Thursday, May 26, 2022

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

West Palm Beach, FL, April 11, 2022 – The West Palm Beach, Florida Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking experienced restaurant/lounge operators to manage programming and operations for the historic Sunset Lounge venue in the City’s burgeoning Northwest District. Interested parties have until May 7, 2022 to submit proposals.

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

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

DuHistoric Sunset Lounge in West Palm Beachke Ellington and orchestra at Sunset Lounge

The CRA/City of West Palm Beach has invested $12.5 million in a complete renovation of 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, which 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.

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Duke Ellington and orchestra at Sunset Lounge

“The Sunset Lounge is an iconic landmark in our city’s history,” said Mayor Keith James.  “The restoration of this storied venue enables West Palm Beach to continue to grow its cultural footprint to attract tourists and residents alike. While we continue to look toward our city’s future, we must also celebrate the rich, cultural history of our past.”

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 and will look to historic images and artifacts as a reference to maintain the character of the establishment, while also adding in a modern contemporary flair to match its elevated quality.

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rendering of second floor interior of the renovated Sunset Lounge
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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.

Interested parties must have an active account with the City of West Palm Beach’s third-party website, DemandStar, and can register/login here: https://network.demandstar.com/for-business.

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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