George’s Majestic Lounge named fan favorite music venue for the Southeast

George’s Majestic Lounge wins national accolade

Patrons file into George's Majestic Lounge. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/FILE PHOTO)

In 2016, George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville was named one of "the 100 greatest American music venues" by Consequence, a New York-based online arts and entertainment magazine.

In 2020, George's, a Dickson Street staple since 1927, was closed for 134 days during the pandemic, and owner Brian Crowne says the business "had to fight to stay alive."

Fans apparently thought it was worth Crowne's effort. Today, George's was named fan favorite music venue for the Southeast region by Consequence.

It shares national honors with Rockwood Music Hall in New York, Northeast; First Avenue & 7th St Entry in Minneapolis, Midwest; Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, Southwest; and Troubadour in Los Angeles, West.

"We are very humbled and proud to be acknowledged in a fan vote," Crowne said, "but also to be acknowledged in the rarefied air of these other venues.

"I'm really proud, with all of our history, to see this little juke joint on the map."

"Live music has been a core focus for Consequence ever since we were founded over 16 years ago," the magazine said online. "To celebrate the local venues, gathering places, and institutions across the country that give live music its home, we launched Hometowns of Consequence, a fan-led initiative honoring the best U.S. music venues, the spaces that build community and allow culture to thrive.

"We asked fans to nominate their favorite local music venues -- 2,000 capacity or less -- and narrowed it down to four finalists in each region. After another round of voting, we have our winners for the first annual Hometowns of Consequence Best Local U.S. Music Venues."

Consequence said more than 1,000 venues across the country were nominated. Also nominated in the Southeast were Kentucky's Portal at fifteenTWELVE; South Carolina's The Radio Room Greenville; and Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club.

Founded in 1927 as a restaurant, bar and general store, George's is the oldest and longest-running live music venue in Arkansas, according to its website. "Although live shows regularly began in the early '70s, many loyal locals recall social events, dances, and music on the old patio as far back as the 1930s.

"George's was the first bar to integrate in the late '50s, the first bar in Northwest Arkansas to offer color television, and the first pizza delivery service in Northwest Arkansas," the website boasts.

Crowne and wife Day have been the proprietors since 2004 and have owned the business and property since 2012.

  photo  George's owner Brian Crowne says lots of "amazing artists" have played George's, without whom the venue would not have gained national notice. The Cate Brothers, he says, are where it all started, and Earl Cate's Earl and Them will play Happy Hour at 6 p.m. today. (File Photo)