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.
In a statement, Michael Ranatza, executive director of the association, said Landrieu's "senior status" and her continued support for the sheriffs throughout her career were deciding factors.
The position puts him at odds with GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal, but could bolster support from the business community as the senator raises money for the 2015 governor's race.
On the cusp of a new school year, with the fallout from The IND’s special report, “What’s the Matter at Fatima,” still settling, the administration at Our Lady of Fatima is reaching out to the school “family” to offer reassurances about the academic and spiritual health of the institution.
The Hayride — Louisiana’s one-stop shop for far-right perspectives — has come to the defense of state Rep. Lenar Whitney following her embarrassing, early-exit interview last week with Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman.
The Catholic Diocese of Lafayette says a 1992 investigation cleared the Rev. Gilbert Dutel of pedophilia allegations, yet when asked to produce those records, church officials came up empty-handed.
The former president and longtime board member of the Council on the Development of French in Louisiana has taken a Texas lawmaker to task over his use of the slur “coonass” during a legislative hearing.
Hundreds of new laws take effect Friday, with the start of August. A look at some of the changes on the books:
Marques Colston let out a laugh and shrugged his shoulders when the subject of his NFL longevity arose.
The state is accepting public comments on a plan that would invest $1 million in a new Homeowner Rehabilitation Program for low- to moderate-income residents whose homes were damaged after Hurricane Isaac.
A Senate Bill passed Thursday now awaits the president’s signature authorizing long-awaited reforms of the Veterans Affairs Administration, including new clinics for Lafayette and Lake Charles.
Behind the scenes a growing number of parents are saying, ‘We want our school back!’
Is sending a 16-year-old boy to prison with men for up to 99 years really the way to address juvenile crime?
How Lafayette’s family businesses have survived despite the odds
Lafayette is ready to embark on a master plan for growth, but will old habits impede our progress?
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Gaza truce unravels; Cantor exits early; immigration bill fails and more national and international news for Friday, August 1, 2014.
The City-Parish Council on Tuesday will be asked to sign off on an agreement between UL Lafayette and Lafayette Consolidated Government that would expand mass transit opportunities for UL students by adding five additional buses to its shuttle run between Cajun Field and campus.
Louisiana's high school seniors are making increased strides on Advanced Placement exams.
The Alabama game is sold out but tickets for all other homes games can be purchased online at www.LSUtix.net.
Among the one-percenters nationally, Louisiana's fattest cat is a relative pauper.
The Republican governor sent a letter Thursday to the president, saying placement of the children in Louisiana could have "potential negative ramifications."
Many laws are minor, though some impact health care options, change educational programs and reach into people's everyday activities.