I’ve kept it to myself for long enough: the Louisiana Music Factory, the city’s most comprehensive source for New Orleans and Louisiana music, will move from its current and original location at 210 Decatur Street to the first floor of 421 Frenchmen Street at the corner of Decatur in early 2014. The location was most recently the Junque Shop, an antique store that vacated the space on November 30.
The store will now complement the location of OffBeat; we’ve been located at 421 Frenchmen Street on the second floor since 1997.
Barry Smith, owner of the 22-year-old Music Factory, told me that he hopes to capitalize on Frenchmen Street’s burgeoning music scene and its attraction for the music-loving and music-buying public. “There’s so much activity now on Frenchmen,” Smith said. “I think the Factory will be a great addition to the neighborhood and will also be a generator for daytime traffic, an anchor, so to speak. The move will also give us the opportunity to work a lot more closely with some of the bands and musicians that play on Frenchmen now, and maybe work with some of the clubs.”
One of Louisiana Music Factory’s issues over the past 10 years seems to have been the reluctance of many locals to venture into the French Quarter to buy music at the Factory, mainly because of parking issues. “It’s a lot easier to get to the location on Frenchmen, and park around here, especially during the day. And at night there’s a big market of people here anyway,” said Smith. The Music Factory will likely extend its operating hours until later in the evening once it moves to the Frenchmen Street. According to Smith, the Louisiana Music Factory’s popular in-store Saturday afternoon concerts will also continue in the new location.
The move will occur in early February 2014, as the first-floor Frenchmen Street space is being gutted, renovated and built out especially for the Louisiana Music Factory’s retail location.