Sandbar to participate in SantaCon again this weekend

It’s December! This month is one of our favorites (let’s be honest, we love almost every month for some reason or another) because of all the holiday festivities. And of course, we find ways to incorporate costumes!

This Saturday, Dec. 14, is the fourth annual SantaCon, and we’re excited to participate again. SantaCon is a “conference of Santas,” or better known as a pub crawl of Santas.

Anyone (of legal age, of course) is welcome to participate in this event! All that’s required is a Santa suit or other holiday attire. A Santa hat is not enough, you need to put a little more effort into it!

Santacon 2011 at Sandbar  |

The Santas are invited to gather at the Sandbar starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday (or earlier, if you like– we open at 1) for a little holiday cheer. The pub crawl will then head down Mass Street to the Granada around 4, followed by a stop at Red Lyon and ending at the Bottleneck in time for the KU basketball game at 6 p.m.

SantaCon is a ton of fun, but it’s also a charitable event. Santas are asked to bring donations for Ballard Community Services and Lawrence Humane Society. Cash, of course, is preferred but there’s also a list of most-wanted items for each agency on the SantaCon website.

And if you have kids, bring them downtown to see the Santas! We promise, it’s not a drunken mess like you might imagine a pub crawl to be. It’s a jolly good time with Christmas carols and bells and lots of holiday cheer. We just happen to enjoy a few drinks along the way!

RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends to SantaCon!

Preserve the Plaza, oldest operating theater in America

I have been seriously bad about keeping this blog up. Once upon a time, there were four or five new posts each week. When I logged in to write this, I realized there were three posts for the entire month of September. Believe me, there’s more going on at the Sandbar than that; I’m just not there to see it these days.

But, here’s something awesome for you.

If you’ve followed the Sandbar for any length of time– or if you really know the owners like you insist to the doorguy– then you know Peach, our founder, also owns the Plaza Grill & Cinema, a movie theater slash bar and grill down the road in Ottawa.

But did you know this: she recently uncovered evidence of the theater showing movies all the way back in 1905, making it a candidate for the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest operating theater in America.

And now, there’s a plan to convert the theater into an interactive historical experience so that people can enjoy the magic of the cinema in the middle of America.

How can you help? Well, there’s a Kickstarter project taking place right now. If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s a crowdsourced funding platform that brings project creators together with backers to make things happen.

You can donate as little as a buck or as much as you want to this project– but unless the project is fully funded, you won’t spend a dime.

The goal of this project is to raise $45,000. The project has three stages that are described here, and it will add jobs as well as economic growth to the community of Ottawa.

What are you waiting for?! Go check it out here, and make a donation if you can.

Preserve the Plaza: Oldest Operating Theater in America

Save the drive-in movie theaters!

If you’re like some of us– and I’m talking about some of us who have been around the Sandbar longer than, say, some of our more recently-hired staff members– you have fond memories of drive-in movie theaters from when you were a kid.

Did you know that they’re in danger of disappearing? Since the film industry has gone digital, many theaters can’t afford the $80,000 price tag that the digital upgrade costs.

Honda, the car company, has stepped in to help– they’re going to donate five projectors and the public vote decides which drive in gets them.

Our local Jack Ellena Honda dealership is hosting an event next Friday, Sept. 13, that celebrates this event with fun for the whole family: a pop-up drive-in movie theater.

They’ll host a free screening of “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” at 7 p.m. out at their dealership.

Click here for more details.

What does this have to do with us, and why are we talking about it? Well, we like movies…after all, our founder Peach does own a movie theater down the road in Ottawa.

And, Sandbar Subs is stepping up to help save the drive-ins. They’ll be serving Sandbar Subs beach dogs, chips and cookies at the event. Dogs and cookies are $2; chips are $1. Proceeds will benefit the cause!

If you’d like to help save the Midway Drive-in in Osawatomie, you can text VOTE86 to 444999, click here to make a donation or show up at next Friday’s event.

Help us spread the word, will you? Drive-in theaters are an iconic part of our history and an experience that everyone should get to enjoy as they grow up.

RSVP for the event on Facebook and share it with your friends!

Danny is famous

Former bartender Danny has probably had more press on this blog than any other bartender, besides maybe Dave, but he happens to not only lead a busy and interesting life, he's also very willing to share stories with me. I guess you could say he's good at promoting himself.

