Fort Lauderdale punk and rockabilly venue the Monterey Club is closing December 31 after a little more than two years in business.
The spot, located in the front room of the Orange County Choppers motorcycle shop just south of SR-84 on Federal Highway, has hosted a diverse slate of national acts (Wayne "The Train" Hancock, Laramie Dean), local bands, dance nights, benefits, and birthday parties. The closure comes because of the economics, according to owner Robert Stannard (seated in the center of the photo above).
"It's been a fun two years for everybody," he says. "But when you don't make any money, it gets to a point where you gotta make a decision, you know? Unfortunately, selling just beer and wine just doesn't cut it. That's pretty much the bottom line. The margins aren't there. I'd love to keep it going, but it's a tough situation, you know?"
Last year, New Times' Mickie Centrone reported on the bar's outlook as it approached its first anniversary and concluded by saying: "Without the Monterey Club, area music junkies would be without a Peach Pit, without a meeting place, and without a venue that feels like you're watching a concert inside your own living room." And so the time is now to soak up all of that before a sendoff show on New Year's Eve.
Between now and then, Monterey is hosting the Heroes and Cons CD-release show on Friday, the Christmas Disaster block party and the Morgan LaRue Burlesque show on Saturday, a Bikes N Bands event on Sunday, a punk night led by Flees on December 22, and a Pool Party extravaganza on December 30. Stannard is remaining tight-lipped about the New Year's Eve closing bash for now.
"We have about 50 bands who want to play
now," he says. "It's kind of ironic. Give me a day or two, and I'll have an answer
After that, the plan is to move operations to another location and keep all of the bookings currently on the Monterey Club calendar. Stannard is working through the details now, and we'll likely have an update later this week. Things are similarly mum regarding what will become of the Orange County Choppers space once Monterey vacates.
Is Stannard's new spot going to be in Fort Lauderdale? "We'll keep it in the area, absolutely," he says.
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