Remember Paw Paw’s Seafood? Take a Look at These Inside Photos
On special Sundays after church, Paw Paw's was the place to go! I can remember walking around the boat in the front wondering how it got there, and exactly how deep was that water it was sitting in. I got brave one time and snuck a stick through the parking lot with me to poke around, but I couldn't get close enough to properly gauge it. Now that it's gone, my mind was blown to know it was just sitting there on the grass in a few inches of water.
I ran across an amazing website called Southwest Louisiana Archaeology. Trent Gremillion shares stories of SWLA's past and shows off amazing archives of pictures that some of us have never seen before. These pictures of Paw Paw's Seafood really hit home with me to the point that I can smell the inside of it and taste the crackers.
I was fairly young when we would go there, but I do remember eating a ton of fried catfish and a ton of stuffed crabs. Being Baptist, I don't think I was allowed to even look at the bar set up, but I remember the giant kegs wondering what they were for! Lord, I was a sheltered child at the time. Everything was a mixture of off-shore seafood and pirates. Looking back, I guess it made sense at the time since we are a pirate-style city. Now that I look at these pictures, I don't know how we didn't walk out of there without a headache from the vast amount of colors in the decore.
It was considered, at the time, one of the finest and biggest family eateries in SWLA. Their seafood was so fresh that it was alive just before it got cooked. I remember everyone claiming that even each time we would go in there. You could even have a beverage by the "dock" near the boat and look at the fish swimming around. Once again, I swear that pond was at least 30 feet deep that the boat sat in! It was open year-round, 365, and stayed open until 1:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays. I am just about sure if adult me would have had the chance, this would have been my forever hangout spot. If it was open today, you'd find me with a beverage in one hand and a stick in the other, still trying to figure out how deep that water was!
The famous "Pride of Lake Charles" boat held on as the restaurant was torn down and the land turned into what appears to be an impound lot or junkyard. A fence was built around the boat as the original tarred pillars held fast. Now, the boat is gone and the not-so-deep water has long since dried up. The Google Image I found was from 2019. I can remember driving by each time on 171 just smiling at the memories that took place inside that amazing place. If you want to know more about SWLA history, by all means, check out the SWLA Archaeology Facebook page. They have books and articles galore about our amazing area.
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