In my childhood, the porch was a concept was well as a place, and people used them. Everybody would sit on their front porches shelling peas and exchanging the neighborhood gossip. Nowadays, nobody is friends with anybody. You never see anybody gossiping on the front stoop because there is no front stoop. There are no front porches. We have air-conditioning instead. And there’s no neighborhood gossip because nobody knows their neighbors and everybody’s watching television. And worst of all, nobody has time to shell peas anymore. But the Mobile I grew up in was a place where human relationships were all-important — before the almighty dollar had taken the place of God, and where, above all, people had time to talk and tell stories, where people grew things and had animals. The old downtown front porches were like open-air parlors.
Eugene’s Monkey Bar brings back the Front Porch, a covered sidewalk café raised above the sidewalk to provide unimpeded views of Bienville Square. A perfect perch to catch all the gossip from the sidewalk. Our version of the Front Porch doesn’t have air conditioning but it does have fans for the hot times and heaters for cooler nights. The Front Porch is a separate, intimate section of Eugene’s Monkey Bar and the perfect place to recover the concept of the front porch Eugene wrote about. He’d likely be here as a regular if he wasn’t over in Church Street Cemetery.
* Available for private parties