Going to do something a little different this letter besides highlight all the great bands, sports – like playoff NBA, NHL and the MLB kicking into the new season, and mentioning new things like the SSG Garden going into it’s 4th year and creating options for our kitchen – and talk about the Internet and the access people have to review and read others reviews of almost everything. Examples: YELP, TRIP ADVISOR, FACEBOOK, and GOOGLE . In many ways it is a beautiful thing to be in a new town and have access and evaluation of places when deciding where to go. Most of us look at the group rating and eliminate the extremes, as we know how certain people can be when given the opportunity to criticize. I, myself reviewing as Sarah Street, gave my first ever rating on Trip Advisor of a hotel I stayed at in Pretoria, South Africa recently. I gave the 131 on Herbert Baker a full 5 Star rating, and some minor points they should focus on to be even better. I did that because I truly had a time of my life while there, and wanted to give them a few friendly ways to improve. I guess I could have eliminated a star or two for it, but why? It was wonderful and I wanted people to know that more then what wasn’t so perfect. Read it if you want to see more of my style of review and what I am referring to. I have also been much more aggressive about responding to negative reviews of my own place, and being thankful to positive ones. It makes me crazy when someone comes to a popular busy place and decides to bash it. You see that most people are giving it high marks, but because you didn’t like the lighting, the band or being asked to pay a door music charge (which starts at 9 pm on Friday and Saturdays, only applies to seating downstairs and the deck, and goes to the live performers), the choice you made on the menu, or something else that irked you , you decide to tell the world it is not worthy of their patronage? All the other people who love being there are not as critically smart as you are? I often find that reviewers general reaction to most places is negative, so is that evaluation more about the place being reviewed or the person doing the reviewing? I will often ask to speak with a manager if the server or food I am experiencing is not up to my par when I am out dining elsewhere, but to share that with the world is not my cup of tea. I know how many things are involved at trying to be perfect in this business and to think my one bad experience is worth charting and grading, well one, I don’t have the time and two, I don’t want the time! Quietly telling the server, manager or host what was wrong at the end of the meal is much more meaningful to me, as well as deciding whether to go ever go back. When I was in South Africa, the bride and groom of the wedding I was there for, took me out for dinner on the last night. They had been to a fine dining place the night before and thought I would be impressed with the food, and even more, the service. Different servers for every aspect of the meal – wine and drink, appetizers, entrees, water, bus people for every course, dessert, all separate servers. How could the service not be perfect? Well it wasn’t and actually was pretty bad in many ways. My evenings hosts were upset that they had brought me there because we did not have the same experience they did the night before. The groom freaked a bit on the host as we were leaving, so I took a minute and explained to her why he was so upset. He had wanted to show off the place to a friend who, as a restaurant owner, would surely be impressed. Perhaps that got the message through, perhaps it did not, but to go further and post about the experience in a review had no interest to me. Similar bad experience(s) in Atlantic City where my Chef and I went for a restaurant convention. I did take the time and tell our hosts, and biggest food supplier, that the lack of service at most bars and restaurants at a convention for people in the service business probably should be addressed to the host casino. AC is a town struggling to regain its reputation as a destination, and for various reasons seems to have a hard time with the basic aspects of our industry. I have not mentioned the name of the restaurant in Pretoria, or the Casino in AC, because that would be me starting my own review site. Would I be doing the world a favor by posting my displeasure on existing ones ? Maybe. I wouldn’t be doing myself a favor, as I am already over critical of where I go, and even more so of this restaurant, The Sarah Street Grill. We meet once a week as a management team to talk about all things that could be better. We do go over all reviews, and there are occasions where a reviewer actually helps me make a point to my team on something we need to focus on. Sometimes my constant how we can be better strive for perfection needs a customer agreeing with me to get the team to not think its just me! Those reviews get thanks, and the many more positive ones, of course, do as well, but that petty negative creep who likes to bash as many places as they can, get a little grief back from me. Being around for 22 years and having almost every one of those years be busier then the one before it gives me some room to bite back. I also love it when another customer jumps on a rare negative review in defense of us! All this ramble is just my evaluation of the good and bad of the extreme freedom to share opinion. I am very open, always, to people reaching out to me by direct email to share any advice or criticism, and super appreciative for the many positive reviews on all the sites. Thanks for letting me vent and self analyze a bit!
