The Sandbar on Instagram

Because we need yet another social media sharing site, right?

If you haven't heard of Instagram, it's a fun photo app for the iPhone that lets you take pictures, add cool filters and then share it on Facebook, Twitter or Flickr. You can also follow other Instagram users, "like" their pictures and leave comments.

We set up an account a long time ago, when Instagram first arrived on the scene, but we haven't done much with it. Recently, we decided to check it out again and fell in love.

You might have noticed the pictures on our recent blog about the Tour of Lawrence street party, or the picture yesterday of the gifts we got from Katy. Those were all taken with Instagram, with funky filters applied. It makes our pictures look better.

We were also surprised that so many other Instagram users had started following us, despite the fact that we had posted no pictures in months. Thank you, friends! If you're on Instagram, find us- our username is thesandbar.

We promise to start using Instagram more often, and we promise to share some of the pictures with those of you who are iPhone-less.

More about Instagram here.

Thoughts of a Bartender

These aren't necessarily deep thoughts, but they're thoughts that every bar customer should know. Dave's Facebook page after a busy night at the bar is a gold mine for this stuff.

  1. You usually are not the only one in the bar.
  2. Don't wave your hands.
  3. Don't yell my name.
  4. Don't order a drink while I'm in the middle of making another order.
  5. Don't throw popcorn at me.

And this observation was left by a frequent patron, and it's true:

If you treat your bartenders with respect, compassion, and patience (generous gratuity, too), you will be treated with great service and friendliness (& they'll tolerate your drunk self so much better, too).

Keep this in mind next time you're out at a bar!

Small Businesses: Need Help with Social Media?

Today, a slight deviation from the normal posts about stupid things people do in the bar, downtown events and other random stories that may or may not directly relate to the Sandbar.

The nice people at Philsquare, a local web development company, asked me to help teach a class about social media. It's a basic class, geared to small businesses and organizations here in Lawrence who want to learn more about how social media can benefit them.

Social media is not a magic solution, and it takes work. But I absolutely believe that it can do good things for a business. I'm excited to share some of the things I've learned while building up the Sandbar's presence in various online networks, like Twitter, Facebook and this blog. And trust me, I've learned a lot!

I'm teaching the class with Bailey DeReus, communications director for Philsquare and avid social media user. Here's the class description:

Interested in learning to use various social media platforms? Do you want to understand why using Twitter and Facebook can be successful to engaging customers and increasing business? In this workshop you will learn what services and work for your business and the strategy to making them successful. We will also discuss how businesses using social media locally have an impact on local consumers.

We'd love to see you there! It's only $25 for two hours of information, with plenty of time for questions.

The class is on Wednesday, June 22, at 7 p.m. It will be held in the computer lab at Van Go. If you're interested, please go here to register online.

If you know of a business or organization who might be interested, please pass this on!

Saturday’s a Big Day for the Sandbar

Saturday's a big day for the Sandbar crew!

Some of our staff and friends are participating in this year's Walk MS, a fundraiser for the National MS Society. This is the second year we've put together a team for the Walk, and so far I think we've raised more money than last year. But, in my recap of last year's event, I failed to mention our grand fundraising total, so who knows.

We've raised $2,636 so far! You can still donate if you're so inclined.

And this year, we added a new twist for our social media-obsessed friends: for every check-in on foursquare through April 30, the bar will donate a buck to the cause. We're close to $100!

Our walkers will descend on the bar afterward for a post party, which will morph into a pre-party for the event of the season: Jimmy Buffett's return to Kansas City!

We've chartered two buses to carry parrotheads to the show, and our pre-party officially starts at 2 p.m. We'll have food, drinks and parrothead hat-making supplies, and the buses will leave at 4:30 p.m. for the Sprint Center.

We even printed special commemorative T-shirts for the event! They're available in red, orange and green, and in a variety of sizes, for $12 each. The Sandbar logo is on the front, and a great graphic of "Stage Diving with Jimmy Buffett" is on the back.

We'll have plenty of stories after this weekend!

We’re in the Lawrence Top 5 City Guide!

I spotted something cool on Facebook this morning: the Lawrence Top 5 City Guide. I love Facebook's way of telling us the pages that our friends liked; 9 times out of 10, that's how I find new, cool Facebook pages to follow.

The page is just what it says: a guide to the top 5 spots in Lawrence in several different categories like restaurant, bar and places to play. We're proud to be chosen as the #4 bar in Lawrence, and we're in excellent company among some of our favorites!

The page explains that a group of 30-something Lawrence residents who love Lawrence, so they got together and picked their favorite places. It's not scientific, they didn't poll the world and your opinion is likely to be different. Face it, favorite places are very personal and very subjective!

It's a very cool and beautifully designed photobook, highlighting some great places in Lawrence! Thanks for including us!


Image borrowed from the Lawrence, KS Top 5 City Guide Facebook page. Isn't it fabulous?! Go like it.

Downtown Shot Put was Awesome!

Moving the Kansas Relays elite shot put event downtown, and more specifically, in front of our building, was pretty much the greatest idea ever.

The weather was great (if just a little bit chilly) and the crowd was estimated at 2,500 people. We were thrilled to be able to watch the shot put area construction right outside our window:

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I even taught Dave how to post pictures on Twitter so he could keep Sandbar fans updated with the progress all afternoon. He did a great job!

We set up a trailer and portable bar behind the shot put area. Sandwiches from Sandbar Subs were available, and beer was allowed in the street. Our patio was full all night. The shot put event only lasted about an hour, which is shorter than we expected, but it brought out a great crowd for an event that most people have probably never seen before.

The shot putters were great, too. They stuck around all evening, signing autographs and taking pictures and maybe even putting a few shots somewhere else.

Here's a few pictures from our friends Wendy and Phil:

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The night was a huge success!

Here are a couple other cool things to check out:

Nick Krug from the Lawrence Journal-World made an amazing time-lapse video of the entire event, including construction. His camera was on our roof.

Our Twitter buddies at Larryville Life wrote a recap of their shot put experience.

Dave was interviewed by the Kansas City Star on the roof of the bar. And by interviewed, we mean asked one question.

We wish we could keep the sand triangle. Who needs a street? As our Twitter friend @fxdgear said "Not me! Just a swimsuit, flippy-floppies and a drink with an umbrella!" We couldn't agree more.