One night in the summer of 2012 I was eating dinner alone at the bar at Besh Steak House. At some point an elderly lady came in and took a seat next to me. Over the next few minutes, seemingly every Besh Steak House employee came over to greet her. The bartender poured her drinks without her requesting them and the kitchen started sending dishes out to her without her having placed orders for them. It was something to behold — I felt like I was sitting next to local royalty, yet I had no idea who she was. Finally, I just asked, “Who *are* you?” She responded, “I’m Miss Pat, baby, but you can just call me Pat.” She went on to detail that she owned a bar in Metairie — Mugz’s, a bar she opened using money she’d earned during her years working as a Bourbon Street stripper — and that she was a regular at Besh, eating dinner at the bar almost every night since it opened. She also told me about her nine marriages, shared some filthy jokes and openly flirted with me, saying that she could teach me some things “them young girls don’t know about” before offering me her phone number.
A few weeks later, when my editor at the Times asked me to do a story on Saints fans going into the “Bountygate” season, I paid a visit to Miss Pat and the patrons of her bar and featured her in my piece, which you can read here.
All of that said, I got a message this morning from the daughter of a Mugz’s patron saying that Miss Pat died last night of “old age.” She was unlike few people I’ve ever met and she lived quite a life. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to get to know her. (Photo by @misterwidmer)