This is kind of "old news," meaning he told us about it over a month ago, but it's still completely relevant.

His latest endeavor is really cool. Here it is, in his own words.

I have a friend named Amy who I basically met secondhand via
Facebook. Back in 2010 when I raced Ironman Coeur d'Alene, she was
training for Ironman Louisville and had a friend recommend my race blog.
We ended up becoming acquainted through chatting about training and
racing and occasionally about "real life" stuff. In January, she was
diagnosed with breast cancer and in February, she began chemotherapy.
She started a Caring Bridge blog to document her day to day experiences
as she battled cancer, which I read. As a pediatric oncology nurse, I
was not only curious about her experiences, but was able to better help
her understand some of the terminology the doctors were throwing around
and explain some of the aspects of her treatment.

Throughout her
treatment, she has been an inspiration. Not only has she faced the
diagnosis with grace and courage, she has inspired me by continuing her
active lifestyle through this very difficult chapter in her life. And
obviously, I've not been the only person to take notice. A friend of
hers submitted her name to the PR company that runs the annual Lee Jeans
Denim Day campaign. This is an event which takes place in October, and
basically turns casual Friday into a fundraising opportunity for breast

The group ended up choosing her to be the face of their
national campaign this year. In preparation for the photo shoot for
their website and all of their promotional materials, they asked her to
choose a handful of friends who have inspired her, supported her, and
given her courage through this process. She chose a few coworkers, one
of whom is battling cancer herself, a new friend who she met during her
treatments, and to my surprise, she also included me on her short
list… stating that I had been inspiring her with my athletic exploits
ever since we "met" and that I had lately been a source of encouragement
to her through my racing, my fundraising efforts for pediatric cancer,
and shaving my head at the same cancer benefit.

April, we all met at a studio in Kansas City, went through makeup and
wardrobe, conducted video interviews, and a lengthy photo shoot in the
studio, as well as several locations around KC. The website is and the actual day of the event is October 4th, 2013.

Here on Gilligan’s Isle…

Another St. Patrick's Day is in the books!

And we're exhausted.

St. Patrick's Day is our favorite holiday of the year, and we spend a lot of time, money and effort making it fun not only for us, but for the community. We're proud sponsors of the Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade, and our staff and friends participate in many of the fundraising events and on the committee.

It all culminates on March 17 each year with the annual parade.

This year, we built a float around a theme we've considered for many years: Gilligan's Island. We've talked about this one for a long time now, but we've never been able to put together a building plan. It all came together this year.

Our building crew created half a boat called the S.S. Minnow, a giant boulder that it "crashed" into and a beach. We had the full cast of characters and a boat load of Gilligans. We even had the golf cart, native islanders and the golf cart!

Here's a couple pictures:



There's more pictures on our Facebook page, you can check them out here. (You have to be logged into Facebook to see our page.) And we'll have more to add in a few days.

Also, here's a short video made with Vine from Twitter user @uh_burton:


Bartender Danny and the KC CureSearch

Remember Danny?

He tended bar at the Sandbar for many, many years, and he still does occasionally when we need help.

Danny graduated from nursing school, moved to Kansas City and now works at Children's Mercy Hospital in the oncology unit. That means he works with children who have cancer. Can you imagine how incredibly sad, yet rewarding his job must be?

Danny is also a rockstar fundraiser. For the last I don't even know how many years, Danny has participated in Bike MS, a major fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He raised thousands of dollars for the organization.

This year, Danny has turned his efforts to a cause very close to his own patients- the CureSearch Walk.

Here's what Danny says:

I started working on the Hem/Onc unit at Children's Mercy in November, and I am excited to be getting involved with a charity that directly supports the kiddos I get to work with on a daily basis.

Often I feel like donating to "research" feels like a very vague gesture towards a cause. With this charity, I get to see firsthand where the money is going. It is going to directly fund enrolling my patients in these research studies to find new and better treatments for childhood cancer. I sincerely hope you'll consider making a donation to help these amazing and brave kids overcome their diseases!

Danny's fundraising goal is $1,500, and so far he's raised $1,375. He'll likely meet this goal, but there's no reason he has to stop there!

Help Danny kick cancer in the pants. Click here to donate.