This Was Kalamazoo’s Hottest Dance Club – Now It’s A Garage Door
123 South Street. That's all it is now. A garage door at an address. But if said "Party on the Bayou", a whole generation of Kalamazooans would probably smile. Maybe even wince a little, too (at memories of a few mornings after, not to mention a few walks of shame)
Those people know that 123 South Street was actually Bourbon Street. Bayou Boogies, dollar pitchers. And me live from Bourbon Street on 103.3 KFR every other Thursday night at 9pm. We did that for a long time.
As Facebook poster Jenn Keyser said on Vanished Kalamazoo, "I really do miss those Bayou Boogies, and dollar pitchers were awesome. The beer was crap, but back then we didn't care."
But, of course, there's more to this story. When I first got to Kalamazoo, Bourbon Street was a restaurant. It was ok. But when it became Bourbon Street, the night club, that's when it really took off. The two biggest calling cards were Thursday night's Party on the Bayou. And the once-monthly 5:01 Friday (after work) Parties we sponsored. (I told you I'd bringing it back around to memories of hangovers and walks of shame) And yes, there were more than a few New Year's welcomed at Bourbon Street.
If you want to take the building's history back even further, The City of Kalamazoo's Sharon Ferraro says it was a JC Penney store "in the olden days".
But in the mid to late 90's, there was a good time to be had at Bourbon Street. So many good people and great memories. Many of them are still around town, a few have gone on to bigger and better, either here or elsewhere. One of the managers owns a place in downtown Battle Creek. Another I run into every few months. The waitress that looked like Meg Ryan, I don't know what happened to her, nor the most famous wild and crazy bartender, the one who greeted you at the front bar.
So as another longtime eatery closed it's doors this weekend, remember that every one of these places has a shelf life, and nothing is forever. So make sure you smile and remember the good times.