Delirious Daiquiris closed down after 29 years of business on Sunday, May 23, 2020.
The Daiquiri shop at 405 Alexander Ave. in Port Allen hosted a farewell party commemorating years of good times for the community. Darlene Navarre, owner, said, “There was really nowhere to hang out until we came.”
The current building was rented from Marie Louisa “Weeze” Saia Fertitta until her death in June 2020. Since her death, her son Joseph “Jay” Fertitta has managed the property and according to Navarre, would not allow them to continue leasing the space. She was approached about buying the space outright, and according to Navarre the two did not come to agreement.
Darlene Navarre’s best memories are of “the people and support of the people.”
“They were all like my kids,” Navarre describes herself as “the mama.” She is one of eleven brothers and sisters, many of whom attended the farewell party with a hodgepodge of customers from town. The place was joyful, boisterous, and full of laughter. Small conversations took place in every corner, like a time before smartphones. The music was hardly heard over the people of the place.
Navarre says the bar’s familial setting and mama-type management style are due to her upbringing. Her parents died when she was in her teens. She explains she adopted that role of parent for her siblings even though she is not the eldest. She stated it came naturally for her to protect her patrons.
Mark Whitmore has frequented Delirious Daiquiris since 1995, “I remember when they had the double wide down there,” he pointed north toward the original 105 Alexander location that opened in 2001, “we’d come here after Mardi Gras parades—it was where everybody came—it’s always a jumping off point for a Saturday night.” He emphasized that he had never seen a fight in the place “not one time, ever.”
A local musician, Meagan Simoneaux and her husband Jim Simoneaux would play live gigs at the establishment. “I’m definitely going to miss it. Made a lot of good memories and made a lot of friends—lifelong friends,” Mrs. Simoneaux said, “It’s where everyone comes to celebrate, to mourn, to grab drink after work. [It’s] the town watering hole. Darlene and Jeff treated us like their kids, even my high school reunion was here.”
Another long time customer, Melanie Budd said, “Darlene raised me and my group of friends—back then you only had to be 18. We started at the original double wide. I celebrated my 18th to my 40th birthdays here with Jeffery and Darlene. We are going to miss it tremendously. They’re like family.”
Budd added, “It’s a legend, this place, has always been.”
After closing, Navarre said she will “go see my grandkids in Texas,” then, “take a deep breath and probably start again.” Navarre said the place welcomed all types of people and the owner said, “We’ve got to have a safe place for these people to go.”