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 Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.