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.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.