Wow. The Get Downtown! party was amazing.
We made a beer garden/patio/sidewalk dining area in front of The Sandbar using bamboo fending. It was actually quite a large area and of course had a bench for dancing. The new windows were open all night and there were people everywhere. The Sandbar started filling up early and by about 7:30 or 8, the entire block was packed. It totally reminded me of Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, but with a much more family-friendly atmosphere. None of that shirt-lifting stuff that New Orleans is famous for….at least that I saw.
This is what our outdoor area looked like, around 5:
And much later in the evening:
It was a super night. The weather was incredible, not hot but not cold. The music was loud and fun, and people were (mostly) happy. Most of The Sandbar employees were present at some point in the evening, either working or playing, but mostly working.
One of the frustrating, but also funny, things of the night was trying to keep our customers from leaving with drinks. People who were either inside the building or inside the beer garden could go back and forth freely; however, they couldn’t leave either area with our drinks. Likewise, people couldn’t enter either of our areas with drinks purchased elsewhere. Normal rules that people are usually aware of- most people know that you can’t walk into a bar with a drink in hand. Likewise, people know you can’t leave a bar with a drink. Tonight, though, was different and all things ‘normal’ were out the window. It was almost comical to see and hear people ‘plotting’ how to get their Sandbar drinks out into the street area. A couple different folks were caught by Morgan, super doorgirl, more than once, and sent right back into Sandbar space. I think it became a game with them after awhile. I commented to Morgan once that it was kind of like trying to herd cattle all night, and she said "Yes, but cows don’t talk back!"
The night turned out to have record-setting sales, bigger even than St. Patrick’s Day. If you know anything about The Sandbar, you know that holiday is huge…all day long. Imagine St. Patrick’s Day crammed into 6 hours instead of 14 and you can understand how crazy last night was. You can read more about the event here.