Roaming Gnome experiences an indoor hurricane

A couple weeks ago, we got word that the Roaming Gnome—a lawn ornament that some joker at Travelocity turned into a globe-trotting quasi-celebrity—would be visiting Lawrence for College GameDay with ESPN.

We get excited about pretty much anything that is 1.) silly, and 2.) an opportunity to take silly pictures, so we were thrilled to find out that the Sandbar made the cut as a stop on the Gnome’s itinerary.

So, on February 28, after spending part of the day on the KU campus followed by dinner at local favorite Free State Brewery, the Gnome and his handlers arrived at the Sandbar.

Of course he experienced everything we have to offer: a Shark Attack, a photo opp with the shark outside our door, dancing on the bar and an indoor hurricane, complete with napkins flying through the air.

Roaming Gnome enjoys a Shark Attack |

Roaming Gnome with Dave and Debbi |

Roaming Gnome poses with the shark at the Sandbar |

Roaming Gnome dons the mermaid costume |

Thanks, little buddy, for hanging out with us on a chilly Thursday night. We hope you had fun, come back soon!

The folks at Travelocity made this fun video recapping the Roaming Gnome’s time in Kansas. He also visited Wichita State University for their College GameDay appearance, which was the same day as KU’s.


Jayhawks, get downtown for Homecoming

Homecoming 2013 pep rally in downtown Lawrence  |

It’s no surprise that many of our current and former customers have ties to the University of Kansas—either as a student or staff member—since so many folks who still live in Lawrence have some connection to the school.

This year’s Homecoming celebration is coming up soon, and we hope to see many of our favorite regulars back in town!

You may or may not know that Homecoming is actually a week-long event, with activities that have taken place on campus since last Sunday. The big hurrah, though, is the annual Homecoming parade.

Last year, the parade moved from campus to downtown Lawrence—not an unprecedented move, as it’s been held downtown before—but one that we love. We love anything that brings more people to our beautiful neighborhood!

This year’s parade will once again be on Mass Street, but this year it’s on Friday night: tomorrow night! Stake out your favorite parade-watching spot and check out all the cool floats built by students.

After the parade, head down to our block for a pep rally. The band, spirit squad and mascots will be there, and we’ll have a beer tent set up. As long as you’re 21 or older with proper ID, you can drink outside that night. A DJ will play until 9 p.m., but we’ll be selling drinks outside until 11.

It’s also Final Fridays, the popular monthly art event in downtown Lawrence, so this area should be full of things to do and people to see.

Oh, and we almost forgot: our favorite former celebrity bartender, Mr. Rob Riggle himself, will be the grand marshal of the Homecoming parade! Will he step behind the bar again and sling a few drinks? Or pen another ditty on our bathroom wall? We’ll just have to wait and see…

Learn more about Homecoming

Sandbar gets some love from former bartender Rob Riggle

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, or you’re very familiar with the Sandbar at all, you’ve probably heard the story by now:

Rob Riggle, famous comedian, actor, Marine and KU alumnus, tended bar here while he was going to school in the early 90’s.

We didn’t even know it until he told us– it was before Dave’s time here. You can read the story about how we found out here. (It’s worth the click. There’s a funny anecdote that you’ll probably never read anywhere else.)

Radio love

Rob Riggle's mark on the wall at the Sandbar | www.thesandbar.comAnyway, we were excited to hear Rob give us a great shoutout recently during an interview on 810 Sports radio show last week.

You can listen to the interview here. He mentions the Sandbar (and the Wheel) at around the 12:37 mark.

A recent visit

Rob was also back in town a few weeks ago for a KU basketball game, and after spending some time at the Wheel, he ventured our way.

He spent most of his evening behind the bar, but he took the time to leave his mark on the wall of the men’s room:


After signing the wall, he admitted to Dave that perhaps his message would have been better left in the ladies’ room instead. Probably.

While typically we paint over stuff people write on our walls (so please don’t do it!), we’re going to leave this one up. In fact, Dave’s already put a frame around it.

Shark Attack and the Randy Rogers Band

Even though the Sandbar is a tropical bar with every Jimmy Buffett CD on the jukebox, we appreciate a wide variety of music. From Elvis to the Blackeyed Peas to Captain and Tennille and everything in between, you can bet that someone in the bar loves whatever song is playing at the moment.

We also have a soft spot for old-school country and the newer country/rock music out of Texas. Our buddy Justin has a weekly radio show, Kansas City Limits, and plays all the songs we love to listen to. Many of the bands travel through Kansas frequently, often playing at the Bottleneck or the Granada, and the Sandbar has become sort of an unofficial pre/post show party spot.

Last weekend, one of our favorites, the Randy Rogers Band, was in town for a show. We spotted this picture from the band's Twitter feed:


Great to see visitors to our beautiful downtown enjoying our shark attack!

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 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

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.

Peter Mayer Group in Lawrence this Sunday

Here's a piece of exciting news for Jimmy Buffett fans: Peter Mayer, the guitarist for the Coral Reefer Band, is live in concert this Sunday in Lawrence!

You may not know that Peter Mayer has his own band, the Peter Mayer Group. They've actually performed small concerts at the Sandbar three times over the years, and they've always been a huge hit. (And sold out quickly.) He doesn't play Buffett tunes, though- he has plenty of his own songs that range from jazz, country, classical and gospel. It's good stuff.

This Sunday, the Peter Mayer Group is performing a benefit concert at Abe & Jake's. All of the ticket sale proceeds will go to eleven African countries for malaria treatment, prevention and education.

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 30
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Abe & Jakes, Downtown Lawrence
  • Cost: $20 online or $25 at the door

There's a VIP ticket option available for $100, and it includes a reception at 6 p.m. with appetizers, drinks, an auction and special seating for the concert.

To purchase tickets, click here. We'd love to see a contingent of Sandbar fans at this show, especially those of you who have missed out on the shows at the Sandbar in the past!

Thanks to our friends at 23rd Street Brewery for helping put on this concert and letting us know about it!