Local News

Antique Village store owners talk recovery two years after 2016 flood

BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33)(FOX 44) - An old theater turned antique shop is full of hidden gems. While customers shopped for one-of-a-kind items Friday, owner Albert Bye flipped through his photo album full of pictures from two years ago when the 2016 flood ruined everything that had been inside the shop.

"As you come up to this lobby area, you are in the highest part of the building and we had four and a half feet of water. As you go down toward our stage, it was seven and a half feet," Bye said.

His store was not alone. A little less than half of the Antique Village shops were hit by rising waters. He recalls how grateful he was for the help he got from his neighbors.

"After the flood, we were out of business for a while here. 60 percent of the village was still in business, but there was so much devastation around they shut down for several days to help us clean out. They would cook meals for us. They did a lot of things to help out the ones who were not as fortunate as they were," Bye said.

Stuart Salassi owned a store up the street from Theater Antique at the time of the flood, but now occupies a corner lot across the street from the old theater.

Even though the store was ravaged by the flood, Salassi knew the location was a great opportunity. 

"I know the importance of location and this is tripple a location. Obviously, I wanted to try and do something here," Salassi said.

Do something he did. It required almost a full remodel, but he was able to bring the building back to life for Salassi Jewelery.

 The area once filled with standing water, now has customers walking in and out of stores looking for the perfect antique.

The store owners invite everyone to an event Saturday to honor the people who helped flood victims two years ago. The event is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Old City Hall in Denham Springs.


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