Shannon’s, a bar owned and operated by Shannon Ourso, was in operation from New Year’s Eve 1991 until 2002 and served as one of the most popular nightlife destinations in the parish. Now, 15 years after its closing, Shannon Ourso is holding a reunion.
Entertainment was a big part of Shannon’s early life, and at the young age of 23 he owned and operated a bar at Jack Miller’s The Landing from 1989-91. “If you find something you enjoy, you never have to earn a living,” Shannon said. “I’ve enjoyed people and entertaining people my whole life.”
Shannon, younger brother of Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr., grew up in a busy household with his father, Jessel Ourso, former Iberville Parish Sheriff, who was always entertaining. “It was always a busy afternoon in our house,” Shannon said.
Opening his own bar was an easy choice for Shannon. And after some time and deciding to relocate closer to his most popular customer base in Plaquemine and to accommodate for more space, Shannon opened another bar in the city limits with his namesake.
Shannon’s opened on New Year’s Eve in 1991. “It was far from perfect,” Shannon said. “But we had sound, air conditioning, cold beer, liquor and we had entertainment.”
Shannon’s operated from 1992-2002 and played host to a wide variety of entertainment and served as a popular nightlife scene for the locals. The bar even served as the headquarters for now Parish President Ourso’s political campaign, according to Shannon.
After ten years of success, Shannon decided to leave the nightlife behind and open a restaurant of his own, the Bayou Cafe and Grill formerly located on Railroad Ave. in Plaquemine. The business opened in March 2001, but after September 11, 2001, Shannon had trouble keeping the doors open.
“My business never recovered after that,” Shannon said. “I’m not sure what it was, but I struggled. I’ve never given up on nothing, but I’ve never worked so hard.” Shannon then decided to work in disaster recovery, and has done so ever since his restaurant shut its doors.
Occasionally, however, Shannon would be approached by an old friend or patron that would frequent the popular Plaquemine bar and ask him to put together a reunion. After some thought, Shannon decided to put together a benefit reunion that would allow his former patrons to get together to raise money for a good cause and Shannon’s Reunion was born.
On August 25 from 7 p.m. - 2 a.m., the Carl F. Grant Civic Center in Plaquemine will play host to Shannon’s Reunion and will feature live music from the band Louisiana, Greenhouse, Taylor Rae and Her Band, DJ Party, DJ Koolaid and Comedian Jack Williams, free food and door prizes.
Tickets can be purchased beforehand online or at the door and a portion of the proceeds will go toward Wishes for Warriors, a wounded warriors foundation, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“I’m doing this so people can get together and have a good time and for a good cause,” Shannon said. “This is about the people who came to Shannon’s. It’s about the friendships that were developed there that are still strong. This is their party.”
Shannon also plans to honor the memory of a former friend at the Reunion, David Tucker, who enjoyed setting up bar stools and hopping over them by setting up a line of six barstools. “He loved to dance and to be around people,” Shannon said. “Tucker spent a lot of time at Shannon’s working, having a good time and socializing. He enjoyed life.”
For more information or to purchase tickets visit the Shannon’s Reunion Facebook page.