Nearly a year after losing one of the most popular watering holes in Edwardsville, the bar’s former manager plans to bring it back with a new name and updated look.
Marion Gilson, better known as “Mama Marion” around town, will reopen the back half of Laurie’s Place soon. A 15-year veteran of Laurie’s Place, Gilson has renamed the watering hole The Back Bar and hopes to open at 2 p.m. Dec. 7.
“When it was Laurie’s, if were up front we would always say ‘let’s go to the back bar’,” Gilson said. “I wanted to keep it simple. I wanted to keep it home.”
The front half of the bar will become Source Juicery next year, co-owner Michelle Motley confirmed Thursday. Motely said moving into the former home of Laurie’s Place will give them more room to grow and expand.
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In the rear of the building, Gilson has already moved in and updated the space. She’s painted the walls, revamped the stage and added new beer taps.
“It’s going to be a new beginning,” Gilson said. “It’s a new beginning for me. I’m just bringing home back.”
After two decades of bringing drinks and live music to Edwardsville, Laurie’s Place closed on New Year’s Day. The popular bar and gathering place, owned by Laurie Chavez, opened 21 years ago at 228 N. Main St.
At the time, Chavez declined to comment about the closure, but in a message to her Facebook followers, she said she planned to retire.
“I have met so many amazing people, made so many friends that have become like family to me,” Chavez wrote Dec 9. “To the hundreds of talented musicians that have played my venue, I say thank you.”
Gilson plans to bring live music back to the space when it reopens. A moving date for Soure Juicery is yet to be announced.