a place where locals would go to indulge in the best hamburgers or dance the night away listening to local swamp pop bands.
“Swamp pop is a form of country music with cajun culture thrown in for a flare,” says Justilian.
Pierre Part is home to many swamp pop musicians who became popular singing at the Rainbow Inn; such as The Richard Brothers and Don Rich.
Rich says he grew up at the Rainbow Inn as a kid, eating hamburgers and drinking coke which he bought for 15 cents.
“The Inn had the greatest hamburgers I ever ate,” says Rich. “They were homemade, not like they are today.”
Rich’s dad was part of The Richard Brothers band who would play at The Rainbow Inn when he was a child; then in his early 20s, he began playing there himself.
Rich has been playing swamp pop music for 57 years and he still loves it today, but his most memorable experiences at the Rainbow revolved around the food.
Since its opening in the 50s, the talk of the Rainbow Inn’s food made its way around Pierre Part quickly.
Jennie Justilian who was born and raised in Pierre Part, says that she began going to the Inn when was 13 years old and was able to sit in the kitchen while the women cooked.
Once Jeannie Justilian got older she would dance the nights away doing the jitterbug and drinking her favorite soda, a Cherry Coke.
During that time, boys had to pay 25 cents to be able to dance but the girls were free.
Despite its popularity, The Rainbow Inn shut its doors in 2019 due to the owners getting older and not being able to handle the property.