Ten years ago the bones of a beautiful old art deco theatre stood dormant in Morehead Street, Lambton. For decades prior, generations of people had passed through its doors. Through the spaces many incarnations as a picture theatre, a restaurant and even a roller rink. It was once filled with laughter and sound, but then in 2009 it stood silent.
Meanwhile, 90 mins down the freeway was a legendary music venue called Lizotte’s. It was the kind of place that as a music fan, even if you hadn’t been there, you had heard about it. There were numerous stories of moments that you wished you had been there, times when a huge name artist had played an intimate show to just over 100 people. It was the place owned by Brian and Jo Lizotte and frequented by the who’s who of the music industry, including brother Diesel.
Sometimes the stars collide. The Lizotte’s team became aware that the theatre was up for sale and not long after they had the keys in their hands.
With only ten days between picking up the keys and opening the venue, it was all-hands-on-deck to turn Brian and Jo’s vision of a space where Newcastle music fans could come and really listen to music, into a reality. A space the artist is not just in the background but is the feature of the night.
With a mouth-watering menu and a huge line-up of talent, the doors to Lizotte’s opened for the first time on June 2, 2009.
In the ten years that have followed, there have been some huge milestones and some moments that will stay with people for a lifetime. Perhaps it was the joy of seeing artists like Mick Fleetwood, Macy Gray and Jimmy Barnes in an intimate setting. Or maybe it was the night ‘The Hoff’ recorded a charity cover of Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again in the courtyard to raise money for Doc Neeson.
People have shared their first meal as a married couple, kids have performed for the first time on a stage with proud parents in the audience, partners have proposed, and dreams have come true. There are so many unforgettable moments in the decade since Jo and Brian transformed this space and none of these moments would have been possible without their vision. The fact that they hand pick staff who share that vision and a passion for music, the amazing talent of every artist that has set foot on the Lizottes stage and of course every customer who has ever come to the King's castle has made most of Newcastle part of that journey too.
As of June second, Lizotte’s will have hosted 2381 shows, served over 120,000 meals and hosted 260 dedicated Live and Local Night where young talents take the stage and share the profits. There have been countless school showcases and sell out shows headlined by well-known local musos such as Morgan Evans, Lyn Bowtell, Amy Vee, Bob Corbett, Marissa Saroca, Mark Well, Justin Ngariki, Ty Penshorn, Adam Miller, Grant Walmsley and Mark Tinson.
To everyone who has been part of the journey, Brian and Jo and the Lizotte’s team invite you to celebrate with them at the Lizotte’s Open Day on June 2. There will be free entertainment thanks to a long list of our favourites including Piper Butcher, Rehab Brass Band, Dexter Moore, Avalon Circus and more to be announced. The doors and the kitchen will be open from 11am till 3pm to help celebrate the milestone 10th Birthday with as many of you as possible. There will be plenty of amazing entertainment and great food from the new Winter menu.
Later in the evening, Lizottes will host a ticketed birthday bash with Doug Parkinson and Glenn Shorrock and support act Ty Penshorn. Tickets are selling fast so jump onto
www.lizottes.com.au and reserve your spot now – this is one birthday bash you will not want to miss!