A lot has changed since My Father’s Place closed its original location in 1987, especially in the music industry.
Long Island doesn’t have a radio station dedicated to new rock music any more. Touring contracts now often prohibit musicians from performing in Roslyn if they also have a show in Manhattan or Brooklyn. And, of course, there is the cultural shift away from seeking out new, adventurous musical acts in favor of seeing acts that are already familiar or performing the music of other familiar artists.
However, since My Father’s Place reopened in The Roslyn Hotel in June, the venue that originally brought the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, U2 and The Ramones to Long Island, has found that there is still a market for adventurous music. And they plan to nurture it.
“I’m very happy with the way the audience is reacting to the shows,” says Michael “Eppy” Epstein, the club’s co-founder. “The artists all want to come back. All the artists who sold out have been booked again so the people who weren’t Johnny-on-the-spot for some of these shows will get another chance.”
As happy as Epstein is to reconnect fans with My Father’s Place favorites like the Stanton Anderson Band or Barnaby Bye, who sold out three shows and will return to ring in the New Year, he is more excited to introduce newer acts like guitar phenom Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, who has already sold out several shows, and roots rockers Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones.
“I’m thrilled to help a new generation of artists here,” Epstein says. "They're going to be too big for us soon."
My Father’s Place at The Roslyn Hotel general manager Dan Kellachan says that the venue is currently running ahead of their attendance and revenue projections. “We’ve got a great brand to work with,” he says. “But it always, always boils down to the acts. People don’t come to see a club. They come to see a band in the long run.”
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That said, plenty of people became Friends of My Father’s Place based on the club's history. The special program, where members pay a $50 annual fee to get advance notice about shows and the chance to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the public, became popular. And while initial members don’t have to renew until 2020, Kellachan says new memberships will be available for purchase throughout 2019.
“People are more familiar with the concept of the supper club now,” Kellachan says. “There aren’t so many questions any more.”
In fact, Epstein expects more venues to attempt the supper club idea, following the venue’s strong opening. Of course, he is already planning to broaden My Father’s Place at The Roslyn Hotel’s appeal with a new TV show filmed at the club that he says will be a cross between “Hee Haw” and “Laugh-In” featuring rock, jazz, blues, comedy, folk and reggae acts.
“Next year, we’re going after acts that we didn’t think were reachable,” Epstein says. “We’re just going to keep getting even bigger and better.”