New restaurants, a coffee shop, a record store and an art gallery are transforming a once-quiet stretch of J Street south of Lake Avenue into an arts destination.
Artists at the Clay Glass Metal Stone Cooperative Gallery, which opened this month at 15 S. J Street, and owners of several new businesses, hope the combination of art, food and two live music destinations — the Bamboo Room and Propaganda — will make the one-block stretch of South J Street a must-see destination in downtown Lake Worth.
Joyce Brown, director of the cooperative gallery for 32 artists, said she and other South J Street business managers plan to brand South J Street with special events this summer, murals on buildings, decorative lights and a grand opening in October.
“We want people to look down this street and see something special,” Brown said.
Propaganda music club owners Jon Jordan and Matt Krug plan to close South J Street from Lake Avenue to First Avenue South on three Sundays this summer for splash parties that will combine live music and swimming in a pool large enough to hold 250 people. The first splash party is set for June 23.
Krug said he would like South J Street to become a hip spot known for art and music, like the Pineapple Grove section of Delray Beach.
“This street is like an alternative to Lake Avenue,” said Chris Palacio, co-owner of Coastars, a coffee and pastry shop at 12 S. J St. he opened earlier this year that features live music on Saturday nights. “The music and pop culture and coffee culture all work together.”
Promoting economic development through the arts is one of the goals of the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency, which oversees the LULA Lake Worth Arts program from its offices at 29 S. J St.
Affordable, renovated commercial space and artists’ desire to be around each other is fueling the rebirth of South J Street, CRA Executive Director Joan Oliva said.
“Those involved in the music and arts scene want to be around other creative people,” Oliva said. “The synergy between the various businesses is palpable.”