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Shreveport-Bossier City Bossier Parish, Caddo Parish, De Soto Parish
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:23 PM
 
3 posts, read 6,160 times
Reputation: 10

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Longtime lurker on this forum here and I finally decided to create an account to talk about my hometown. A bit of backstory on me and my family first. Both sides of my family have been deeply entrenched in Shreveport since the early 1900s, and many of my now-passed family members were very well-known in the city. My great grandfather owned a grocery store downtown and other various businesses in the city were owned by relatives in the early 20th century. My Dad is a Huntington grad and mom went to Southwood. I was born in Bossier, graduated from Airline and got a degree at Tech. Growing up, I was lucky to enjoy the experience of going to some of the few remaining institutions of Shreveport's past, such as Brocato's (a family favorite for decades for special ocassions) before they all disappeared forever. What I am so grateful for more than that though was having grandparents who told such great stories and recounted such vivid memories of the places that made Shreveport such a wonderful place to live in the 1930s-1970s before the area started to decline. Those stories sort of made me into the history nerd that I am today, and I have become pretty obsessed with learning about the past of Shreveport by reading old newspapers, finding old photographs and looking all over google maps street view seeing what has become of so many beautiful buildings that once housed thriving businesses. Shreveport truly was a special place and it is full to the brim with amazing history. I absolutely hate seeing how it has seemingly fallen apart over the past 30 years. I wasn't around to see the beginnings of the decline, but I have read a lot about the various ideas on what caused it.

I now live in Texas, but most of my family still resides in the Shreveport-Bossier area, and as much as a guy in his mid twenties loves the bigger cities over here with tons of great nightlife, restaurants, and shopping, I sort of miss Shreveport-Bossier in a weird way. Every time I come back home for holidays or what-not, I drive around the city just looking at places and landmarks wondering whether things will change. One thing that Shreveport needs is more entrepreneurs willing to take a chance on bringing businesses into the area. I have thought long and hard about possibly opening a restaurant in Shreveport one day, close to the downtown area. I want to see that area revitalized and although it won't ever be the center of work and play in the city like it was decades ago, it still can be a good area. I think. My brain tells me that restaurants close in Shreveport constantly and there is never enough community support, partly I guess due to the low median incomes. But my heart says that to bring something to Shreveport that the community doesn't have right now and to make my hometown a better place would be worth the effort. My question to all of you on here is, am I crazy? Should I shut this dream down and focus on doing it somewhere else? I am open to any and all feedback. I'm not going to give any detail on the type of restaurant it would be, but all I'll say is its something the area doesn't really do very well, but Texas does really really well. I just want y'alls thoughts. I appreciate whoever takes the time to read the whole book I wrote lol.
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Old 11-28-2018, 01:15 AM
 
506 posts, read 445,379 times
Reputation: 1065
I lived in the area for over a decade, graduated high school in a nearby town, but frequented Shreveport and Bossier City. Left in 1999.

I have gone back a few times to visit to see how much it changed, and have Johnny's Pizza. Those breadsticks with the cheese dips are amazing.

In my honest opinion, I think it's a bad,bad, bad idea to invest in Shreveport and Bossier City, unless you open a "vice" place, like...a bar, a strip club, or a place to put video poker machines, and still you'd have to pay in taxes and fees up the wazoo. Crime has gotten higher in the Shreveport/Bossier area, and it's just too much of a liability.

I think it's best to invest in Texas because so many people from all over America, and even the world, are moving to Texas.

I think Shreveport is dying, but that's just me. There is a reason why gambling is so lax and legal there. Louisiana needs the income. If it wasn't for gambling, Shreveport would be just a poor city. Hence..."putting all your eggs in one basket." If you invest in a city that does that, then you have made an unwise investment.

Invest in a city or area that has diversified resources. What are the things that made Shreveport/Bossier? Gambling and Barksdale Air Force Base. And a majority of the personnel at Barksdale move on after serving. Yes, some stayed behind, but a majority moved on to other places outside of Louisiana. If it wasn't for gambling, Shreveport would be like Killeen. And we know what Killeen is like.

Cities in Texas have been expanding more and more. I'd take a road trip and see for yourself. But me...I'd never live in Shreveport/Bossier again.

