West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency Begins Restoration Of Historic Sunset Lounge

By Holly Gambrell, News Source PalmBeacherMagazine.com

A $4.5 million renovation is underway in West Palm Beach’s historic Northwest District.

The West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency is currently rehabilitating Sunset Lounge, as well as the park located adjacent to the venue.

In the 1940s and ’50s, Sunset Lounge was one of the premier African-American entertainment venues in the South during the Jim Crow law period. Notable artists of the time played at the venue, including Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Louis Armstrong.

Sunset Lounge is a significant music and entertainment venue, and is the cornerstone of the West Palm Beach CRA’s work to revive the Northwest District to establish long-term viability and economic stability in the neighborhood.

The redevelopment will revive the musical roots of the site by creating a performance and art-focused venue that will pay homage to its beginnings. The first floor will have a renovated bar and a new full-service restaurant and the redesign will convert the second floor of the structure back to a ballroom with an elevated/floating stage and a third-floor mezzanine.

Sunset Lounge

An additional three-story, 7,200-square-foot building will be on the east side of the Sunset Lounge to expand the site. The addition will house the restaurant kitchen, bathrooms, dressing rooms for performers, the lobby, office space, the box office and a broadcast facility.

To find out more information, visit wpb.org/cra. Sunset Lounge is located at 609 Eighth Street.

Rendering and photos courtesy of West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency

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