Extreme Barhopping & the World’s Only Indoor Hurricane

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.

From Bartender to Author

Exciting news! Former Sandbartender Erick is a published author!

Erick's novel, "A Green Flash" is now available for download on amazon.com. And, he's set up a promotion making the novel available for FREE through March 4. If you're looking for something new to read, check it out.

In a nutshell, the novel is about a man who leaves everything behind to open a bar on a tiny Caribbean island. If you love beach bars- and we think you do!- you should read this book.

Click here to view the purchase page on amazon.com.

Erick worked at the Sandbar several years ago, and then he left us to go to pharmacy school. If you know anything about pharmacy school, you know how tough it is. Yet, Erick managed to write a novel between study breaks. He said:

"I just decided to start writing it one night when I was bored studying. I read all the time and always thought that it would be fun to try and see what I could do with a story. I didn't realize how big of a task it would be when I started, and it took a long time to write, especially while in school, but I learned a ton about myself during the process. It's one of the more mentally tough things I've done in my life."

Erick hopes to have copies of the novel available in paperback format in a few weeks. On March 1, the book was #24 in literary fiction for Kindle and #99 for contemporary fiction.

And, did you know that you don't have to have a Kindle in order to download this? There are Kindle apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and others (see a list here) and you can also use Kindle Cloud Reader to read books in your web browser.

If you miss out on the free promotion, the book is still available for purchase after March 4 for just $2.99.

Sandbar on Pinterest

Well, we've given in to yet another social network.

You can now find us on Pinterest, the current darling of the social networking world. We were a little hesitant to sign up; after all, between blogging and Facebooking and tweeting it's a little hard to keep up with everything sometimes. But after spending some time exploring Pinterest, it was easy to see how it could be fun for the Sandbar and our friends.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Pinterest, it's basically an online bulletin board. Did you ever tear out pictures of things you liked from magazines- things like furniture, houses, clothes or hairstyles- and stuff them in a notebook or folder? Pinterest is that, only better. Instead of having a notebook taking up space on your shelf, that you never refer back to, you've got online bulletin boards where you can "pin" things you find around the internet.

You can follow other people and their boards, and they can follow you. You can "like" or "repin" things that other people have pinned. It's a great way to discover new things.

You can find us here.

So, what are we pinning? So far, we've found cool pint glasses, shark-shaped party food and baby mermaid costumes. And we've got a whole board dedicated to repurposing your drink toys. If you've got other ideas for Sandbar boards, let us know!

Kansas Craft Brew Expo

Here's a fun new event in downtown Lawrence for the beer drinkers out there: the inaugural Kansas Craft Brew Expo!

The Kansas Craft Brewers Guild and Downtown Lawrence are collaborating to put on this event Saturday, March 3. It will feature craft brewers from around the region, and ticket holders can sample their brews. There will also be food, music, t-shirts and glassware.

Tickets are $30 and they're going fast. In fact, Free State Brewery estimates that the event will sell out in the next few days. You can purchase tickets at the Sandbar, Free State, 23rd Street Brewery, Sharks Surf Shop, hobbs, Brit's and Cottin's Hardware in Lawrence.

The event is Saturday, March 3 (the day of the KU-Texas basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse, at 8 p.m. that night!) and will be located at Abe & Jake's in downtown Lawrence. You must be 21 to enter.

For more information about the expo, visit their website at www.kscraftbrewfest.com. You can find a list of participating brewers, ticket info and a schedule.

You can also follow the event on Twitter or join their page on Facebook.

And remember- if you want to go, buy your tickets NOW!

Sandbar Shirts Through the Years

We love our Sandbar shirts, and we especially love finding old-school shirts from the early days. Fortunately, Dave is a packrat and held on to many of his shirts from the 90's, shirts that many of you have probably never seen.

These days, most of our T-shirts are solid-colored logo shirts. Back then, we mostly sold white T-shirts with cool designs on the back. It was also pre-official-logo time, so the now-familiar tiki head is nowhere to be found on these shirts.

For Christmas, Dave and I had a T-shirt quilt made for Sandbar founder Peach. It's made up of 21 Sandbar shirts through the years and includes a shirt from the ill-fated Jimmy Buffett concert bus trip to Denver, the original latitude & longitude shirt and some of our newer shirts.

Here's a picture:


How many shirts do you recognize?

The quilt's not quite done; our friend Nancy put it together but it still needs to be quilted. Nancy did a fantastic job on it and we can't wait to see the finished product!

Radio Broadcast with Ryan from 970 WFUN

334475_10150425916224790_6108839789_8562350_1636027076_oLast Saturday, the KU basketball team had a big game against Ohio State. We were fortunate to have a unique event take place at the bar because of this game- a live radio broadcast!

Ryan from The Angle of Pursuit radio show on 970 WFUN contacted us about broadcasting his pre-game show from the Sandbar. Sure, we said; we're always up for something different.

Ryan and his buddy came in on Friday night and got to experience the Bar Band. They were back on Saturday for their pre-game show, and he even interviewed Dave on the air. We'll try to track down a recording of the show, if it exists, so you can hear it. They left for the game and came back afterward, raving about the amazing atmosphere in Allen Fieldhouse, for a post-game show.

Of course, we all know how fantastic Lawrence, Allen Fieldhouse and the Sandbar are, but it's nice to hear what new visitors think. Here's what Ryan had to say:

I'd like to take a moment to sincerely thank EVERYONE we encountered on our trip to Lawrence. First: Dave, Debbi, Peach, Heather, Blair, and The Sandbar staff, you were the best hosts we could have hoped for. Second: The people of Lawrence. We didn't encounter a single person who wasn't a great fan of basketball and a better representative of KU and Kansas as a whole. And Finally: To Roger McCoy, Dave Hatfield, Cody Slaybaugh, Kim Frustere, Robert Bloomer, Dana Schulte, and Curtis Colby for making the trip possible. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

And thankfully, KU won their game!