The Florentine Supper Club: Shreveport’s High Society Party Spot
If you're a history buff, Shreveport is a great place to be. You can literally throw a rock in this city and hit a legendary spot. From music to civil rights, this place is just chock full of legend and lore. It truly is kind of amazing.
One of the most recognizable buildings in downtown is the Oglivie- Weiner Mansion on Austen Place. Not only is it instantly recognizable, but it has been the site of some legendary happenings since it was constructed around 1896. It's been everything from Shreveport's first openly gay bar to a party spot for Shreveport's elite.
But, at least to me, one of the most interesting periods in the buildings history happened when the place became the Florentine Supper Club. From 1951 to about 1960, the Florentine was a hot bed for high society, celebrity appearances and elite class shenanigans.
This is from the Austen Place website:
In 1951, the Sclifo family leased the house and it was remodeled and opened as a private supper club, "The Florentine Club". The upper-class establishment featured entertainment by nationally known performers, such as Perry Como, pianists Ferrante and Teicher, Big Band orchestras (notably Jan Garber, of Shreveport) and many others.
Among the famous that patronized The Florentine were John Wayne, Bette Davis, Doris Day, William Holden, Ethel Merman, just to name a few. The Florentine operated until 1960, closing due to financial troubles.
I'm sure if those walls could talk, you'd hear some epic tales of Hollywood excess and elite class tomfoolery.
If you'd like to take a tour of the historical site and learn more details about what took place within those walls, the building is open for public tours.