West Palm Beach CRA Seeking Restaurant/Lounge Operator for Newly Restored Sunset Lounge in City’s Historic Northwest District

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Boca Raton, FL – The West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking an experienced restaurant/lounge operator to manage programming and operations for the historic Sunset Lounge venue in the City of West Palm Beach’s burgeoning Northwest District. Interested parties have until May 11, 2022 to submit proposals.

The Sunset Lounge was one of the premier African American entertainment venues in the South during the 1940s and 1950s and featured such notable artists as Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Ike and Tina Turner, Duke Ellington, and Nat King Cole.

The City, through the CRA, has invested $12.5 million to renovate the Sunset Lounge, which is located at 609 8th Street. The CRA is anticipated to complete its historic restoration of the venue by this winter. The renovated lounge will feature a 150-seat bar, restaurant/supper club, state-of-the-art entertainment venue, and a rooftop bar and patio, among other amenities. The CRA is seeking an operator that will develop and implement programming and events at the entertainment venue and manage food and beverage operations for the restaurant/supper club and bars.

“The renovated Sunset Lounge will honor and celebrate the rich African American and music histories of our city,” said Mayor Keith A. James. “As a future cultural destination, it will add to the vibrancy of the Historic Northwest. With completion of the project now in its final phases, I couldn’t be more excited about the future of the Sunset Lounge and our city.”

The CRA has tapped award-winning and West Palm Beach-based design firm V Starr led by principal and CEO world-renowned tennis player Venus Williams. A full-service commercial and residential design firm, V Starr will lead the interior restoration of the Sunset Lounge. V Starr will look to historic images and artifacts as a reference to maintain the character of the establishment, while incorporating a modern, contemporary flair to match its elevated quality.

When complete, the renovated Sunset Lounge will include the following:

·      A complete rehabilitation of the existing 12,308 square foot building

·      A renovated bar and a new full-service restaurant on the first floor

·      A second floor of ballroom with a large elevated/floating stage and third floor mezzanine

·      The addition of a new, two-story 7,200 sq. ft. building on the east side of Sunset Lounge featuring a roof garden, the restaurant kitchen, restrooms, dressing rooms for performers, lobby, office space, box office, and a broadcast facility

·      A new parking lot will also be added to the rear of the Lounge, with valet in front, along with a gathering plaza, and a rooftop bar and patio

All details and submission forms for the RFP can be found here: http://wpb.org/government/procurement/solicitations/bids-list.

About the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency

The West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency is a local government agency that works in collaboration with residents, property owners, businesses, developers and other community organizations to foster redevelopment within the CRA Districts. Among our priorities include public safety, beautification, streetscape and infrastructure improvements, economic development, affordable housing, business incentives, marketing and special events, and historic preservation. Nationally known as one of the most innovative and effective Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) in the country, the West Palm Beach CRA is setting the standard for redevelopment.

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