Panorama Music House hopes to be back by October with updates to building

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 7:54 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The front wall of Panorama Music House has been removed as part of demolition for the reconstruction of the building. This nearly 100-year-old building has been through a lot, especially with the recent hurricanes.

Hurricane Laura spread bricks from the Panorama Music House all over Broad Street. Then, a few months later, Delta hit. Now, the building is getting a makeover.

“It starts with cleaning it up, assessing, throwing out everything that was damaged - that was really only about 15 months old. We were only open about a year and three months,” co-owner Frankie Randazzo said.

During Laura, one employee had stayed inside the building when the storm came through and relayed the damages to the owners who also caught a glimpse of the damage on TV. Randazzo said losing the restaurant was devastating; however, he didn’t take it as a setback. He instead saw an opportunity.

“Then I called Jay Ecker, our partner and I said, ‘Jay.’ I said, ‘We just saved a bunch of money.’ He said, ‘What are you talking about?’ I said, ‘We’re going to do a rooftop patio bar, and the demo is already done.’”

Having a chance to turn around a bad situation, a new plan for the restaurant was evolved.

“To have our vision kind of actually happening. You see it, you think of it in your mind, and then the architect puts it on paper and it really starts to go up in bricks and mortar. It’s a - it’s a good feeling,” co-owner Jay Ecker said.

Ecker said they’ve drawn up a plan to conserve some of the build’s past while also vamping up the atmosphere. One relic they managed to salvage, though broken, was a sign that was over 30 years old.

“The Panorama Burger House sign, which we had renovated to be the Panorama Music House sign, has a long history in Lake Charles,” Ecker said. ”So, we wanted to really update it for where we are now but honor the history of the building and the neighborhood.”

The partners intend on having a replica of the iconic sign made to front the building and will still be holding on to the original. Much of everything else was lost over the past year, but the new project is coming along.

“I know it’s going to be really really worth it when it’s done. I think it’s going to give downtown a huge resurgence.”

The new roof is expected to be put on next week. As far as reopening, they said their hopes are to be back up and running by Chuck Fest in October.

The partners also have another reason to celebrate. The Panorama building on Broad Street was also once home to the original Rikenjaks Brewery, which Randazzo and Ecker operate as well.

The Ryan Street location for the restaurant is celebrating its 5th year anniversary Saturday.

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