Northern New Jersey’s newest venue for live music is located in one of its most widely familiar buildings: The Manor in West Orange. The spacious restaurant and banquet facility has begun presenting live music regularly on Friday nights, in its Dome Rooftop Lounge, and will continue to do so for at least the near future.
The Mark Peterson Band (Peterson on bass and vocals, Ron Thompson on keyboards and Sam Allen on drums) will be featured through the end of December, with a series of guest singers: Annet Artani on Dec. 9, Marlaina Sims-Powell on Dec. 16 and LaJuan Carter on Dec. 23 and 30. Different bands may be brought into the mix in 2017 as well, says Keith Sly, director of public relations for the Manor’s parent company, Knowles Hospitality.
I saw the first of these shows, Nov. 25, featuring The Mark Peterson Band with Carter: They had no trouble getting a capacity crowd onto the floor, dancing enthusiastically to a mix of classic and contemporary pop, rock and R&B hits, under the venue’s huge glass dome.
Previously, the Dome has regularly presented DJ music, but only rarely live bands. They will still book DJs for Saturday nights, and for late Friday nights (the band plays from 7 to 10 p.m., with a DJ following until 2 a.m.).
The live music on Friday has been successful so far, says Sly, saying the venue might also consider adding live music on other nights at some point — “possibly also extending to Thursdays and perhaps even Wednesdays,” he says, “and doing some theme nights: ’70s nights, ’80s nights, disco nights, that sort of thing.”
Dinner-and-a-show events are also a possibility, he said.
Sly feels there is a need for a nightclub like this, in the area.
” We’ve often got a lot of feedback from … even on the Dome DJ nights, people come up there and say there’s really not much else like this (in New Jersey),” he says. “A lot of guests come up and say, ‘Oh, we have to go in the city to find an environment like this.’ ”
For information, visit themanorrestaurant.com/livemusic.