Hamilton’s Closing

Hamilton’s Place in Lafayette, La., was expected to close its doors June 19th after 50 years as a zydeco music landmark.

Owner William Hamilton blamed a drop in business and his ill health for the closure. The 76-year-old had heart surgery about five years ago and hasn’t personally booked a band into the venue since, opting to rent the club to bands instead. His doctor advised him to let the club go.

The last show was expected to be a double bill featuring Geno Delafose and Keith Frank.

According to Hamilton, increasing band fees and competition from casinos and festivals reduced his weekly dances to monthly events.

“The crowd changed a lot. The older people started going to bingo or the casino. People don’t like to drink and drive. The youngsters will come and dance and drink water. They enjoy that, but you can’t make it like that,” he said.

Because Hamilton’s couldn’t pay increasingly high insurance premiums, the club stopped serving alcohol. The owner said he has been approached by investors who want to buy the club to move it or turn it into a museum.