WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Sunset Lounge, a beacon in the Black community in West Palm Beach, is pushing ahead with its renovation and expansion.
The city of West Palm Beach purchased the property in 2015.
Now neighbors and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) are breathing life back into the Historic Northwest neighborhood.
The stage was set and as of today the walls are in place at the Sunset Lounge, a once iconic music and entertainment venue known as one of the premier Black entertainment venues in the South during the Jim Crow law era of racial segregation.
Up until recently the lounge’s shell was all that was left to remind passersby of the rich history.
And after years of community input and planning, things are taking shape.
“This is a project long overdue for the residents of the Historic Northwest. It represents an economic stimulus, a nucleus for the residents of the communities," says CRA project manager Genia Baker.
She adds, “It will contain state of the art elevators and a rooftop bar coming on top of it and also have a full service kitchen which is what the restaurant was lacking when it was first built.”
In addition to the lounge, the CRA has plans for the adjacent park as a community gathering spot with features like a heritage trail, musically-themed playground and space for special events like farmers markets and festivals.
If things go according to schedule the Sunset Lounge should be ready to reopen around this time next year.