The Boom Boom Room is the story of struggle, a story of triumph, a story of beauty, love, passion, art, and the tale of a group of people with a vision and a dream, overcoming the odds to make their dreams come true.
It all started with Jim, (the owner with his wife Brandy AKA Boom Boom LeCoeur) who watched movies like, Roger Rabbit, and The Mask, where he saw places on TV when people in the past would sit at a table, be served drinks and dinner while watching a show. This sparked the first seed of an idea. I want to experience that. I want to be swept away to another time, escape for the challenges of the week, I believe other people do too.
However, he had never opened a restaurant, nightclub, bar, or a variety show. So it was a dream and a seed of an idea that grew in his head for many many years. Until one day he decided to take action and look for spaces to lease. This took about 4-5 years of work. During that time he met Brandy, his now wife and business partner, and together at that time, the interracial couple with a love that defies the laws of the universe, worked together to open a place like this.
In 2011, they opened and called it The Jumpin' Jupiter. When it opened, it had so much social impact. No one had ever done something like this before, in St. Louis (since 1920 or so). That first year, it made so much press and impact in the area. It was very exciting. However, with any new innovative idea, there were just as many people who loved it, who were hateful and jealous. They had not prepared for that part. But after the first year, admittedly, with no experience, they had a ton of customers but made many mistakes. And like a dramatic episode from Bar Rescue, the bills piled up, people quit, talent walked out, vendors were upset, stress levels rose. When things are good, everyone is there to tell you how great you are, but when things go bad, everyone is there to tell you how terrible you are, what you should have done, they jump ship like rats, and your best friends slander you on social media. It was humiliating. The talent not only walked out but had been working at a nightclub of their own, so went off a social media slander campaign to kill the competition. They lost every employee too. It was just Jim, Brandy and the dream. And Jon Taffer was nowhere to be found to bail them out. It was a very dark time. They could not open their doors, for two months.
But they did not let the challenges stop them. Brandy said, I will dance, and became Boom Boom LeCoeur when the chef left, Jim said, "I will learn how to cook and I will run sound and lights. " They decided no more managers, they will run and design every single system and process from the ground up.
New rules were made like, no more mean negative people. They searched the St. Louis area, and found some talent that would work for them in the area, LuLu La Toosh, Miguel Scott, and Dahlia Delight were their first cast members. And they found some people with no experience and trained them. Then they rebuilt a menu, changed pricing, changed how the show was experienced, and when people said, you can't do it, they just smiled and thought happy thoughts. It was a hopeful but very hard year. During this time, they developed a formula that made people happy. Crowds increased, people started getting paid back, more talent was drawn to the show. They learned a valuable lesson. When things seem dark, smile, be positive, and imagine how your life how you want it not how it is, and surround yourself with good-hearted positive people.
That year, things got better, but not fast enough, and never enough to pay $10,000 in monthly rent, and they were forced to close losing everything they had worked years for. Cars were taken, the heat was turned off, they purchased groceries with change around the house. It was hard. However, they knew they had a formula that works, but not a dime to their name. They did not let that affect their spirits, and they held on to their dream and moved on.
They loved performing so, they went to other bars and theaters and performed for ticket sales as The Jumpin' Jupiter Roadshow. During this time they discovered the talents of, Lady Manhattan, and Lolita Love. For three long years, while they had the dream to reopen a new venue, with all they had learned, after all the mistakes they had to make, they saved and worked, and worked and saved. They bought lights, sound, kitchen equipment and stored it away so they would own everything next time around.
Because of the past, it was hard to find someone who was willing to believe in the dream and lease to them. It was hard for the landlords to understand, we failed, but NOW we know how to fix it. So they kept trying until they met Ben. As luck would have it, his wife had the best time of her life at The Jumpin' Jupiter. So they believed in the vision and allowed them to lease space in the building.
But that was step one. They had to get the signatures of the neighbors for their liquor license. It was not easy, trying to explain to the neighbors, that a burlesque club is not a strip club. But they finally did it, through luck and charm, and started construction in April 2015.
Brandy and Jim did all of the construction themselves. Except for the really big stuff like electrical and plumbing, but the design, the stage, they even drove to Kansas City in a box truck that would only go 50 mph, to pick up the ice machine and the church pews that were 15 dollars. They bought inexpensive used fixtures from craigslist and used Pinterest to make something from nothing. For six months, 12-15 hour days, 7 days a week, the went to Home Depot, then refinish floors, built the bar, hung things from the ceiling and so much more.
Then in October of 2015, they were ready to open. They were so busy working and doing construction, that they did not have time to promote the place. They were scared to death. Five years of their life, hardly any money to start the business, about $50 in the bank, exhausted from six hard months of building, they had no idea if anyone would show up, or if anyone knew about the place.
As they stood in the empty bar that day, they knew one thing, the thing that had kept them going through the hard and darkest times. People need this. More than ever in any other time people need a place like this. A place where, after a hard week of work, after being yelled at by the kids, the boss all week, hearing about all the crazy things that happen in the world, after all of the life's challenges, they needed a place, where they could not see the news, escape to a faraway place, be pampered by the servers, be treated with dignity by the doorman, a place where a drink was served at a fair price, and was delivered to them in their candlelit table, a place where all their friends and family could reserve a table, a place where their belly would be filled with quality food, a place where they could reboot, relax, regroup, feel special again, a places where, age, race, religion, boundaries, and sexual preference, and social status was not an application for the value of service you received. A place where whatever you are celebrating in life, we are celebrating it with you. And with that mission statement, and that belief and conviction, they opened the doors to the Boom Boom Room, a place where everyone is beautiful. They and their performance family waited nervously for the customers.
The doors opened, and it was like the Police song Message In Bottle or the closing scene from It's Wonderful Life. The people just started coming, and coming, and coming, and calling, buying tickets, showing up, a few at first then more and more. We built it on a dream and a prayer, and they DID come. They said, thank you for opening, St. Louis needs this, I was at the Jumpin Jupiter and we loved it, we are so happy you are back, I want to celebrate my anniversary here, my birthday, thank you the show was amazing, you made 50 years with my husband special then it was five stars on yelp, facebook, google, People started visiting from literally all over the world, with compliments. The news started doing articles, The Cast Of Wicked got a table for NYE, lives were touched audience smiled, and people were happy.
Now their rainbow tribe of beautiful performers entertains people from all cultures, from all over the world, from all ages, and all walks of life. And every weekend night, that beautiful audience claps, drinks, laughs, eats, cheers, and celebrates life together escaping and releasing life's burdens at no other than, The World Famous Boom Boom Room
And as of this writing, they were open for two years.
And we are still open and very very appreciative every day. We never talk about race religion and politics, because we want people to get away, not be reminded of. We have added new performers, getting better all the time. We are looking for a second location, maybe in Las Vegas.
And they performed happily ever after. http://www.theboomboomroomstl.com