Bourbon Street in New Port Richey suddenly closes
Shocking news today out of New Port Richey: Bourbon Street, the venerable metal/hard rock club that for years has served as the only reasonable concert venue in North Pinellas/West Pasco, has suddenly closed.
Owner Greg Serio blamed the economy, saying fire code upgrades and a sudden, unexpected reduction in capacity made the club impossible to keep open.
"The bigger shows were the ones that footed the bill," he told tbt*'s Drew Harwell. "You take away the bigger shows, pretty much what you've got is a neighborhood bar that's 10 times the size of anything else down here."
Understandably, Pinellas and Pasco metal fans must be devastated. But this is a loss for all Tampa Bay music fans. Among the artists who've played there: Fuel, Great White, Rick Derringer, Leon Russell, Hawthorne Heights, Stryper, PM Dawn, North Mississippi Allstars, Pat Travers and Juice Newton. When Jannus Landing closed last fall, Bourbon Street stepped up to host some concerts that had to be moved, like Living Colour. Reggae legends Toots and the Maytals, above, were there in May. Heck, at one point earlier this year, Snoop Dogg was booked to perform there.
"Every major city has one classic, legendary venue where local bands cut their teeth and where big rock bands hang out," said John "J-Rock" Staffieri, a Lakeland radio DJ whose Rock Solid Pressure show had hosted concerts there. "In Tampa Bay it was Bourbon Street."
What's your top concert memory of Bourbon Street? Leave your thoughts in the comments!