South Florida's live music scene is becoming one of the most robust in the nation. One measure of that vitality is the upcoming opening of a new venue called Lafayette's in West Palm Beach. It's the offshoot of an establishment with the same name currently located in Memphis, Tennessee. The 350-seat new location makes its unofficial bow this month with two classic-rock concerts -- the Marshall Tucker Band on February 18 and Blue Öyster Cult on February 24 -- and an official grand opening soon to be announced.
Owner Tommy Peters comes to this venture with plenty of experience. He already owns and operates several venues of distinction, among them, the B.B. King's Blues Club in Memphis, Nashville, and Orlando. He opened the original B.B. King's 24 years ago, helping to pioneer the theme-club concept that's grown exponentially in the decades since.
When he launched Lafayette's in Memphis last October, he revived a historic club that had operated in that city from 1972 until 1979, one that played host to such big-name talent as Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Barry Manilow, Kiss, Phoebe Snow, and others of similar stature.
Still, attempting to establish a new venue can be risky venture, a fact Peters knows firsthand. "Opening a venue in any location is always challenging," he notes. "We're compelled to provide a product that features quality music, food, and beverages so that customers receive a good price value and have great experiences. This can be tough. However, the Palm Beach market is extremely welcoming, and it's an excellent place to build a following, so we are looking forward to completing construction and moving forward with our grand opening."
According to Peters, the club's target market is 25- to 45-year-old music lovers, although he insists it will welcome audiences of all ages. "We will bring a wide range of musical talent to our stage," Peters promises. "Whether it's local talent or national headliners, we plan to keep our stage booked with the best of the best within a variety of genres, including alternative rock, Americana, progressive country, blues, and bluegrass." Peters says the club will offer concerts every night with the price of admission varying depending on who is performing.
While Peters concedes that there are already quite a few venues in the area, he doesn't seem bothered. "There's always competition in this business, especially since we are positioned in such a desired location in Palm Beach," he says. "However, we are hoping to become the go-to spot for incredible music, food, and drinks, and we're excited about turning our goals into reality. We plan to make this a great place for locals to eat and drink while enjoying live music."
Lafayette's is located at 550 S. Rosemary Ave., Suite 236, West Palm Beach. Call 561-420-8600, or visit livenation.com.