A few weeks ago, Dave celebrated his birthday with a fun night out on the town, taking in a show at the Lied Center, visiting fellow downtown bar John Brown Underground and then, of course, partying at the Sandbar into the early hours of the morning. He probably even danced on the bar.
It was a great birthday, until he realized that some joker had stolen the shark board photo-opp that resides outside the door.
Even worse, it happened right on our watch: the bar was open at the time, but the doorman (who will remain nameless) had stepped away and it was one of those rare times that no one was in line.
Happy birthday, Dave.
The news spread quickly the next day, thanks to the power of social media. The local paper even covered the theft; our apologies to Sgt. Myrone Grady of the police department, who had the unfortunate task of responding to the LJW’s request for information about the shenanigans. We hope you have a good sense of humor, sir. If it makes you feel any better, I insisted that Dave file a police report; he seemed reluctant to report something seemingly so silly.
We drove the alleys of downtown Lawrence, hoping the thief was lazy enough to drop it off behind a dumpster, but no luck.
We hoped pictures would surface on Facebook; after all, the board’s pretty big and hard to hide, and what are you going to do with it, if not take pictures of it and with it? But nothing turned up.
Time passed, and we thought we’d never see our beloved board again. You probably don’t know this, but Dave and Justin, our art director-turned-bartender, toiled for hours creating that thing.
Then, one day, Phil, our sometimes-Friday bartender, texted Dave a picture and asked if we were missing something. Phil’s been pretty busy with his day job, so he was probably out of the loop on the goings-on at the bar. Apparently someone he knew had found the board on a country road and sent Phil a picture of it. (Minor correction to the LJW article: It wasn’t a friend of Dave’s who discovered it.)
Get this: on a country road near the Outhouse.
So, we’re assuming that thieves went on a joyride that night, looking for different entertainment than our little bar can provide, and the board either flew out of their vehicle on the bumpy road, or they realized they wouldn’t be able to show off their prize to anyone. Or maybe they just hate us, who knows.
But the good news is, we finally have the board back, and while it has some minor damage, it’s nothing that can’t be repaired. And this time, Dave said he’ll make sure it’s locked down whenever it’s on duty.
P.S. The recovery was big enough news that the LJW posted a follow-up story, and a Kansan reporter stopped by the bar to do a story on it, too, so watch for that one.
We're thrilled once again that our loyal fans voted for us in lawrence.com's Best of Lawrence contest this year! The Sandbar was named Best Bar Scene, and our managing partner and longtime bartender David Johanning was voted Best Bartender.
According to the Best of Lawrence publication, more than 7,500 ballots were cast. Did you know that's more votes than the leading candidate, Mike Amyx, received in the last city commission election? (While that's cool, it's also a little sad…people, it's important to vote in your local elections.)
Anyway, that's a lot of votes. There were five major subject areas– Community, Food, Going Out, Retail and Services– and more than 130 categories. It's a great guide to the best of the best in Lawrence, whether you're looking for ice cream, car repair or local parks.
Click here to see the full results.
Click here to read the short article about the Sandbar, featuring quotes from our lovely customer Aisha.
And click here to read a quick blurb about Dave.
We'd also like to give a shout out to the Replay Lounge and our neighbors at Henry's who came in second and third place in the Best Bar Scene category.
Chris Neverve of the Red Lyon and Frank Dorsey of Frank's North Star Tavern were also top vote-getters in the Best Bartender category. We love that Lawrence voted long-time local bartenders as the best!
Hey Sandbar friends!
Our fearless founder Peach's niece has been nominated for some awards, and you can help her win!
Katlyn Conroy (if you're a regular, you probably also know her dad Patrick- he hangs out here a lot!) has been nominated for Best Female Singer/Songwriter in the Pitch annual music awards. Her band, Cowboy Indian Bear, has also been nominated in the rock category.
Katlyn has worked really hard this year touring, writing and recording. Let's help her add another accomplishment to the list! You may remember that Katlyn has played at our block party before (and we hope she'll do so again).
Click here to vote. Fair warning: there's a quick registration required, but it's really easy and doesn't take very much time at all. It's really easy to vote, too.
Thanks, friends! We appreciate your help in supporting part of our Sandbar family!
