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Photograph courtesy of Opelousas Main Street

OPELOUSAS, LA- Java Square Café in downtown Opelousas has been selected as one of the latest recipients of the Redevelopment Incentive Grant through the Louisiana Main Street Program. The $10,000 matching grant will go towards restoration and rehab efforts related to the building’s ceiling, walls, floors and windows. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development’s Division of Historic Preservation recently announced more than $100,000 in matching grant funding for 2022-2023 awarded to 12 Main Street communities to revitalize historic commercial buildings.

In 2012, Java Square Café opened in a two-story tapestry brick building on the corner of Landry and Court Streets. Constructed in the early 1920’s for the Parish Bank & Trust Company, some of the building’s distinct features include a bas-relief eagle on the exterior, an original vault which now functions as a seating area and original travertine floors.  Along with coffee, pastries and sandwiches, Java Square offers free Wi-Fi customers as well as hosts small meeting events.  A few years ago, Carlos and Ashley Lerma took over ownership of the coffee spot and in 2019, they began hosting a monthly outdoor Maker’s Market attracting more patrons to the downtown area while showcasing the work of area artists and crafters.

The Louisiana Main Street program is an economic development program with its foundation in historic preservation. The program offers two types of competitive state-funded, matching Restoration Grants annually for either interior or exterior rehabilitation for a historic commercial building. Funded by the state, the program operates under the umbrella of the National Main Street Center. 

Over the years, Opelousas Main Street properties has received over $157-thousand dollars in redevelopment grant funds. The latest recipient of the Main Street Redevelopment Grant was Arpeggio’s Lounge and Event Center located on the corner of Main and North Streets in Opelousas.