(Former-Avenue Café) Music Venue By The Sea? [A Suggestion]


In the Avenue Café R.I.P. post, a reader named Jess suggested the idea of using that space (20 West Park Avenue) as a small music venue. I agree and here’s why:

  1. With all the past failures, perhaps that space is too big for a restaurant. It either needs to be subdivided or a new use is called for.
  2. A music venue would bring some much needed culture to Long Beach. Yes, I will defend Long Beach and say we have a lot of culture down here (we really do), but we need more variety.
  3. We already have plenty of local bars hosting live music, but this would be different. This would be a destination venue, much like The Paramount in Huntington. A place that can attract bigger named acts. Here is what’s playing this October @ The Paramount: Heart, Fiona Apple, Buckcherry, Australian Pink Floyd (which I heard are actually awesome), Indigo Girls, Counting Crows & Social Distortion. Some of those bands are big name that can’t attract a “Jones Beach” size crowd, but can definitely fill up an Avenue Café-size venue.
  4. I really think there is a demand for this on the South Shore of Long Island.
  5. There must be some sort of economical benefit to all surrounding business if a venue opened up, no?
  6. Parking? SCREW PARKING! This is the center of our downtown; a) which happens to be across the street from the LIRR; b) which happens to be near the vacant-like Waldbaums shopping center; c) which happens to be near the LIRR parking garage. There is plenty of parking. This Venue-By-The-Sea could even have a valet service, but with one condition: they are ONLY allowed to park cars in the city-owned Waldbaums or the already-empty-because-it’s-nighttime-LIRR parking lot.
  7. We have a nice sea side motel that might attract some of these bands to want to play here. “You mean we get to hang out on a beach? Book it!”
  8. An increase in our tax base (Yeah, we need this).
  9. Easy access to JFK (did I mention the LIRR already?)
  10. I’m sure there are more, but I wrote this article really fast.

Who occupies the upstairs of that 20 West Park Avenue building? Are they apartments or offices? Noise could be an issue with neighbors, but Gino’s would make a killing with a venue there. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind. I say, let’s try to push this. We need contacts, phone numbers and influence. Is there anybody out there?


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45 thoughts on “(Former-Avenue Café) Music Venue By The Sea? [A Suggestion]”

  1. In reference to this article and the other one ” My Five Favorite Eats in Long Beach” What we can use here in Long Beach is a good and reasonable Steak House, and this place is the proper size for one.
    But it should be priced right with a good management and without attitudes.

  2. definitely not suggeting the altering of the building.I wish we had more in town that looked like it. Oh we did, but they all got knocked down…

    But, the first floor I think has enough height for a music venue. It has that back part which is sort of a split level second floor.

  3. Anthony, As a local musician, I love the concept but the idea of a Paramount type facility could never work unless the upstairs was gutted too…ther is no height in the room. Paramount has a high stage and a pro lighting rig with a hanging PA system. All the bands you mentioned require those things on their contracts (riders).
    As far as there being plenty of local venues hosting music, that has kinda been killed this passed summer due to sudden enforcement of the caberet laws…now there are only a few places you can play with drums. It is actually pretty hard to play anywhere now except for Sutton and the Inn without getting shut down. We were the last band to play A Whales Tale in July…no bands since due to heavy fines…it seems that it is more important to shut down bands and bars hosting them then it is to apprehend gun weilding thugs across the street from the police station.Go figure….I guess we are the criminals…


  4. just for comparison; The Paramount is 25,000 sq ft – The Avenue Cafe:is 6,000 sq ft. – far too small for a venue of The Paramount’s caliber. But that’s not to say a more intimate venue couldn’t occupy the space.

  5. What about a pet/doggy day care type of business?? ALOT of people in LB have a pet. Every other house has a dog. The place is a great size for it 🙂

  6. Let me elaborate – boarding, pet spa for grooming needs, a room for activities/exercise…Upstairs can be used at a “lounge” where pets can stay, downstairs for the busy needs..

  7. Beachguys Idea of a more intimate venue is a possibility, the room is nice but not for a concert hall. Acoustic rock, jazz, blues would all work fine but is their a large enough audience to sustain the club? I think it would still need to primarily be a restaurant/bar with a stage in the back. Once again, Cabaret laws apply…are there sprinklers and rear exits? evidently those are the deal breakers for the cabaret license…sounds like a question for Scott Kemins.

  8. It’d be super to see a business move in that would attract visitors via the LIRR. Not just a store limited to LB residents.

    Live music venue / nightclub, a retro arcade / with bar, creatively oversized childrens play center with private party abilities (like a playseum). You know, these things would be so nifty as to attract people who live outside of LB and tourists here for vacation + locals. And good stuff for rainy days / Winter which is UBER needed.

    LIRR + parking is easy when you pimp out the LIRR parking lot.

  9. I’d be bummed to see a steakhouse move in simply because for out of town business, its a one stop shop.

    Steak house is good for the owners only and has a more limited consumer base than activity-type of centers plus its a business that won’t tap into public transportation but rely on drivers / here we go with more congestion. An activity type of venue is good for the area restaurants and could tap into the LIRR / public transportation across the street.