The KU men's basketball team won a huge game last Sunday, beating North Carolina to win a spot in the 2012 Final Four.
Downtown Lawrence was crazy after the game! Traffic started backing up on Massachusetts Street as far back as 14th Street right after the game, and probably backed up even farther as the day got later. People packed downtown and the crowds got bigger all night.
Some of the bar band members put on an impromptu show at 8th and Massachusetts, and the Kennedy Glass float from the St. Patrick's Day Parade, a replica of Allen Fieldhouse, made an appearance too.
The city of Lawrence prepared well for this event, and the crowds were well-behaved even among the mayhem. Dave was surprised that so many people came downtown after this game, but the bar was prepared for it. He jokingly posted on his Facebook page that he was opening late on Monday because he didn't have anything left to sell- not entirely true, he didn't run out of beer completely, but it was definitely a great Sunday night.
Channel 6 News even interviewed Dave about the alcohol supply. You can read the article here.
Here's to hoping we have another fun weekend downtown!
Last Friday I was watching TV, and if you know anything about daytime television, you know there aren't a lot of options. I scrolled past a show called "Extreme Barhopping," and when I found absolutely nothing else that interested me, I decided to check it out.
The first bar they profiled wasn't all that "extreme." A speakeasy hidden behind a hot dog joint somewhere in Manhattan. (New York, not our neighbor to the west.) The next bar, though, was pretty cool. Literally. It was a bar, pool and giant hot tub combination on top of a mountain in Squaw Valley. Ski or snowboard in, strip down to your bikini and lounge in a hot tub surrounded by snow. Pretty extreme.
At this point, I was thinking "we should contact the Travel Channel and submit the Sandbar for the show! An indoor hurricane is pretty extreme!"
You probably couldn't guess what happened next.
After profiling a bar with a $100,000 mahogany wood slide for an entrance, the show's narrator then offered up a bar in San Francisco with the "world's only indoor hurricane."
My jaw might have hit the floor.
I don't know how long the Tonga Room/Hurricane Bar has actually had an indoor hurricane. The show never said, and I couldn't find the information online. (I didn't look very hard.)
I can tell you, though, that their indoor hurricane looks nothing like ours. The Hurricane Bar looks very upscale, swanky and fancy. It's in a hotel in San Francisco. There's a pool in the middle of the bar- a "lagoon"- and the bar's orchestra floats around on the lagoon. The bar features "periodic light tropical rainstorms, complete with thunder and lightning."
It reminds me of the Rainforest Cafe. I didn't see anything about wind, which as you know is a prime feature of hurricanes, including ours. It doesn't appear that anyone actually gets rained on during the storm, but I could be wrong.
The place looks pretty cool, and if we ever make it to San Francisco again, we'll definitely check it out. I can say for certain, though, that they are NOT the only place in the world with an indoor hurricane. (To be fair, their website doesn't say this. It could have just been the Travel Channel making this claim.)
Travel Channel, if you're listening, we'd love to have our indoor hurricane featured on your show. Wind, rain, thunder and lightning, and napkins flying around the air is something everyone should experience with 48 of their closest friends.
We had a great time at SantaCon 2011!
This is the second year we've participated in SantaCon Lawrence. What is it? In a nutshell, a pub crawl of Santas parading around downtown Lawrence. Santas were also encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations to be donated to Just Food, the local food bank.
The Santas (and some elves) gathered here around 2 p.m. last Saturday. A reporter and photographer from the Lawrence Journal-World stopped by to talk to Santas and take pictures, and after about an hour the party moved on.
The Santa parade traveled through Sunflower Bike Shop and headed south on Mass Street, with Santas handing out candy canes to children and waving at passersby. The tour included the Granada, a detour to Pyramid Pizza for non-alcoholic sustenance, the Replay Lounge (where a few Santas did the Car Wash on stage, and Dave was interviewed by Channel 6), the Red Lyon, and then back north.
A few Santas stopped for cupcakes at Cupcake Construction Company; others detoured through the Pig. The group came back together at the Bottleneck and ended the evening at Henry's on 8th.
Here are a few links:
Red and White and Christmas All Over (LJ World article)
On the Street: Why Did You Participate in SantaCon (LJ World)
Slide Show about SantaCon (LJ World)
Great group shot outside the Sandbar by John Clayton