If you go to Dearman’s now, you will see the glass covered in colorful notes of love and sadness. This proves how much the young and the elderly cherish Dearman’s Soda Shop. People are fighting to keep Dearman’s where it has been for decades while the owners of Bocage Village Shopping Center, Hill Properties, are giving thought to terminating the lease after the restaurant caught on fire from an electrical outlet. There has not been a final decision yet. Dearman’s owner, David Van Gelder, and general manager, Casey Evans, have been asked to submit a proposal for the restaurant to stay. Just like any new business would have to tell the landlord why they deserve to be in a specific location.
“It will be a good time for us to fix a lot of issues and actually implement on some cleaning schedules for everyone,” Evans said. Evans said he does not know what the owners of the shopping center are exactly looking for in this being the same business, but he will argue that Dearman’s is an asset to Bocage Village.
Bocage Village Shopping Center consists of various stores, a few restaurants, and a grocery store. Many of these businesses would suffer if it were not for Dearman’s. Wade, a frequent eater at Dearman’s told Evans that he would never step foot in any of the surrounding places if it wasn’t for Dearman’s. Evans saw Wade while he was getting the mail at Dearman’s. Wade was angry about the news with the landlords. Evans told the Dearman’s waiters and waitresses about this and said, “there is a hundred stories I could tell y’all about customers reaching out.”
When customers of Dearman’s heard the bad news, outrage on all social medias came about. There is a change.org petition to save Dearman’s. Facebook is probably the most widely used social media outlet, there is a Facebook community page dedicated to saving Dearman’s that has been “liked” by over a thousand people. Charles Grey shared Business Report’s article about the lease termination, and was not happy about it. See his comment:
If you look at Bocage Village Shopping Center’s Facebook page, many people have furiously commented and posted for them to bring back Dearman’s.
One man commented on a post about another store in the center, saying he has no reason to be there without Dearman’s!
It is not only affecting the adults of Baton Rouge, but also the children who look forward to going to Dearman’s every week, and who know and love all of the workers. Here are some letters children and others put on the front of Dearman’s for Hill Properties to see.