  10. That’s a great idea for Long Beach residents but it doesn’t utilize the public transport across the street nor lure a significant customer base from outside of the city which is urgently needed to sustain a business in such a high cost building.

  11. Yeah right, but lets be realistic. A large store such as this one would only succeed if it had a large profit margin. And a Doggie place just won’t do it. Come on now, lets not fall for that old Hope and Change.crapola.

  12. A pet or doggy care place doesn’t need expensive Park ave real estate…the overhead would be too high. that type of business can exist in a much less expensive storefront, making it profitable and able to stay in business. It could be a good business if you locate in an industrial space and offer pick up and drop off service…

  13. I saw that suggestion yesterday and I thought that user hit it so squarely on the head! Kudos!
    I’m so tired of the default steakhouse motion and as stated above the venue is really just too big for any other food establishment to survive, much less thrive.
    A music venue along the lines of a Stephen Talkhouse would be just such a breath of fresh air for the LB community. As you point out, our proximity to the beach would have to be a draw for a performer and as horrendous as parking can get in so many parts of LB, this one actually makes sense.
    User Rich makes very good points to it’s hangs up though, but I think if the right person or people were to get behind it enthusiastically and work out the logistics (both physically & politically) it could be a real gem in the center of town (that’s not confined to the summer season either!)

  14. Charlie, Please don’t think I am down on the idea, I would love to see it happen ala Stephen Talkhouse. I think thats where the potential lies….The Paramount Idea is way too large for that locale. I have been a sound engineer since age 15 and would love to get involved in making it a class A venue. There are many positives working in it’s favor…So, who has the cash????

  15. Hey Rich, I didn’t think you were down on the idea; sorry if I gave that impression. I was just underlining your points to the space’s logistics as a quality venue. And you’re right, it could have all the potential in the world & it’d be moot if no one has the bank to start it.
    It’s a great thought to keep moving along in conversation though; maybe it’ll hit the right wealthy ears someday.

  16. This town is now known for it’s restaurants, like it or not.. And a Good Steak House with fair and reasonable prices would do really well. The only competition it would really have would be Franks.and it would do better in Long Beach.

  17. Keep The Air in this Idea Ball. Bounce This Music Venue Idea Around. If the whole building’s facade is preserved, and the inside is gutted to provide a mezzanine , and my sophisticated lights and sound, This Would ROCK.

  18. I remember years ago when some private citizens bought the old Laurel Theater with the intent of making it like the Paramount…Now it’s a CVS…after rereading your original comments I do see that you were not implying that i was down on the idea. It would be fantastic to have this in our town, I just know how hard it is to get folks to invest in this type of risky business….hell it’s hard to get the local club owners to pay the bands that play in their establishments at all! they all think we do charity work…it’s hard to argue with that mindset.

  19. Take this idea to Fran Adelson on the city council and see if she and her husband Steve can float it among his many contacts in the music world and her contacts in the long beach community. Maybe they can form a consortium and get some grant support from New York state council for the arts. It’s one of the most beautiful buildings in the city and should house something worthy of it.

  20. let old fashioned capitalism be the guide. whoever owns the property and any potential new owner/lessorshould make any decisions on use of the property

  21. I’m guessing the owners of the paramount has the cash. I don’t think anyone is confused with the difference in size between this venue and the paramount. To me, it’s about the synergies that could exist if the good folks from paramount took over the spot. They’ve got all the industry connection, have the knowledge about how to run such a venue and, potentially, have the capital. This could be their south shore baby sister location for smaller acts than those held in huntington.

  22. A music or a doggie play ground is not going to happen.
    There will be a restaurant. Going into that space no matter what!
    So pick your poison . The idea of a steak house sounds like the best idea. So far.
    Lets see if it can happen.

  23. Yes, and 3-5 years from now we’ll all be lamenting the restaurant that had good food and was run by a good family but just couldn’t seat enough customers to pay the bills.
    So why don’t we try something different, huh?
    Love your Soup Nazi attitude. And poor period placements. Also.

  24. Stop being such a liberal elitist, we all can’t be as smart as you. And Louise. don’t be intimidated by the liberal elite,

  25. Ummmm….wtf are you talking about?!? I’m pretty sure we’re all weighing in here as fellow citizens that care about our community and want to see what’s best for it. If you’re seeing party lines drawn between let’s go with the same old thing that hasn’t worked versus let’s try something new, then I guess you might be onto something, but i’m just not seeing it. isn’t there enough party politics injected into damn near every other aspect of life these days? is it really necessary to inject it here?

  26. Because dreaming never led to innovation, improvement or anything else that has made our country so great? Oh, wait…dreaming is the ONLY thing that ever led to those outcomes.

    Thanks for trying to squelch that though.

  27. who said anything about the world owning anyone? once again, someone trying to inject partisan politics into a discussion about resident’s desire to see positive change in their own community. and why, if you’re from massapequa, are you butting your nose into long beach’s business? you’re pretty clearly a political hack, not someone who cares and is trying to make a positive change in OUR community.

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