For the last year, Maraist oversaw the revival of the famed downtown musical landmark. The dance hall reopened on the July 4 weekend ' with performances by Jerry Lee Lewis, Sonny Landreth, The Fabulous Boogie Kings and Bobby Lounge ' but Maraist had been hard at work in previous months overseeing the club's $500,000 renovation and expansion that began at the beginning of the year.
"I look at what I was able to accomplish in one year's time," Maraist says, "between the renovations and the shows we've put on in the last six months versus the last 10 years, and I leave with a very good conscience. I don't feel like I've left with things on the down and out, or all of a sudden I left them high and dry by any means."
Maraist is still booking shows for the club and isn't completely pulling up stakes. He says he will continue to be a part owner and book shows, but he's moving out of Grant Street's day-to-day operations to pursue other opportunities, which he would not disclose. "It's no mystery that I've been spending an exorbitant amount of time there," he says. "I'm making a conscious choice that I don't want to do that anymore. I still want to be involved though in whatever way, whether it's one show a year or a month that I help put on."
Maraist's company, DMAR Ventures, still retains part ownership in the building, along with the California-based Wide Eyes Entertainment, which operates Grant Street along with three California locations of the Air-Conditioned Lounge. Wide Eyes President Paulo Emanuele says the entertainment landscape of Lafayette is quite different than the West Coast's. "There's a lot more people touring on the road down there along [Interstate] 10," he says. "There's more competition than California. Down there, there's so many music halls. You know what it is? The casinos. I hate to say it like that, but the casinos have changed the landscape down there. It just makes it more competitive."
Despite that increased competition, Maraist booked a solid roster of local acts and New Orleans bands and managed to secure national headliners such as Dwight Yoakam, Taj Mahal, the North Mississippi All-Stars and Ziggy Marley.
Emanuele credits Maraist for having the vision to revive Grant Street. "As far as I'm concerned," Emanuele says, "Dave's still on the team. He's just not going to go over there and sit in that chair all day long. He's still one of my best friends. I just got an e-mail from him this morning; he's working on another show. I think he's just getting out of the electric chair, so to speak."
Emanuele says a replacement has not been named to fill Maraist's position.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)