Texas is a very entrepreneurship-friendly state. I suggest Austin.
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Old 11-28-2018, 02:15 AM
 
Location: NWA/SWMO
3,105 posts, read 3,641,290 times
Reputation: 3266
Quote:
Originally Posted by vikingalum11 View Post
Longtime lurker on this forum here and I finally decided to create an account to talk about my hometown. A bit of backstory on me and my family first. Both sides of my family have been deeply entrenched in Shreveport since the early 1900s, and many of my now-passed family members were very well-known in the city. My great grandfather owned a grocery store downtown and other various businesses in the city were owned by relatives in the early 20th century. My Dad is a Huntington grad and mom went to Southwood. I was born in Bossier, graduated from Airline and got a degree at Tech. Growing up, I was lucky to enjoy the experience of going to some of the few remaining institutions of Shreveport's past, such as Brocato's (a family favorite for decades for special ocassions) before they all disappeared forever. What I am so grateful for more than that though was having grandparents who told such great stories and recounted such vivid memories of the places that made Shreveport such a wonderful place to live in the 1930s-1970s before the area started to decline. Those stories sort of made me into the history nerd that I am today, and I have become pretty obsessed with learning about the past of Shreveport by reading old newspapers, finding old photographs and looking all over google maps street view seeing what has become of so many beautiful buildings that once housed thriving businesses. Shreveport truly was a special place and it is full to the brim with amazing history. I absolutely hate seeing how it has seemingly fallen apart over the past 30 years. I wasn't around to see the beginnings of the decline, but I have read a lot about the various ideas on what caused it.

I now live in Texas, but most of my family still resides in the Shreveport-Bossier area, and as much as a guy in his mid twenties loves the bigger cities over here with tons of great nightlife, restaurants, and shopping, I sort of miss Shreveport-Bossier in a weird way. Every time I come back home for holidays or what-not, I drive around the city just looking at places and landmarks wondering whether things will change. One thing that Shreveport needs is more entrepreneurs willing to take a chance on bringing businesses into the area. I have thought long and hard about possibly opening a restaurant in Shreveport one day, close to the downtown area. I want to see that area revitalized and although it won't ever be the center of work and play in the city like it was decades ago, it still can be a good area. I think. My brain tells me that restaurants close in Shreveport constantly and there is never enough community support, partly I guess due to the low median incomes. But my heart says that to bring something to Shreveport that the community doesn't have right now and to make my hometown a better place would be worth the effort. My question to all of you on here is, am I crazy? Should I shut this dream down and focus on doing it somewhere else? I am open to any and all feedback. I'm not going to give any detail on the type of restaurant it would be, but all I'll say is its something the area doesn't really do very well, but Texas does really really well. I just want y'alls thoughts. I appreciate whoever takes the time to read the whole book I wrote lol.
No. You got out of Shreveport/Bossier. Don't go back. Life is about progression, not regression. As to your question, no, things there will never change. It is what it is. Also, the economy there is worthless. Just no.

Last edited by JWG223; 11-28-2018 at 02:31 AM..
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:51 AM
 
3 posts, read 6,160 times
Reputation: 10
Thank y'all for the feedback and for the honesty. I kind of expected to hear a resounding "run away" lol and my parents have expressed the same thing to me. I guess part of the reason I thought it was possible in Shreveport is because there has been some revitalization of downtown and old downtown Bossier, and some new restaurants and breweries seem to have been able to make it. I have also considered Baton Rouge to do something.
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Old 11-28-2018, 02:14 PM
 
506 posts, read 445,379 times
Reputation: 1065
Quote:
Originally Posted by vikingalum11 View Post
Thank y'all for the feedback and for the honesty. I kind of expected to hear a resounding "run away" lol and my parents have expressed the same thing to me. I guess part of the reason I thought it was possible in Shreveport is because there has been some revitalization of downtown and old downtown Bossier, and some new restaurants and breweries seem to have been able to make it. I have also considered Baton Rouge to do something.
I wouldn't even consider the entire state of Louisiana at all.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:19 AM
 
Location: NWA/SWMO
3,105 posts, read 3,641,290 times
Reputation: 3266
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBAinTexas View Post
I wouldn't even consider the entire state of Louisiana at all.
This. If you're not a poor, or arent taking care of family, there is no reason to be there besides drugs and paying penance for terrible sins in a past life.
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:59 AM
 
20 posts, read 17,544 times
Reputation: 57
Howdy, Shreveport/Bossier City's economy is awful. If you come back to make money, it'll be an uphill battle. Then there's the skyrocketing crime rate. I'm retiring in 3 more years and leaving, as I have no family here and no other reason to remain. Sorry for sounding negative. but I won't bury my head in the sand.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:58 PM
 
19 posts, read 22,791 times
Reputation: 30
You said it yourself about how it has fallen apart over the years, it's not coming back unless something big happens but that will be like in 100yrs if it does. Stay away like many of us wished we had.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:39 PM
 
16 posts, read 24,255 times
Reputation: 17
Restaurants are very expensive to open. There's no reason to waste your capital on a shrinking demographic. Don't set yourself up to fail. Open your restaurant where the demographics give you a chance to succeed.

I, like you, have deep roots in Shreveport. I left in the 80s like many others. I have great memories there and always wanted to move back. Shreveport never could give me a reason. I've stayed away except to visit ever since I left.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:36 PM
 
3 posts, read 6,160 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you all for the advice. I think I knew deep down what the smart thing to do was. I just was thinking with my heart more than my head and I appreciate y'all bringing me back down to earth lol.
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