Gus Stevens' Restaurant & Supper Club was once perched at the corner of Veterans and Beach boulevards. In its heyday, it was the place to be on the coast, attracting locals and celebrity superstars, including Andy Griffith and Jayne Mansfield.
Monday night, the IP Casino Resort & Spa tried to recapture the glory days of the legendary club.
"I think he knew what people wanted. He wanted to make people happy, and he knew that giving them good food and drink and a memorable evening was what kept them coming back," said his daughter, Elaine Stevens.
"He had such a drive. A man with a little bit of education he made up for with his tenacity, his energy, and he was an entrepreneur," said Gus's son, Steven.
At the tribute, there were people of all ages and from all walks of life--just like the crowd at the old supper club. Three generations of the Stevens family were also on hand.
"I think the turnout is fabulous. We're seeing old employees, old friends that have stories to tell my mother and my whole family, and it's just wonderful," said Gus's daughter, Kathryn.
"It's nice to get to see the family again and the reunion has just been magical," said Gus's granddaughter, Angie Lathrop.
And the Stevens' family legacy is far from over. Gus's son, Steve will soon open a restaurant in
"I want something that will bring back kind of his spirit and that type of thing. Nothing too big," he said.
But with a name like Stevens, it's sure to be big.
Admission to tonight's tribute was $3.50, the same price it was to watch Jayne Mansfield's last performance at the club. The event was held in conjunction with a Smithsonian exhibit at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College called "New Harmonies: Celebrating America's Roots Music."
Proceeds from the event will go to the school.