Books and Bars

Yesterday the Sandbar was the site of an event new to us: hosting an author to talk about his book.

We opened up early around 3 p.m. for the Lawrence Public Library's event with Tim Dorsey, a Florida author who writes humorous crime stories with main character named Serge Storms. Yes, really.

How did this come about?

Well, the Raven Bookstore wanted to bring Tim in but they didn't have the space to set up an event. So they called the library, who said "sure!" Except that the library is currently located at the old Borders building (we like to call it "Free Borders") while renovations are taking place at the library building.

Turns out, the library had a storytime conflict with the time that Tim was booked…but those creative folks at the library figured out the perfect solution and called us.

We love the library and thought it would be fun to host a different kind of event. So we opened early for a crowd of around fifty people, some who even drove in from Topeka, many of whom are devoted fans of Tim and some who weren't familiar with his books but thought they sounded interesting.

Instead of just reading an excerpt from his book, Tim took questions from the crowd and performed more of a stand-up comedy routine. Afterward, he signed books and took pictures. We gave him a couple T-shirts. Tim, if you're reading this, take a Sandbar shirt with you next time you go someplace cool and take a picture with it for our wall of fame.

The event was a huge success, and we'd love to do something like this again! The library is a great partner and a wonderful resource for Lawrence, and the Raven is a fabulous local bookstore.

Here's a shot of Tim in the shark cutout, from the Library's Facebook page:


Valentine’s Day gifts for the hopelessly challenged

Valentine's Day is coming up fast. Have you bought your sweetheart a gift yet?

For those of you who need a little extra help in the gift-buying department, here are a few ideas.

Mustache heart pint glasses

Shameless self-promotion here, but we think our mustache/heart pint glasses designed by Megan are a fabulous gift for the person who already has everything. Buy one and stuff a bunch of chocolate kisses in it, or buy more and wrap them up as a set. They're $3 each. It's a bargain.

Downtown Lawrence gift certificate

Did you know you can buy gift certificates for downtown Lawrence? Any of the businesses downtown who are members of Downtown Lawrence, Inc. will accept them, including the Sandbar. (Dave is the past president of DLI.) Another perfect gift for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list, because there are so many different places they can be used.

You can buy them at Douglas County Bank, or you can buy them online here.

Guys night at Prairie Patches

This doesn't really help the ladies- well, yes it does. Girls, go fill out a wish list at Prairie Patches. Guys, go down there on Feb. 13 from 6-8 p.m. and get personalized shopping help. And there's a bonus! 10% of all sales will be donated to Habitat for Humanity's Women Build project, and if you donate to the organization you'll get a free rose in a vase.

And there's more! Enjoy wine and snacks and free gift wrapping. How can you NOT do this?

There you have it. Three great options for Valentine's Day gifts. You're welcome.


Fun with the Color Run!

Around 7,000 people descended on downtown Lawrence yesterday for the first Color Run in the city, and we had a blast with it!

If you don't know what a Color Run is, it's a fun 5k run/walk that's not timed, so it's perfect for people (like me) who don't run but like to have fun. Color stations are set up at intervals throughout the run where volunteers douse the runners with a colored powder mixture. By the end of the run, the participants- who started out wearing white- are rainbow-colored.

Serious runners might make fun of this event, but if it gets people out of their house and doing something active, then that's a good thing. And if they're having fun and being silly? Even better.

The Lawrence event started downtown and 8th and New Hampshire, with waves of runners starting every five minutes. From there, participants walked or ran east through various old East Lawrence neighborhoods. It was a nice scenic route that ended up at 9th and New Hampshire, next to the Arts Center where the post-race village and party took place.

First of all, an apology.  Photo 1 

We were totally unprepared for this event. Which is silly, but it's true. We thought the event started a block away, not right outside our front door, and we also didn't have enough people working.

So if you waited too long to get a drink, we're really sorry.

Thanks to the Sandbar runners!

Several people joined our Shark Attack team, and even more of you bought white Sandbar T-shirts to wear. Thank you all, we appreciate it and we hope you had fun!

Here's a couple of post-Color Run photos:

Photo 2

Here's a shot of the "color cloud" at the post-race party. Every participant got one packet of colored powder to save for the end of the race, and as the emcee counted down, everyone threw their powder in the sky to create a color cloud. It looked really cool at first- like the photo above- but as more color was added and it all blended together, it looked kind of ugly and foggy.

Photo 3

And here's a post-race photo of Sandbar walkers Stacy, Bettina and me.

For more pictures of the Color Run, check out our Twitter feed at We've retweeted some of our favorite photos there. And check out the Visit Lawrence Facebook page for an album full of fun photos! If you've got a fun photo, send it to us and we'll post it.

We really hope this event comes back next year!

White T-shirts for the Color Run

The Color Run is coming!

They call it the "happiest 5k on the planet," and while we believe it, we can't wait to see it. At last count, over 6,800 runners/walkers/dancers/whatever-ers had signed up for the event this Saturday in downtown Lawrence.

One of the rules of the Color Run is to wear white. Yes, it's after Labor Day, but this is one fashion rule you'll want to break. Throughout the run, color stations blast the participants with a color mixture, resulting in rainbow-colored runners.

We printed up special white Sandbar T-shirts just for this event, and we're selling them at a discount. You can get your white T-shirt for just $10. And even if you're not participating in the Color Run, but you just want a white shirt, you can get one too.


We have sizes small through 2XL available. The wrinkles are free.

The shirts are upstairs in our office, so be sure to let the bartender know what you're looking for. They've all been told that the shirts are in the office, so if for some reason you're told "we don't have any white shirts," tell them to check their email.

Kidding. But we do have shirts upstairs, they just need to run up there and grab one.

We can't wait to see the rainbow-colored Sandbar shirts after the event! Be sure to send us your pictures. You can upload them to our Facebook page, tweet them to us @thesanbar or email them to us at

Find out more about the Color Run here.

Join us for the Color Run!

Have you heard of the Color Run? It's a crazy-sounding 5k "run" where all the participants wear white and are blasted with color at various stops during the route, so at the end of the run everyone looks like a giant rainbow. It's more about fun than speed, so even non-runners can enjoy the experience.

The Color Run took place in Kansas City last spring, and it seems like all of our Facebook and Twitter friends were there.

Well, now it's coming to Lawrence! Mark your calendar for Saturday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. and get ready for the "happiest 5k on the planet," as they say. The run takes place in downtown and east Lawrence.

And, we've got a team you can join. If you sign up before Sept. 15, it's $40, and if you join our team you'll save five bucks! After that date the price goes up.

Here's how to register:

  • Go to
  • Choose "Team Registration" if you want to join our team
  • Sign in or create an account 
  • Under the "Team Information" section, choose "join a team," and in the search box search for "Sandbar Shark Attack."
  • Finish the rest of your registration

The Color Run is also supporting the Assists Foundation, and you can choose to make a personal donation if you wish.

That's it! What are you waiting for?

We'll have more details soon, but we're tentatively planning on having pre- and post-race gatherings at the bar, and we're also planning to print special white Sandbar T-shirts just for the Color Run! We'll let you know when they're available for purchase.

We hope you'll join us for this fun event!

Busker Fest this weekend!

One of Lawrence's most unusual traditions is this weekend: the annual Busker Festival.

This weekend, street performers of all types will hit downtown Lawrence with fire, swords and more. It's a great place to take the family for some entertainment!

We're excited to be part of the Busker Fest. We'll have a bar set up outside in front of our place so you can enjoy a beer while watching the performance.

Check out a schedule of the performances here.

Hope to see you downtown this weekend!