In a densely populated area with little available land, a once popular nightclub venue carries its vibe through its new life as Shoreline Church’s home.
Alison S. Istnick · May 13, 2018
WHAT WAS ONCE Destin, Florida’s premier nightclub and live concert venue— attracting the likes of the Ramones and BB King— had fallen in to a state of disrepair and had become an eyesore to the surrounding com¬munity. Coincidentally, the club known as “Nightown” had a colorful past that also played a role in the history of Shoreline Church’s Lead Pastors, husband and wife, Eric and Darlene Partin, who both frequent¬ed the popular hangout back in the 80’s.
Eric and Darlene originally started Shore¬line Church in a movie theater. In order to house the growing congregation, they also worshipped at a Fort Walton Beach shop¬ping center with 1,000 weekly attendees. A decision was made to search for a new centralized facility with the goal of bringing together both congregations.
Eric recalls, “One day, we were driving and as we passed Nightown, I said this would be a perfect church building with its high ceilings, stage, and wrap-around mezzanine. If I designed a building, I would have designed something very similar.”
Not long after, an article in the local paper indicated Nightown was closing and the property would soon be up for sale. “I was the first to call, and after a couple of months, they gave us the first option to buy,” tells Eric. Shoreline purchased the 16,000-square foot property.
Eric and Darlene soon partnered with Aubrey Garrison, president and founder of Live Design Group located in Birmingham, Alabama, who they had worked with previously on a project. Darlene explains, “We loved the process with them. We felt like they were on our team, supporting our vision and creating an environment that reflected our church culture.”