The South Florida music scene will lose another outlet for live performances in 2012 when The Monterey Club closes its doors on South Federal Highway near Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
The club’s plans to expand into the adjacent space vacated by the the Orange County Choppers motorcycle shop fell through when the owners were unable to secure financing to acquire a full liquor license. The existing club is a warm and cozy space, but no where near large enough to present the caliber of bands and live events that the owners aspire to.
Over the two years The Monterey was open, it featured such national touring bands as Wayne Hancock, the Nekromantix and Guttermouth but was held back by the club’s small size and isolated location. And its limitation on serving only beer and wine did not provide the necessary operating revenue to make any major enhancements.
A full slate of shows are scheduled for the next two weeks, culminating with a farewell bash on New Year’s Eve featuring Darling Sweets, Los Bastardos Magnificos, The Wholetones and Everymen. Check the official Web site and Facebook pages for the updated calendar of events. Bands interested in performing one last show at The Monterey can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Specializing in punk and rockabilly, The Monterey Club touted an atmosphere “where different cultures come together in an atmosphere of music and love. A distinct gathering place for people interested in, and involved in music, vintage cars, motorcycles, tattoos and the lifestyles that go with these interests.” For the most part, it delivered on this promise despite its logistical limitations in the midst of a serious economic downturn and slumping live music scene.
In an interview with Broward New Times, owner Robert Stannard disclosed plans to reopen in another location. “We’ll keep it in the area, absolutely,” he said. No word yet, but the club’s Facebook page contains the hopeful posting: “All we can say right now is that an announcement will be made soon … hang in there everyone.”
Facebook fans have responded with an outpouring of support. The band Liberty Call posted: “If it wasn’t for the Monterey Club, we’d still be playing my garage exclusively. Thanks for everything Rob Stannard. We always felt at home at The Monterey.” Patron Rachael Good lamented: “Beyond sad to hear Monterey is closing. Thank you for giving us south Floridians a place to see great music. You will be missed terribly!!!” And Craig Rittenhouse posted: “I will miss you to no end. The Monterey had style and a friendly air that came from it’s people, so we’re looking forward to your next venture, cuz we know that great ambiance will follow you there.”
But perhaps the most poignant comment came from not a fan but another club. Lake Worth’s Propaganda provided this tribute: “All of us at Propaganda are sad to hear that The Monterey Club in Fort Lauderdale is closing. We share a common vision. Providing artists a platform to express original music, art and entertainment, whether it be indie, rockabilly, hip hop, country, metal, punk, strange, good, bad or ugly. We take it and we give it to an audience that is hungry for something new or not mainstream. We go to Monterey. They come to Propaganda. We are part of a whole. And when part of that whole is gone we are all lessened.”
We hope to have further news on the future of The Monterey Club soon.