PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

September 9, 2013

Beau Reve customers to get a little 'Something' extra

Restaurant opens boutique on second floor

Erinn Callahan
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Since opening Beau Reve Fine Dining in 2010, Becky Bellard has received numerous requests for tours of the second floor of the sprawling early 20th-century house, located at 4400 Atlantic Road.

The trouble was, there wasn’t much to look at.

“It was sitting up here wasting space,” said Bellard, who lives on the third floor of the house that doubles as a Cajun and Southern cuisine restaurant. “People wanted to come up here, so we decided to give them something to look at.”

Finally, Bellard decided to open the Bayou Something Boutique on the second floor. And after nearly two months of preparation, the boutique will hold its grand opening today.

While the restaurant is only open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, the boutique will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Beau Reve will open Thursday evening for dinner, Bellard said. The shops in the boutique will sell everything from children’s clothing, to jewelry, to antiques.

“We’re trying to bring in a nice variety,” Bellard said.

That variety includes Kountry Vibe, a lye soap shop operated by Stephanie Plowman and her husband. The Plowmans have made the soap from their home for several years now.

“We have four kids, and I was trying to find something I could do that allowed me to be with them,” said Stephanie Plowman, who lives in Deweyville.

Plowman uses a variety of ingredients, including sweet almond oil, goat’s milk and grapeseed oil — but not animal fat, which, she said, is the primary ingredient in most soaps sold in stores.

“This is so much better for you than manufactured soap,” Plowman said. “Most of the time, they can’t even legally say it’s soap, because they take out the glycerin, which should be naturally occurring.”

Plowman’s soaps have been known to help with acne, eczema and cirrhosis, and she will be at the shop at least once every week to answer questions about her products.

Down the hall from Kountry Vibe is Southern Comforts Home Decor and More, operated by Jana McKinney, Bellard’s daughter, and another waitress at Beau Reve. The shop — which sells products such as bows, scarves and what McKinney called “redneck” wine glasses — is somewhat unique for the area.

“There’s not really anything country or Southern around here — you usually have to wait for Winnie Trade Days,” said McKinney, who lives in Sabine Pass. “So we decided to bring a little South over here.”

McKinney said she has been urging her mother to open a boutique for several years, and is excited for the opportunity to sell her product. So is Plowman, who came to check out the house as a potential business space after Bellard left a post about the boutique on her Facebook wall.

“I was like, ‘Wow,” Plowman said. “It’s such an old house, and there’s so much history here.”

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA