“We’re building a 200-seat supper club,” Epstein said. “The original My Father’s Place was a lot bigger, and because we’re smaller, I can’t reconstruct people’s memories. When we were kids, everyone drank the cheapest beer there was, sitting under the viaduct, and then have a few more beers at the club. Now, everyone is older, and they want to have a refined environment — a white tablecloth, little plates with healthy snacks, and all the drinks mixed with healthy condiments.”
The club, which originally boasted performers like Madonna, Bo Diddley, Billy Crystal, the Police, Eddie Murphy, Blue Oyster Cult, the Ramones, Aerosmith and Andy Kauffman, will return with a sit-down atmosphere geared toward watching a show instead of dancing at one, Epstein said.
The club recently announced its first 10 acts, with Livingston Taylor currently set to christen the new stage, which will be housed in the Roslyn Hotel, on June 30.
My Father’s Place general manager Dan Kellachan said more artists could be booked for the grand opening weekend of June 30 and July 1, and a party for the opening will be announced at a later date.
Roslyn Hotel owner Sumeer Kakar said the club will be housed in the current banquet hall and ballroom, and Kellachan said the club’s main entrance will be through the door from the parking garage.
“There has been tremendous feedback, and people have been reaching out from across the country,” Kakar said. “People across Long Island have fond memories of the club and they have brought it up in conversation, not even knowing I’m involved, as a conversation piece from an electrician working on my house to people in the grocery store. I think it will have a tremendously positive impact on the hotel and Roslyn.”
Epstein said the club’s membership program Friends of My Father’s Place will get members first notice for new shows, early access to tickets, table reservations in the club and invites to member-only events, such as artist meet and greets.
While membership is currently $50, Kellachan said members will be enrolled for the remainder of 2018 as well as 2019.
Epstein said the main reason he came out of retirement was to help find new up-and-coming bands, and the club will have weekly shows with lesser known artists or groups on the cusp of making it in the music industry.
“We’re going to do unknown acts that would have been famous had we had a radio station still to break them,” Epstein said. “I would like it to be all acts from the North Shore, but if someone comes from out east or New Jersey or even St. Paul, Minnesota, as long as they have a following here, we can give them a little helpful push, as long as they’re old enough to get in here.”
Epstein said he also plans to have a top-of-the-line sound system at My Father’s Place, potentially one of the best for a 200-seat theater in the country.
“We are looking into every alternative for a sound company to design a system for us that will be incredible because sound design is so much different than it was when I had the club 30 years ago,” Epstein said. “We want to let people hear every instrument, all the pure, unadulterated sound. The artists are really going to have to perform.”
Across the hall from the revived club will be a restaurant, also dubbed My Father’s Place, and Kakar said when the club is open, the live music will be played through the speakers at the restaurant for those who couldn’t get a ticket to the small shows or those who don’t have time for the full set but wanted some live music over dinner.
All but one of the scheduled acts, Kerry Kearney Blues Extravaganza on Aug. 18, played at the original location, including Taylor, Roomful of Blues on July 1, Robert Gordon on July 7, John Hammond on July 13, Garland Jeffreys & Frank Carillo on July 14, Spyro Gyra on July 21, NRBQ on July 27, Arlen Roth Guitar Summit on July 28 and the Blasters on Aug. 11.
“We want to tie the past to the present in such a way that the people with those fond memories of hanging out at what was a world-renowned club that literally changed the music scene, not just here on Long Island,” Kellachan said.
My Father’s Place worked closely with the WLIR radio station, and Kellachan said his dream scenario for the revived club includes bringing the radio station back to life online, possibly broadcasting from the hotel during shows.
“Every Tuesday night when I was in college, I went to My Father’s Place, and if I couldn’t get to the show, it was live on WLIR,” Kellachan said. “We’re going to try to do something similar to that with up-and-coming new bands. We’re not looking for the same bands that are playing the popular clubs like Brooklyn Steel; we’re looking for more of the serious songwriter who is looking to make it in the industry.”