By Madison Glaser | November 30, 2020
Lake Charles, Louisiana is best known for gambling, live music, and hospitality.
However, following COVID-19 and the punch of two hurricanes, these industries are struggling.
Mayor Nic Hunter stressed the importance of trying to restore a sense of normalcy in Lake Charles and how much the music scene plays a part in the southwest Louisiana area.
“I can’t tell you how much I miss being out at a public festival, listening to live music from locals here in Lake Charles, I miss that dearly,” said Nic Hunter.
Panorama Music House, a beloved Lake Charles landmark, is just one of the local businesses impacted by Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta.
For decades, Panorama Music House has brought a certain history and passion for music and food to the Lake Charles area.
From the mouthwatering taste of their Carlos Santana burger to their savory seared ahi tuna, they have something to appease any hungry customer’s appetite.
But nerves set in on August 27th when restaurant owner, Frankie Randazzo, watched the roof of Panorama Music House get ripped off, leaving behind splintered support beams and memories of the once iconic bar.
Left with no other option, Randazzo was forced to move his staff to his other local business called RikenJaks.
Even though they’ve been highly impacted by COVID-19 and two record-breaking hurricanes. From the impact of the deadly and destructive Category 4, Hurricane Laura to the 145 mph winds from Hurricane Delta Panorama Music House and Rikenjaks are determined to keep alive what Louisiana is best known for live music and hospitality.
While Randazzo has been faced with many new challenges such as the cost to rebuild, supporting his staff, and keeping a roof over his head. Those worries are also weighing heavy on the local music scene.
Venues are damaged, leaving many local artists without many options. For many musicians, they are being forced to seek work in other destinations.
We will come back stronger than ever.
Struggling to find work, local artist Hayden Helms and his band The Good Samaritans are moving to Nashville in the search for more opportunities.
“We felt like in our area we kind of did everything we could do, anything a band can do,” said Helms.
Born and raised in Lake Charles, Helms hopes his music serves as a platform to help people notice the region and the struggle to rebuild.
While he takes his songs to the music city, Randazzo is determined to bring back that Southwest Louisiana spirit.
“The culture, the art, the family, and the sense of support for this region is at a really bad spot right now but if it’s handled properly, we will come back stronger than ever,” said Randazzo.