Respectable Street Owner Rodney Mayo

Respectable Street Owner Rodney Mayo, photographed in 2004 at his West Palm Beach nightclub. (Carline Jean, Sun Sentinel / August 23, 2012)

Rodney Mayo opened Respectable Street Cafe in 1987, when an Australian post-punk band named SPK was the opener for British industrial duo Chris and Cosey, the club's first headliners. The walls were dark, and the patio was covered in concrete.

The West Palm Beach venue will celebrate its 25th anniversary this Saturday, and aside from the decor, not much has changed. At least not according to Russ Rogers, who has played the club since the '90s with multiple bands, including theatrical goth-punk trio Kill Miss Pretty.

"They always change the inside, but the heart of it has always been the same, and I think that consistency is what keeps people coming back," Rogers says. "It's basically been the definition of alt-rock goodness in South Florida since I've known any kind of scene."

Rogers' new band, A New Way To Live Forever, is one of 25 acts booked for the anniversary party. Standing smack in the middle of Clematis Street, Respectable Street has thrown block parties every year to celebrate its inception. For its silver anniversary, the main event is a free all-ages show headlined by the Misfits.

One thing RSC has done consistently is book locals alongside touring bands. Saturday's local performers include dark Americana band the Darling Sweets and electro-pop group the Band in Heaven.

"Rodney [Mayo] has always been such a really responsive and cool person as far as giving the local acts a chance to slip in with the major acts that come here," Rogers says.

Local visual artists also have a place in Mayo's club. Prior to this weekend, Respectable Street was closed for about a week to undergo renovations. Aside from the club's getting new AC units, a new audio system and freshly buffed floors, its walls were painted white and adorned with prints by seven local artists handpicked by Mayo.

The spruced-up look may not last long, considering there will be an open bar from 8 to 9 p.m., and at midnight, a cannon will shoot ping-pong balls that can be redeemed for free bar tabs. Despite threats of the season's first hurricane, the Misfits are scheduled to play outdoors.

"If we have to, we'll move indoors," general manager Allan Bowron says. "Regardless [of the storm], we're going to have the party."

 

Respectable Street's 25th anniversary party

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Respectable Street Cafe, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach

Cost: Free

Contact: 561-832-9999 or RespectableStreet.com