Blue Front Cafe
107 East Railroad Avenue
An authentic Mississippi Delta “juke joint” where the world-famous original Bentonia Blues was born and can still be heard. The Blue Front Cafe is considered the oldest active juke joint in Mississippi.
The Blue Front Café opened in 1948 under the ownership of Carey and Mary Holmes, an African American couple from Bentonia. In its heyday the Blue Front was famed for its buffalo fish, blues, and moonshine whiskey. One of the couple’s sons, Jimmy Holmes took over the Café in 1970.
During the 1980s the Blue Front Café began to attract tourists in search of authentic blues in a rustic setting. In its early years, the Café was a local gathering spot for crowds of workers from the Yazoo County cotton fields. Carey and Mary Holmes raised their ten children and three nephews and sent most of them to college on the income generated by the Café and their cotton crops. The Café served up hot meals, groceries, drinks, recreation, entertainment, and even haircuts.
The Blue Front Café has been recognized as a spot of historical significance to Delta Blues with a Mississippi Blues Trail marker.
Every year on the 3rd Saturday in June, the owner of the Blue Front Cafe, Mr. Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, hosts the Bentonia Blues Festival. Started in 1972 on the Holmes farm just a mile north of the Blue Front Cafe, the festival brings blues fans into Bentonia from all over the world. For more information about the Bentonia Blues Festival, visit the festival page on Facebook a the following link: www.facebook.com/BentoniaBluesFestival