New Orleans style expansion headed to St Pete's premier concert venue

Jannus Live venue to have new wrap-around balcony

You may soon see changes at one of St. Petersburg’s premier downtown concert venues.   

A new expansion at Jannus Live looks to channel its inner New Orleans.

If the city approves the project to move forward, the rocking live music mainstay could look a lot different by the end of the year.

"The new owners are always doing something out of the box," said Quinn Duffy, owner of Joey Brooklyn’s Pizza in St Pete.

When concert goers file out of Jannus Live, most find themselves following their noses to Duffy’s kitchen just outside the doors.

"There was always a good amount of foot traffic down here," said Duffy.

He said surviving the business world requires taking risks.

"In business if you’re forward thinking you’re always going to do OK," said Duffy.

But there was a time when things were a little less than OK. When the music stopped playing at Jannus Landing six years ago, it wasn’t only the venue seats that were left empty.

"A lot of places went out of business,” said Duffy. “I almost went out of business."

"The block kind of died out a little bit,” said MacDinton’s Irish Pub General Manager Patrick Clark. “There was kind of nothing going on. Kind of a lifeless area for a while."

That’s why business surrounding the longstanding venue is banking on its up-tempo outlook.

Matt Loyd, vice president of operations at Jannus Live, said since reopening the venue last year, business is booming. But he adds in no way does it make it a time to sit back and enjoy the spoils.

"Downtown St Pete is a blossoming area,” said Loyd. “When you come down here it reminds you of that old New Orleans feel. But it’s just missing that one final piece."

The vision for that final piece is an 11-foot, wrap-around balcony.

"Inside the lounge we plan on bringing sort of a speakeasy style restaurant," Loyd said.

He said along with the balcony, the venue plans to add three new restaurants, lots of new outside seating and additional outside bars. They’ll even offer an entire room for gamers.

"You have your Wiis and your Xboxes and your giant screens," said Loyd.  

"These kinds of expansions really just bring us all along with it," said Clark.

"They’re booking better shows now. They're keeping it clean, and they take care of the block. It’s a huge difference," said Duffy.

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