Always a packed scene, The Village Door is the HOTTEST spot to meet Destin, Florida’s most gorgeous nightclub crowd.
We are the premier destination for celebrity guests and Destin’s sexiest party goers, The Village Door is home to the hottest Destin, Miramar, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A and Panama City Beach nightlife. The spectacular nightclub and bar is located in the heart of Baytowne Wharf.
Enjoy a beautiful upstairs area, including our energetic bar with a perfect view of our live band called The Dream Band.
Reserve the upstairs for a group of friends.
Downstairs, enjoy the bar, mingle with the crowd seated in the lounge area, hang out on our incredible deck, overlooking the water or shake it up on the dance floor.
This multi award winning dance venue, located at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort near Beautiful Destin Florida, is the area’s only dedicated live music dance club. This World-Class venue has been Sandestin’s premier night time entertainment anchor since its opening in 2002.
History of the Door
When John Wehner launched his nightclub in The Village of Baytowne Wharf at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, he brought a decade’s worth of experience operating the hottest spot on New Orleans’ Bourbon Street. After taking control of the failing Famous Door Dixieland Club, the 29-year-old visionary renamed the place John Wehner’s Famous Door and with that Wehner’s total entertainment concept was born.
Although the building had been in place since 1934, business was at an all-time low when Wehner took over in August 1992. Wehner’s first move was to build a new stage and bring the musicians back to Bourbon Street. Next he installed a sound booth with a state of the art mixing console, DJ system, and proceeded to completely overhaul the antiquated sound and light systems.
The Famous Door was the first live music club on Bourbon Street to use subwoofers, contributing to the “ferocious sound.”
“We had all the dancers all night, every night,” Wehner says. “Once we had everybody dancing, everyone walking by on Bourbon Street would come in and dance and party. I always made the bands sound as good as the records that the DJ would play. That’s the real secret to our success. After a year or two, all the clubs started buying subwoofers.”
Wehner has a background as a musician and has played drums since age 11 and spent a decade playing up and down Bourbon Street which enabled him to put together some celebrated house bands. The first of these was Groove Tube; “That band set the tone for the future of the club. I worked all day, doing daytime duties and then played on stage six hours a day, six nights a week and I would manage the club from the stage.” In 1996, he created the Dream Band, a dynamic show band with a horn section that could rival Chicago and Earth, Wind and Fire. When he brought his Famous Door concept to Sandestin, the band came along and remained the house band until 2003.
At the height of the Famous Door’s success, up to three bands a day would play on Wehner’s stage. After 9-11, the tourism industry suffered an 85 percent decline in sales but the Famous Door lost only one of its over 50 employees, as the staff sacrificed. It took months to build the business back, but it was never the same after that.
In November 2002 Wehner was featured on the cover of Nightclub and Bar magazine. He also operated his own professional recording studio and a production company, Door Productions. The first CD he produced was Jeff Chaz’ Give Me My Guitar–Wehner describes Chaz’ music as “funky blues with killer horns and a smokin’ rhythm section.” Other releases included Tomato’s Jump Into My Fire and the Dream Band’s…First Contact.
In 2000, representatives from Sandestin’s parent company Intrawest spent three nights at the Famous Door in New Orleans. They immediately fell in love with Wehner’s Live music nightclub. About a month later, Wehner signed a letter of intent and the Sandestin version of John Wehner’s Famous Door was born. Since opening in August 2002, the club has since changed its name to John Wehner’s Village Door–Wehner has left his New Orleans interests behind, focusing completely on his future in Sandestin.
A future that he says is looking great.