Plaza Bar (Puckett’s) owned and operated by Laz D. Puckett. Then Beardsleys, owned by Beth Vaughn and Robbie Parks.

New night spot makes rosy future of dim past


Just about anybody who has known Henderson the past 20 years knows the corner of Water and Second streets was one of the roughest in town. To an out-of-towner the area was probably known as “Where the action is.”
The Plaza Bar was located on that corner, overlooking the Ohio River. Over the years it became a spot with one heck of a reputation. For one thing, it was the only place in Henderson you could get fresh river catfish. That was because the owner bought the entire catch of such fish from local fishermen.
Old-timers will tell tales of murder, prostitution and other such goings on. A few may say it just isn’t so. Be that as it may, the spot has a far-reaching reputation.
Now, thanks to a couple of young Henderson businesswomen, the corner in general and the old Plaza in particular has a bright future as well.
On Aug. 5, Beth Vaughn and Robbie Parks, who are sisters, hung the sign on their new establishment… Beardsley’s.
Ms. Vaughn, an attorney who is in practice with her father Damon in the firm Vaughn and Vaughn, and Ms. Parks, a Hopkinsville artist, bought the old place and turned it into what has become a popular night spot in Henderson.
So far the girls have only opened the lower level, but Beth reports she has plans for the upstairs. In fact, right after opening she posted a sign reading “Yes, the upstairs will be open” A few days later someone altered it to “Yes, the upstairs will” A remnant of the past?”
“Not quite,” laughs Ms. Vaughn “By Spring I intend to open a restaurant upstairs. There is a marvelous view of the river from up there — in fact, it’s about the only building left with a river view.”
She says the restaurant will have a menu including fresh Ohio River catfish, steaks and imported seafood, including lobster. À roof garden will also be installed for outdoor dining in good weather.
The name Beardsleys was decided upon after about 3,000 titles had been considered. It’s for Aubrey Beardstey, a late century European artist know for his work in black and white. Why that name?
“It’s unique, and so is this place,” says Ms Vaughn. This was the first place in Kentucky to get a liquor license when prohibition ended. There’s an Indiana burial ground underneath this place and tunnels through which slaves were taken to the river on their way North.
“And there’s the reputation this place has had in the past – and some of it simply isn’t true – so we warted a name that was unique, too. We picked Beardsley’s.
The place has been a successful venture so far, and Ms. Vanghn attributes part of that success to the house band, the Wabash Valley Acoustical Band, a group that plays layback rock and soft country, much like the Eagles, America and Ozart Mountain Daredevils.
Members of the band are Randy Copeland, vocals and guitar, Mike Hatfield, former merber of Carnival and UE voice major, lead guitar and vocals, Dave Stucke, guitar, and Debbie McBride, string bass and vocals.

Evansville Press June 16, 1954

Evansville Courier and Press December 12, 1976