One of our Sandbar shirts made a surprise appearance at last Friday's Late Night in the Phog.
We printed a special white shirt with a red Sandbar logo for KU Athletics so they could use it in a skit. The skit featured boxer Victor Ortiz taking on Barry Hinson, the men's basketball team's director of operations. Barry wore the Sandbar shirt and was knocked out by Victor.
We weren't at Late Night to get a picture, but here's one from KUSports.com that photographer Nick Krug shot:
You can view the original picture (and the rest of the gallery) here. (Dear KUSports.com: if it's not okay that we used this picture here, please let us know and we'll take it down. We try to be very careful about proper online attribution.)
It's kind of hard to see his shirt, since he's lying on the ground, but it's definitely a Sandbar shirt. If anyone out there got a better picture, please let us know!
And yes, that's Rob Riggle serving as the referee. We've got a story about him, too, so come back for that one. It's good, we promise.
Last week, Dave was contacted by a reporter who wanted to interview us about our use of foursquare, the location-based social networking service.
I spoke with the reporter, Stephanie Miles, this week to answer a few questions. The interview is featured online at StreetFight.com, a site that looks at the business of hyperlocal. Read it here!
We haven't done much with foursquare lately. We were one of the first businesses in Lawrence to use it, but it's hard to figure out a special to offer customers when you run a bar. Liquor laws in Kansas don't allow us to discount drinks unless everyone is entitled to the same discount, all day, so that kind of defeats the purpose of checking in on foursquare.
The first special we ran rewarded frequent customers: for every third check-in between 5-9 p.m., the customer could show their check-in to the bartender and get free jukebox credits. People love our jukebox, so this seemed like a fun way to reward them for coming in regularly on a shift where we aren't usually very busy.
Another special that we ran didn't reward the customer with anything but warm fuzzies, but it was a success. We borrowed the idea from the Legends shopping center in Kansas City. For every check-in during a period of time, we donated a buck to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We raised almost $100 with this special, which is great.
Other exciting achievements (for us, anyway) with foursquare were when we unlocked the swarm badge for having 50 people checked in at the same time, and the night we hit 1000 check-ins and rewarded the customer with a T-shirt.
We aren't currently running any foursquare specials, but if we can come up with a good one we'll certainly do it again.
A few days ago, I got a Google alert for "Sandbar." Many of the alerts I get for the bar's name aren't relevant- they're either talking about one of the millions of other Sandbars around the country, or they're talking about an actual sandbar. You know, the kind with sand and an ocean.
This one, though, also mentioned the local university paper, so I clicked the link.
The article was a review of local bars that students frequent, and after reading the entire article, I saw no mention of the Sandbar.
Finally, I saw the small picture that accompanied the article. Oddly enough, the paper chose a picture of our bar to go with the article that didn't mention our bar at all.
I guess our building is more aesthetically…interesting? It's a cool picture. But I'd also bet that 90% of the "students" convening outside the bar aren't students.
The Lawrence Journal-World recently featured a cool photo project they called "Dear Lawrence," based on the Dear Photograph site. The objective is to take a picture of a picture from the past in the present. Confused? So were we, until we saw examples.
We searched through our photo archives, which are pretty limited prior to around 2003 when we started using digital cameras, and we finally found a couple of pictures of our building from the 90's. They aren't very old pictures, but our building looked significantly different back then- many of you may only know us as the lime green building with a giant tiki head, but it wasn't always that way.
Here's our first submission:
Remember the white building? And the giant green palm trees that adorned our old windows? Back then our windows didn't open, and we didn't have a patio.
We used another picture from our wall to create our second Dear Lawrence photo:
This picture is fun for us because it features Sandbar people in it. The picture is from St. Patrick's Day 1997, when we built an "Under the Sea" themed float.
Pictured are Cheryl, a former Sandbar-tender and one of the only girls to ever work the door (read her memories of the Sandbar here); Peach, our esteemed founder; Betsy, Ted's daughter; and finally little Andrew, who tends bar today.
And yes, that's a zebra. Peach and Ted own zebras on their farm outside Baldwin, and Peach walked the zebra in the parade behind our float.
We actually profiled the St. Patrick's Day/zebra picture as part of our "Off the Wall" series, where we share the stories behind the stuff on our walls. Read about it here.
You can see the entire Dear Lawrence photo gallery here.
We're excited to announce that our beloved webcam is back online!
The webcam has been down for months. We had a minor incident in FebruaryÃ¢â‚¬â€ a few freaky phone callsÃ¢â‚¬â€ that led to the camera's disconnection. Then, once we hooked it back up about a month ago, it worked for a day and died.
Our webcam is old. We've had a webcam in the bar since the mid-90's when bartender and technology whiz Josh suggested it. (Here's an article from the LJWorld in 2002 that mentions our webcam.)
We purposely haven't upgraded our webcam in years. In fact, the current camera is probably only the second one we've ever had. The reason? We don't want advanced technology that makes it easy for people to clearly see who's in the bar. Our webcam is about checking out the atmosphereÃ¢â‚¬â€ not stalking people.
When the camera died last month, we thought we'd be forced to upgrade. Dave tried one last thing; he unplugged it from its usual perch and plugged it into a different source behind one of the TV's.
One night when I checked Twitter, I saw a tweet about the webcam asking why it was hidden behind a keg. I checked, and lo and behold! The webcam was working again!
Apparently the hub it was originally plugged into had died, not the camera.
The webcam is now back in its corner, with a great view out over the bar. It's still fuzzy, and it always will be, but it gives a good idea of how much activity is happening in the bar.
Check it out: http://www.thesandbar.com/webcam/
This is really old news, but we'll use the excuse that everyone was tired of hearing about the Royal Wedding, so we waited to post this on purpose.
You might have read this story in the Lawrence Journal-World already, or perhaps you missed it, but a local couple got married on April 29, the same day as Prince William and Princess Catherine.
We're much more interested in the local wedding story.
According to the article, the couple met at the Sandbar! Ashley and Glenn met at our place five years ago, and then three years ago we were part of their love story again when Glenn slipped her engagement ring into a pint glass at the bar.
We love Sandbar love stories! Ashley and Glenn, if you see this we'd love to hear more about the night you met and the night you got engaged. Congratulations!
And if anyone else out there met their love at the Sandbar, brought your wedding party here, or some other equally fun story, we want to hear about it. You can email us at sandbar (at) thesandbar (dot) com.