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The Closing Of Hymel’s, Convent, La.


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It is with a heavy heart that we closed our doors today at 3 PM for good.

When Marie and Jimmy (momma & dad) purchased the original dance hall then turned it into a resturant, they in no way understood what a South Louisiana tradition Hymel’s would become for our family and all the families that have come through our doors over the past 70 years. We thank you for your support and we will always cherish those who made our “hole in the wall” their favorite stop along the River.

If you were greeted by the giant rubber tree plant, waited for a table till “all ya party was here”, sat at the paper-topped tables in vinyl chairs eating hot boiled crabs, shrimp, crawfish or raw oysters, danced on the taraza floors to live music or the jukebox, put ketchup & butter on saltines as a pre-dinner staple, drank cold draft in iced fish bowls or stolen one, dipped sweet fried seafood in our home-made tartar sauce, ordered a pink squirrel or a grasshopper from a familiar face behind the bar, requested to sit in the back or front dining room along with your favorite waitress, chuckled to yourself over the signs behind the bar including: No Shoes. No Shirt. No Service., were given a pack of CHARMS or a quarter to put in the gum ball machine from a bartender as a kid, then watched as your own kids or grandkids safely ran free through the dining rooms and bar... you have become part of our family.

We also would be remised if we didn’t acknowledge all the people of the River Road area who worked tirelessly to make Hymel’s a success all these years (too many to name) but they will never be forgotten. If only the walls could talk they would share cherished memories full of laughter, joy, heart-warming love and great food. We hope that you will do as good families do and celebrate all the great memories.

Thank you for your patronage and God bless, 

James, Jo Ann, Teddi & M.J. Hymel

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Not far from Hymel’s. Worth the trip down, just to see the Grotto. 


Three reasons to visit St. Michael Church in Convent

  • Mark Deane
  • 2 years ago



At 189 years old, St. Michael Church in Convent, St. James Parish, is one of the oldest churches in the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

Deacon Alfred Adams says visitors come from all over to see the church. And, He pointed to three things that make the church special.

1. The Lourdes Grotto


The Lourdes Grotto is tucked behind the altar of St. Michael and was inspired by the famous vision of Our Lady of Lourdes. Since 1876, Catholics have come to the grotto to pray and leave personal items when their prayers are answered.

The grotto is unique to St. James Parish because its altar is made of shells collected from the river. And, the "rocks" which make up the Lourdes Grotto at St. Michael Church are actually bagasse. Bagasse is a product of the sugar-making process, which is an important industry in St. James Parish.

2. The Henry Erben Organ

Deacon Adams says the church's Henry Erben pipe organ in the oldest working organ of its kind in Louisiana. The organ came to the church by boat in 1857. For decades, it wasn't in use. About ten years ago, the church refurbished the organ.

3. The Lamb of God

Artistic representations of the Lamb of God are common in Catholic churches. But, the lamb above the altar in St. Michael is different. It looks like it's looking at you. All the time. No matter where you walk in the church.

Deacon Adams says the explanation for the phenomenon is probably simple. The lamb is painted on the inside of a dome. But, he tells children that the lamb appears to always be watching you because Jesus is always watching you.

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