Acadiana Business

Outlaws becomes The District

by Leslie Turk

Johnston Street saloon and dance hall to become premier live music venue.

If you spend any amount of time in the car driving around and happen to listen to local radio, maybe you too have heard an intentionally vague advertisement for an establishment called The District. The radio ad states this will be a new live music venue in Lafayette featuring a wide-range of genres - everything from zydeco to electronic dance music and all others in between. The ad ends with a stay-tuned for more details tag line.

The ad piqued my interest, especially when other people started talking about it, so I set out to get the story for today's ABuzz, our Tuesday newsletter that offers breaking news on new developments. These projects are then featured in print as part of ABiz's "Around Town" feature.

My "investigative journey" to find this potential new hot spot initially steered me toward a business with a similar name in New Orleans. But management of The District in the Big Easy denied any affiliation with an expansion in Lafayette. Thanks to a conversation with my younger sister, the trail warmed up. What if it was an existing business was re-branding itself, she asked? The UL student did what college-age people do best - turned to Facebook for some answers.

She noted that Outlaws Saloon and Dancehall at 4607 Johnston St. had recently closed, and, according to its Facebook status dated April 4: "We are renovating!! Time for a face lift and a few surprises... We will not be opening this weekend and for a few weeks after. You are going to love the changes!!" Other fans of the saloon and dance hall seem to have become anxious for this reopening, as posts from as recent as June 5 are inquiring on when Outlaws will re-open, but no response has been made to the followers.

So I made a trip to the Outlaws construction site, hoping to find an owner or manager. And right in front of my eyes was this building permit for The District. Success. While construction workers were unable to answer any questions, a neighboring business owner reported that she heard plans were for an opening in late June or July.

We'll update you as soon as we can confirm additional details.

In the meantime, if you're curious about new developments coming to the Lafayette area, subscribe to daily INDsider and Tuesday ABuzz by clicking here. See something under way and don't know what's being built? Email me at [email protected] and I'll check it out.