Louis Hall, a unique place to party
Joe Benoit and his band Under Construction needed a venue for practice – other than Joe’s home – when Joe approached his business partner Ed Allen about remodeling part of their office building for the purpose.
That remodel became the first stage of Louis Hall, the newest multi-purpose facility to host any type event you may imagine. “We have had weddings, reunions, pay per view events, country and Cajun bands – you name it, we have done it,” said Benoit.
The original Louis Hall is capable of seating about 80 for a banquet or reunion and is complete with a kitchen and band stand. The lighting and acoustics are the best in the area and along with the tasteful cedar décor show that the owners put in a lot of thought, time and spared no expense in making the hall a great place to host events.
After about a year of operating Louis Hall, Benoit and Allen decided to expand. Rather than just enlarge what was already in use they decided to remodel an adjacent building. The second Louis Hall has a capacity of slightly more than 200. There is a bigger bandstand, and although the kitchen is not a complete kitchen it is suited for catered events.
“We wanted to build a facility that would serve our area by filling the need for a full service rental hall,” Allen said. “We can cater any type menu or those renting our hall may do their own food preparation and bring in the food to be reheated in our kitchen. We have a non-smoking facility with a smoking area outside. Our decision was to go BYOB rather than buy a liquor license. That gives us more flexibility for the user to have any type of beverage service they wish to bring in. When we have our music events you only have to pay a cover charge and do not have to worry about running up a large bar bill.”
The BYOB concept was puzzling at first but has been a successful decision. There are no other venues to have adopted this concept.
Saturday nights the country band Texas Thunder plays to near capacity crowds wanting to hear traditional country music. Sunday afternoons beginning at 2 p.m. the Cajun band Dallas Street Ramblers plays for those who want to bring the whole family out to hear some of the area’s best Cajun music. The unique band has a 10-year old fiddle player and 11-year-old accordion player. It is one of the best new bands in the area. The music is Cajun, the words are Cajun but the beat is universal.
On a recent Sunday afternoon audience included members of the Gulf Coast Cajuns, a group dedicated to the preservation of Cajun music. Two of the members were seen dancing with their very young granddaughters. It was truly a family afternoon filled with the fun event that is so identified with Cajuns.
The lighting in the large hall is as tastefully done as that in the small hall. The sound systems in both halls have to be seen and heard to be believed. “We have bands come in that listen to our system and then just plug into them and leave their sound systems in their trailers,” said Benoit. The sound is clear and is not so loud that it blows you out of the building.
The rental fees start with a fee for the use of the buildings only and then build from there. “We will work with anyone on almost any package they can design. If they want to bring in sandwiches they can do that or we will cater a complete meal with salad, main course, dessert, whatever. We are flexible,” said Benoit.
The location is a little off the beaten track, but not much. Louis Hall is at the east side of the intersection of Texas 12 and Farm Road 1132 in Vidor, about four miles north of Interstate 10. There is a large white sign with a black arrow pointing to the halls. The smaller hall fronts Texas 12 with the larger hall in the back of the property.
For rental information call Benoit at (409) 769-3321 or 651-5018. If a female voice answers and says “Conarc” do not be surprised – just ask for Benoit. You have the right number. Benoit and Allen are the owners of Conarc Inc. and let the office serve both purposes.