After we left Yazoo we decided that we should stop and see the Blue Front Cafe. For those of you who don’t know the place is located in Bentonia, MS. It is a small, out of the way town along highway 49. It is also a stop on the Mississippi Blues Trail. We really didn’t know what to expect and were hoping that it was going to be open so that we could get a look inside. Unfortunately that was not the case. So, we stood outside Mississippi’s oldest Juke Joint and soaked up the history.
The sign outside the Blue Front said that it was opened in 1948. It went on to talk about how it was famous for it’s buffalo fish, blues and moonshine. Pretty good chance that people were going to stop in for one of the three of those!! The sign listed other facts but the one thing that stood out to me was the fact that the Cafe could not serve Cocoa-Cola. Sometimes reality smacks you in the face. This cafe could not serve Cocoa-Cola because it was owned by an African American couple and African Americans could not buy Cocoa-Cola in Bentonia. It stopped me in my tracks just thinking about it. The Cocoa-Cola sign was put up after Integration.
What other kind of history has this building seen? Well, this is where the invention of the style of Blues called the Bentonia Blues happened. In fact, according to everything we have read, the only person left alive that can play that style of Blues now owns the Blue Front: Jimmy “Duck” Holmes.
It is definitely worth looking into this historic cafe. In fact, the Bentonia Blues Festival is June 21st this year. We may just have to make the return trip to experience the Blues first hand.