Monday, November 23, 2015

Perignon’s premieres ‘Sunday Gospel Showcase’

Customers patronizing Perignon's Restaurant on Sundays, like Anthony "Ambee" Johnson
(left) and David Tate, will be treated to a delectable meal and "Sunday Gospel Showcase," a platform
for gospel singers and musicians to entertain the Sunday crowd. Patrice Myers (right) is the manager and
Thadesha Barber is one of the servers. (Photo: Wiley Henry)
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” – Psalm 100:2 (NIV)
The scripture is an exhortation to praise God in song – and that’s what Robert Myers will be doing each Sunday, starting Nov. 22 at 5 p.m., when liturgical dancers, gospel singers, poets, choirs and quartets take to the stage at Perignon’s Restaurant for “Sunday Gospel Showcase.”
The gospel showcase is a platform for gospel artists and musicians, said Telisa Franklin, an on-air personality for AM 1380 WLRM, who will host the weekly showcase. “I want to give the new artists a platform to perform, to showcase their gifts and talents, to give them an outlet,” she said.
The world needs to see noted and aspiring gospel artists and musicians, said Franklin, particularly those on the local level, who have the desire to serve the Lord through spirited gospel music and entertainment.
Telisa Franklin
 “I want to be this generation’s Dr. Bobby Jones (host of Bobby Jones Gospel, which premiered in 1980 on Black Entertainment Network). I want to take the baton and take it to the next level,” said Franklin, who plans to air the gospel showcase on various TV networks.
It didn’t take much to convince Myers, though, that the church-going crowd is just as gung-ho about gospel music and entertainment as the un-churched is about secular music. The only difference is the choice of music and entertainment and, of course, the patron’s age.
Myers launched Perignon’s three years ago as a restaurant and lounge, which often filled with very young patrons – the hip-hop generation. Now he’s rebranding the facility to attract an older, more settled, crowd.
 “We stopped calling it a lounge, because it didn’t attract the church crowd,” he said. “The gospel showcase will give the restaurant a (new) twist…from a gospel standpoint. I want to keep it gospel or gospel jazz.” 
The showcase is open to anyone who wants to sing or bring in a choir. Myers is not sure about adding rap to the lineup or whether the genre has the potential to reach the “settled” adult crowd that he’s looking for.
“I’m more traditional, some contemporary, when it comes to gospel music,” said Myers, a member of Breath Of Life Christian Center in the Raleigh-Frayser community. “This is based on faith, but I do want people to know that we do good business.”
So Myers spiffed up the restaurant to enhance the ambience and aura of fine dining. He’s also trying to make the restaurant the go-to place and where singers and liturgical dancers, for example, can ply their skills.
“We will introduce you and you can present your skills,” said Myers, offering an opportunity to anyone interested in showcasing their talent or anyone looking to build a rapport with a settled, adult audience.
Perignon’s is located in the Timbercreek Plaza in the Raleigh-Bartlett community. The restaurant is located on the east side of the building and adjacent to a banquet facility on the west side. Myers owns both, including a hair salon in the area – Valentinos Hair Salon.
“We are a family-owned and family-friendly business,” said Myers. His wife, Valerie, operates the salon, which opened 25 years ago. Their daughter, Patrice Myers, is Perignon’s manager; and their son, Valentino Myers, is employed at Perignon’s.
Before Perignon’s was born, there was V’s Café and Mr. V’s Wings, two businesses that preceded the sleek and dainty restaurant, which was named, Myers explained, after a fine and exquisite champagne, Dom Pérignon.
“We didn’t want to do anything ordinary, something that everybody was doing,” said Myers, hoping the launch of Sunday Gospel Showcase will be more than an ordinary platform for gospel artists and musicians.
“We want to give something that people can relate to,” he said.
For more information about Sunday Gospel Showcase, visit or call (901) 373-9952.

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