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!

Read Across Lawrence brings kids to the bar

Something you probably don’t see every day: thirty kids, in a bar, without their parents.

That was our day yesterday at the Sandbar.

Our friends at the Lawrence Public Library are hosting Read Across Lawrence, an annual community reading event, and this year’s selection for kids is “Turtle in Paradise.” The book is about a turtle who heads for Key West, and the hurricane of 1935 is featured in the book.

Read Across Lawrence includes educational events to go along with the book, so, naturally, it made sense to hold an event at the Sandbar. Where else in Lawrence can you find a little bit of Key West, and a lot of hurricanes?

So yesterday, about thirty kids got their first taste of the Sandbar as they moved between three educational stations and learned about the science behind hurricanes from UKanTeach students.

After about 45 minutes of learning, the kids got to experience the famous indoor hurricane, complete with the cheesy video and napkins flying through the air.

This might be the cutest thing ever:

Once it was over, the kids got a souvenir strand of beads to take home with them.

A funny thing that happened: as he got his beads, one kid asked Dave “can I have a mustache?”

Dave and I looked at each other in a bit of shock. “How does he know about mustaches?” we wondered.

But we just got the box of mustaches and started handing those out, too.

Thanks, Lawrence Public Library and parents, for letting us be part of Read Across Lawrence!

Mrs. Mass checks out Sandbar Subs

Our new neighbor across the street, the Sandbar Subs World Headquarters, has been open for almost a month now and business seems to be brisk.

If you haven’t stopped by to check it out, you should– it’s not just a sandwich shop (although the sandwiches and wraps are delicious!) but also a place you can stop and get a fountain drink, a cell phone charger or a bottle of Advil.

Remember Round Corner? For you newbies, it was a drugstore on the corner of 8th and Mass, where Italian restaurant Intorno now sits. Round Corner was an old-fashioned drugstore that also housed the Cheese Shoppe, one of Dave’s favorite former restaurants downtown.

Well, personally, the new Sandbar Subs reminds me of a cross between the two. Think convenience store plus quick, quality food.

We aren’t the only ones who think so. Our Twitter friend Mrs. Mass recently paid a visit across the street and wrote about her experience for the Lawrence Journal-World.

Favorite quote:

“Did I say this sub shop is going to do wonders for downtown? … This sub shop is going to do wonders for downtown.”

You can read the full article here. Apologies in advance if you have to answer weird Google survey questions in order to read the story– we promise it’s worth it!

Back in time with Planter’s Punch

New tropical drink on tap!

First, though, a little bit of history behind this one.

Our wonderful Lawrence Public Library is gearing up for this year’s Read Across Lawrence, the eleventh edition of the community reading event sponsored by the library, KU Libraries and Friends of the Library. This year’s book is “The Worst Hard Time,” by Timothy Egan.

The book chronicles the stories of a half dozen families during the Dust Bowl and how they survived. Lots of community events are planned for Read Across Lawrence, including book discussions, exhibits and Film Church at Liberty Hall.

Read Across Lawrence Book Night kicks off the month-long event, and this is where the new tropical drink comes in.

Our library does a great job planning events that appeal to a wide variety of people, and they’ve certainly tapped into the bar scene. On Friday, Aug. 30, during Final Fridays in downtown Lawrence, library staff will be wandering around Mass St. handing out copies of “The Worst Hard Time” and library tattoos (of the temporary kind).

What’s in it for you? Well, showing your library tattoo or a copy of the book will unlock secret drink specials at several Lawrence establishments, including ours!

We did some quick research to find out what types of drinks were popular in the Dust Bowl era, and we found that the list included punches. So, we found a great recipe for Planter’s Punch, a rum-based drink that we like to think of as a vintage version of our tropical drinks.

Stop by Friday night to try our Planter’s Punch, and if you show a copy of the RAL book or your library tattoo, it’s only $2.50!

Our new neighbor, Sandbar Sub Shop, is also participating in the book night and offering $1 fountain drinks. See the full list of drink specials here. And, stay tuned for news about the kids’ version of Read Across Lawrence- we’re involved in that, too!

The Buskers are Back!

Lawrence’s favorite weird and fun-for-the-whole-family downtown festival, the Lawrence Busker Fest, is back this weekend for its fifth year.

Wondering what a busker is? You must not be a townie. Just this week, I had the pleasure of explaining to an out-of-town friend what I meant when I offhandedly referred to the “busker fest.”

You know the freaks, geeks, artists and musicians that hang out on the streets downtown and perform for tips? They’re buskers. (I hope you aren’t offended by the description. I took that straight off the Lawrence Busker Fest website.)

The difference is, with the festival, there’s an organized schedule of some of the most talented performers around. There’s also facepainters, statues and balloon artists spread around downtown to entertain the whole family.

The festival kicks off Thursday night with Busker Ball at the Granada, and the buskers will perform on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Click here for a schedule.

And, for the adults out there, you can enjoy a cold beverage outside! That’s right—8th street in front of the bar will be closed to traffic and we’ll be selling drinks outside on Friday and Saturday evening.

So, bring the kids downtown for some of the most unusual entertainment you’ll find in Lawrence this weekend!