Deacon John performs at Rock ‘n’ Bowl. (Photo by Dinah Rogers, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
The management of Rock ‘n’ Bowl, New Orleans’ bowling-dancing-dining institution, is opening a new location in Lafayette that is meant to bring a Crescent City vibe to Cajun country. CEO Johnny Blancher said that if all goes as planned, Rock ‘n’ Bowl de Lafayette should be rolling by June 1.
Blancher said that the new entertainment venue will occupy a big former bank building in the old section of town on Jefferson Street. There will be a stage and dance floor in the middle of the ground floor, Blancher explained, with eight bowling lanes on either side. A mezzanine and ballroom will occupy the upper story.
Blancher said he hopes to book a blend of New Orleans musical acts and local shows at the new location.
Johnny Blancher at Ye Olde College Inn, 2011 (Photo by Doug MacCash, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
The restaurant Sainte Marie, which Blancher said is named for the Blessed Mother, will offer an Americana/Creole menu similar to Rock ‘n’ Bowl’s sister institution, Ye Olde College Inn, Blancher said. He expects to incorporate local cuisine as well.
Why Lafayette? Blancher said his mother hails from the area, which he came to love while he evacuated there after Hurricane Katrina. He believes that in Louisiana, it’s the city most similar to New Orleans. Also, he said, Lafayette deserves its nickname "Hub City," because it’s a gathering spot for the whole region.
Blancher assures New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Bowl fans that the opening of the new location will have no effect on the Carrollton Avenue operation. A few staff members may relocate for the opening of the Rock ‘n’ Bowl de Lafayette, Blancher said, but the New Orleans nightspot isn’t going to slow down — now or ever.
"We’re still deeply entrenched in New Orleans, he assured. "That’s not something we want to change. We’re exporting the New Orleans brand."
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Doug MacCash has the best job in the world, covering art, music, and culture in New Orleans. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at Doug MacCash and on Facebook at Douglas James MacCash. As always, please add your point of view to the comment stream.
Street musicians near the previous location of a missing Jackson Square bench (Reader-submitted photo)
Artist Carrie Curtis points to the place where eight Jackson Square benches have been removed (Photo by Doug MacCash, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
Glen David Andrews performing near benches on the Chartres Street side of Jackson Square (Photo by Doug MacCash, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
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