This is a guest blog from former bartender/bouncer Cheryl, who worked here in the mid-90's. Cheryl was the first female staff member who actually was assigned a door shift- and she was an excellent doorgirl/bouncer. Cheryl was back for a visit last fall, and we asked her to share her thoughts on the Sandbar with our readers.
Sometimes I think that college was so long ago there is no way the Sandbar could really have been such a perfect place and there is certainly no way that it could be anywhere close to the same now. Then I get a little nostalgic, make myself a margarita and think "those were the days." And that's just a little sad…
So I decided a visit was in order.
It had been about 10 years since my last trip and 15 years since I worked there. I started working for Peach at Jox Sports Bar and Grill, with the famous hot and honey wings courtesy of Kelly French, and started tending bar at the Sandbar as soon as I turned 21.
I also was the Tuesday $1 anything night bouncer, which made for many memorable nights, with Dave behind the bar. I worked at the Sandbar for a year a half, and I am pretty sure I made about $20 – the rest of my pay went to liquor. I would hazard a guess that in those 18 months I was at the Sandbar at least 5 nights a week. Of course we went elsewhere, but we always started and/or ended at the Sandbar.
We spent so much time there – time well documented in photos and various hairsyles – that I thought a return trip might be a let-down. I'm certainly not in college anymore, and I'm practically old enough to be some of the customers' mom. Well that might be a stretch, but I am definitely old enough to have babysat one of the current bartenders. (That would be Andrew.)
I am proud to say I was part of the first Sandbar St Patrick's Day float. But that was a LONG time ago. Surely the jukebox had changed or the drinks or the decor or the atmosphere… there was just no conceivable way that it could be as much fun now as it was then.
My old schol hall roommate and I met in Lawrence in November to go to a game at Allen Fieldhouse. My mom came with since she loves the Jayhawks and the Sandbar nearly as much as I do. After the game on Friday night we headed straight to the Sandbar. Dave was behind the bar and it was immediately apparent that nothing fundamental about the Sandbar had changed.
Don't get me wrong, there have been many changes- the swag handed out with drinks, the hurricane, the tiki hut over the bar, the dirty banana shot. There's even more than 2 taps now – the choices have expanded beyond Bud Light or Bud Light. But the vibe is the same, many of the customers are the same, the jukebox is basically the same (Shake a Tailfeather anyone?), my license plate is right over the jukebox where it belongs.
Most importantly, the way the Sandbar feels is the same. The sense that all is well and the beach is just around the corner. It's a party, it was home for a time, and it is still one of my favorite places in the world. Somehow it was like I never moved to Colorado.
We came back Saturday and had just as much fun making fools of ourselves. Like Jimmy Buffett said, "we are the people our parents warned us about".
Thanks to everyone there for making my trip to Lawrence memorable. I won't wait 10 years to come back…
(And as a side note, thank god Pizza Shuttle hadn't changed their number -call 842-1212, call it now Pizza Shuttle – and still offers a 2-fer special and delivery into the wee hours…)
Cheryl also sent us a bunch of old-school Sandbar photos. Here's a sneak peek of one now, and we'll publish more over the next week:
Cheryl and a much-younger Dave, back in the day.