Currently employing more than 13,000 people, the oil and gas industry has a long history in Lafayette, starting in 1901 when the state’s first oil well was discovered in nearby Jennings. In the 1950s, the first oil companies moved into offices between Heymann Boulevard and Pinhook Road, and the area was dubbed the Oil Center. Restaurants and social organizations like The Petroleum Club opened up to support the local businesses. Located near the University of Louisiana and Lafayette General Medical Center, the area remains a hot-spot for shopping and dining today. In unassuming shopping centers along Bendel Road, Pinhook Road, Coolidge Street, Heymann Boulevard and Harding Street, you’ll discover award-winning chefs, a gourmet kitchen store, quaint boutiques, high-end gift shops, and a locally owned specialty grocery store. While in the area, don’t miss Rodrigue Studios, where you can admire George Rodrigue’s iconic Blue Dog paintings.