Second Saturday Artwalk in Old Town
Second Saturday Column
Over the past twenty years, the monthly artwalk has become one of the most popular events in the region. Old Town stays lively all day, with many merchants and restaurants offering specials. The pace picks up from 4 – 8pm, when gallery openings and live music keep the streets humming with activity.
Each month, one or two Old Town businesses take the spotlight as “Hot Spots." Veteran Second Saturday patrons know these will be among the liveliest places to be during the event.
Story and photography by Ellis Anderson
Bay St. Louis goes to the dogs this Second Saturday when Barksgiving comes to Old Town as part of this month’s Second Saturday Artwalk on November 8th.
The city is known for its pet-friendly attitude, with several shops and restaurants with outdoor tables welcoming canine companions. On Saturday, a new spin on fun local pet events will launch – Barksgiving (see complete details in Upcoming Events). Old Town will come alive Saturday afternoon with a pet parade, a Dachshund Race and pet blessings. All proceeds go to support Friends of the Animal Shelter, which supports local animal welfare projects. Barksgiving events take place from 3pm – 5pm.
The Artwalk kicks into high gear starting at 4pm and lasts at least until 8pm. New art shows, shop specials and live music keep Old Town hopping through the evening. As part of each month’s festivities, two local businesses take the spotlight. The November “Hot Spots” are Bay Emporium (formerly Century Hall – 112 South Second St) and O’Dwyer Realty (105 North Beach Blvd).
November Hot Spots
13 shops under one historic roof! Furniture, vintage, jewelry, contemporary art
112 S. Second St.
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
228. 671. 9790
Bay Emporium may have recently changed its name, but the building itself has been around for over a century. The restoration of the massive structure took years of effort by owners Ann Tidwell and her daughter and son-in-law, Vicki and Doug Niolet. Their hard work paid off: In 2009, the building garnered the city’s prestigious People’s Choice Award for historic preservation in Bay St. Louis.
Vicki Niolet manages the emporium, which is home now to thirteen different shops. The award-winning artist has maintained a retail presence in Old Town for over twenty years, and is one of the co-founders of the current incarnation of the Second Saturday Artwalk. She and her family purchased the Bay Emporium building ten days before Hurricane Katrina in 2005. That slowed down the renovation but the doors opened in 2008/ They chose the name of Century Hall since it was turning 100 in the next year.
Although the establishment quickly became one of Old Town’s retail anchors, the name Century Hall caused some people to confuse it with the historic City Hall, which is located on the next block.
The new name, Bay Emporium, hits the mark exactly. In fact, the definition of “emporium” is a “large retail store selling a wide variety of goods.” The various merchants who maintain shops in the 9,000 square foot building carry everything from architectural salvage to resort-wear.
“It’s not your typical antique mall,” says Niolet. “We’re actually individual shops and really do offer something for everyone. We have art, antiques, home décor and jewelry. There’s fashion for women and children too - and a candle shop that makes the whole building smell good.”
Bay Emporium offers the convenience of a modern mall however: shoppers can stay under one roof during bad weather and find enough to occupy them for hours. Niolet reports that often while women are shopping, the men are admiring the architecture of the building, with its heavy wood beams and rustic appeal.
Adding to Bay Emporium’s charms is the suspected occupancy of a ghost. In fact, professional ghost hunters came and set up equipment but were foiled by the commotion of a wedding nearby. Niolet says the shop-owners have nicknamed the ghost “Maggie.”
And Maggie, like most people who visit Bay Emporium, apparently doesn’t want to leave.
“Even when people are finished shopping here, they’ll stay and sit on our front porch,” says Niolet. “It’s the perfect place to watch the world go by.”
Real estate sales and rental, residential and commercial
105 N. Beach Blvd.
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
With new offices just a block away on Beach Boulevard, O’Dwyer Realty (105 North Beach Blvd) can help people find their dream home on the coast. In fact, this November “Hot Spot” serves the New Orleans Metro area as well as the entire Gulf Coast region. The full-service realty firm handles commercial development, home sales, property management, land acquisition and development of luxury waterfront condos. For complete information, call 228.466.0012.
Second Saturday Happenings
Bay Books - 131 Main Street
Frank Wilem, local author of The Keys, The Pass, and most recently The Aral, will be at Bay Books on Saturday, November 8 from 3 to 5 p.m. to sign his latest release, Tears of Coral.
Bay Town Inn - 208 North Beach
In December, Old Town shops are open till 8pm on Thursday. So - call the Bay Town Inn for our Christmas Special - $119 - you'll enjoy it so much, you'll want to re-book for a Second Saturday weekend!
California Drawstrings - 216 Main Street - $20.00 off any purchase of 100.00 more ( before sales tax) on Second Saturday. Purchase on non-sale items only. One discount only per person.
George’s Girls - 108 S. Beach Blvd. Ste B, (inside the French Settlement building). Purveyors of Fine Linens. Cruise on in and check out our new fall merchandise, comfortable comfortable & fashionable day wear as well as cozy pajamas. And the new Spartina has arrived!
Gallery 220 Main - 220 Main Street - Come in and check out new work by featured artists Julie Nelson and Herb Wiley. This artist's co-op is home to nearly two dozen artists and is THE PLACE TO BE on any Second Saturday! Free refreshments as well as a buffet of appetizers, courtesy the artists!
Fashion Express - Down the long hall at Maggie May’s Art Gallery (126 Main Street), Swarovski crystal collections by Victoria Lynn and Victoria Cross in an array of stunning colors, great for holidays, complimentary
The French Potager - 213 Main Street - Stop by The French Potager and check out our wonderful selection of antiques, gifts, flowers, and books!
Magnolia Antiques - 200 Main Street - Magnolia Antiques at 200 Main Street is your center for collectibles and curiosities. We'll be serving our famous meatballs!
The Mockingbird Cafe - 110 South Second St.
Music by Josh Brister from 6-9. Artists Connie Rainey and Lynn Harris will be showing, joining regulars Marsha Prejean, Kat Fitzpatrick, Diane Chunn, Sue Louvier and J.J. Foley
Local brews and dinner menu with famous Mockingburgers.
Social Chair - 201 Main St. - Mississippi state pride is all around us and. Social Chair has started the celebration. We always welcome all of our "LOYAL LOCALS" to get first dibs on our holiday merchandise. The trees are going up and we are ready to gift wrap all of your purchases for FREE. New lines of Mississippi State & Ole Miss comfort color shirts and Mississippi made goat milk soap.
Time After Time Antiques (Inside Century Hall), 112 S. Second St.
Offering a unique array of antiques, furniture from different eras, collectibles, and home decor. Between the hours of 4PM and 8PM we offer 20% off furniture. Our selection changes monthly, so come see us. We also carry the holiday line of Swan Creek Candles.
Twin Lights Creations - 136 Main Street Eclectic garden & home décor. Hand made Christmas garden art that will put you in the mood for the season. Shop early and enjoy the elements of nature, inside and out.