Kilmo Shutting Down Native Florida Tap Room and Music Hall This Weekend
Just this week, Native Florida Tap Room and Music Hall owner Kilmo Doome announced that he's selling the venue and skipping town.
He wrote on Facebook: "I have accepted an offer I couldn't refuse and I'm relocating to New Orleans, where music and culinary opportunities have beckoned me for years. I will continue to perform and produce some music events in South Florida." Then he thanked all the great musicians, fans, and lovers of beer who supported his venture.
Kilmo told us that a combination of factors led to the Tap Room's demise. "When I started doing venues," he said, "I really didn't know it would go this long." But after giving it a good try with this latest location in Hollywood, it seemed the hoops the city set up were too high for Kilmo to jump, and the allure of the Big Easy was too strong.
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But challenges related to live music spots are nothing new to Kilmo. When he first opened the popular Alligator Alley, he felt he was responding to a void in the local market. As a musician himself, playing with the Shack Daddys, he wanted to set up a club with great sound, a place that treated musicians like humans. A converted pizza place, Alligator Alley was financed by Chief Jim Billie of the Seminole tribe. As a blues venue, it also offered what he calls, "a rootsy, vintage kind of jazz" and eventually popular punk nights brought about by a bartender whose friends packed the place. "They dug the vibe, dug the music... Smoked a lot of cigarettes, drank hand over fist, and played really fast music," Kilmo recollects.
When another blues bar opened nearby, he felt it "cut the same pie thinner," taking away business from Alligator Alley, which by then was known nationally as a respected live music venue. After it closed, encouraged by the FAT Village Arts District, he opened a venue in Fort Lauderdale. The development was hampered by zoning issues. So he kept it open as Kilmo's Studio and Warehouse; it's not illegal to operate a warehouse, and he ran a sound studio there. Also, as a noted chef, he also had a catering license at the warehouse. But it didn't stay open very long.
Kilmo said that, though it may sound corny, "money doesn't matter that much to me. I just love art." With Native Florida Tap Room and Music Hall, he definitely continued in his legacy of putting the artist first and making sure the sound system was superior. "I really put my lack of money where my mouth is," he joked.
Lured next to Hollywood by both the mayor and the Community Redevelopment Agency, he said, "The mayor wanted to see downtown Hollywood as an arts mecca," citing the city's great location as central to the tricounty area. He said they told him they would take care of a restrictive law that hindered his business from accessing a late-night crowd. A 4 a.m. license was passed, and things were looking good. But then there was dissent, and in the end -- after he'd already set up shop with plans to put a bar out front, a kitchen in, and sliding glass doors opening to the street -- the new rule stated that he had to shut his doors and windows at 10 p.m., even though he could still stay open till 4. Kilmo said he couldn't work with this law. Other businesses in downtown Hollywood were allowed to blast noise all night, but not his.