Sarah Street turns 22 this month, and for that number we felt it would be cool to donate to two charities on the Anniversary celebration. We have chosen both CAMP PAPPILON, a wonderful animal rescue and home finding center in our area, and THE SHERMAN THEATRE, a non profit concert hall that has brought many people to our town and really helped the growth of Stroudsburg and Monroe County. On APRIL 10TH we will donate a total of 22% of our daily sales, have our Annual Pool and Dart Championship, a few 50/50’s, and raffles with many wonderful donations to win from our suppliers, as well as many other local businesses, bars, and restaurants. What a great list of artists we have performing that night as well! Starting a 6 pm we will have THE AQUANTENCES, a trio that will also be performing every Monday, including the 10th, in April. Then it is BILL ROOTH and STEVE McDANIEL, a duo with a long history here at Sarah Street. Steve also plays the last Tuesday of almost every month. Then it is CHRISTIAN PORTER and REGINA SAYLES, who also each play solo one Tuesday most months. They rarely do “bar” performances as a duo anymore, although I do remind them we are no usual bar room or stage, and hopefully will get a few more of them here together soon. Either way, seeing them perform on the 10th together will be special. Whenever there is a chance to see them as a duo or a full band , it should not be missed. They packed the Sherman Theatre a few times with the full band, and maybe just maybe we get a full band warm up for a big venue here on our stage some time this year. Then it is TOM GRAHAM, who is also going to be here every Thursday next month in May. Tom , myself, and Sarah Street go back more years then either of us can say easily. It has ben a lot of fun watching him evolve as a musician over the past two decades. Ouch. Sorry that stung a bit because I was remembering the first time I heard him perform and how different both of us looked 20+ years ago at the GOAL LINE bar in East Stroudsburg! Then it is YOUNG LION, a band that formed to tribute GEORGE WESELY and has already grown into it’s own really special project. I am very proud of having something to do with this band existing, and I really hope they will be around a long time. They are also playing the Friday before our 22nd Year Celebration on the 7th and I really recommend you don’t miss either one of there April shows. Then the closers of the evening hit the stage: JOHNNY RYDELL and HAMELL ON TRIAL. This is another duo project that would not have happened without Sarah Street, and both of these artists are a huge part of the music history here at SSG. They are both so unique as people and artists, and combining them is like a mad science project with a positive result! Yes it is a Monday night, but it will be a very special Monday that will stay in your memory a lot longer then the Tuesday morning after!
Lots of other bands and big events happening as well as the 22nd Year Celebration Fund Raiser. BOBBY KYLE returns with his new band on the 8th, and BOBBY SYVARTH is back to the stage where he has so much history on the 21st. The SHIFT is here on the 29th and the last place I saw them rock it was Cape Town, South Africa in March. Some new bands and other great regular bands performing as well. 22 Years of great music here, and it has never been better then right now. Given the awesome acts of the past, that is huge compliment to those of the present.
I planned on writing some observations about the vast ways customers can review and analyze where they go and how they felt about the experience on the internet. Wether Facebook, Yelp, Google, Trip Advisor or many more, it has become both positive and negative in what is does to improve things, and help one another know where to spend our time and money. But, I am running out of room and will probably give my “editorial” input in next months “News Letter”. Sort of my own review of the reviewers one could say.
Most importantly, I want to say thank you again to all of you, my staff, and past staffs for making 22 years possible. Sometimes it seems like a long time, other times like it blew by in minutes -technically which it did, I guess, just millions of them!
What a fun February we had at Sarah Street. Some Winter, some Spring, lots of great music, and lots of business! We just finished a kitchen remodeling, or almost finished, and it sure got tested on the weekends all month. Thanks to all that support this place so regularly and helped us have a great month. We really want to make sure we do our best to keep our quality up when we are slamming busy, and that is why we did the kitchen redesign. That said, when you make dramatic changes to a 20+year old system of doing things it gets a little “awkward” and is awesome that the worst already seems behind us, and it really wasn’t that bad. Speaking of changes: we are getting ready for our third year of the Sarah Street Garden. It made huge leaps forward last year and we are hoping to do the same this year too. Our kitchen is going to make requests for what we grow, and be even more active in the running of The Garden. Our management staff and volunteers, both local customers and staff, are pumped up to continue to work on it to produce more wonderful and fresh produce that makes mouths water in anticipation. We all want to eat healthier and it sure is great when that can also be something that tastes better too. We also will continue to buy other locally grown produce, and help those gardens mature and be around more of the year. We do our best when buying from the big companies, but when something is harvested and on a plate shortly after, it just can’t be beat.
So in March we continue with the featured artist monthly theme with Mondays being the BARELY COVERED DUO and Thursdays being KEITH KENNEY. The first is true to their name, playing cover music few others do, and the second one of very few artists that puts on a full stage show solo. He plays weekends here, and just opened for the Pink Floyd tribute band at the Sherman, and if you haven’t seen him live yet, you should. The weekends are full of one great band after another. SERENE GREEN is here to start off the weekend month on March 3 , and assured me they will have the full band. Then in weekend night order THE TOMMY ROBERTS BAND, MoCHESTER, and then MOONDOG on the 11th. All don’t miss, high energy, and fun bands. THE POCONO DUO TRIO fire things up on St Patties day, so let’s get Irish! That works out cool, because they are also the band that will be on our Float in the St Patties Parade the following Sunday, and then playing after here at the Grill. In between the Duo of the Duo St. Pattie’s Day Parties we have the return of YOUNG LION on a weekend show the 18th. They really have become something special playing every Thursday in January and February, after forming to tribute the great GEORGE WESLEY at his commemorative charity show in December. It is awesome that George’s music continues through them and that they have added, and will continue to add, their own. Then we have four more wonderful bands to finish the month and start April! 2ND ST PLAYERS on the 24th, QUINCY MUMFORD and the REASONS WHY on the 25? Wow. The titles of those bands say enough, as they are always don’t miss SSG nights when either are here. Then we finish with JOE FERRY, on the 31st, and COYOTE LOVE on April 1st. This is one of the best stages anywhere in the damn world, and all these bands, and the solo acts on Tuesday, and the Open Mic-ers on Wednesday, deserve good crowds, good door collections on weekends, and tip jars full of monetary appreciation. They are a tremendous relief from the stresses we all have and we need to keep them out and performing! Put a note on your calendar for APRIL 10th, our 22nd Anniversary. We will be donating 22% of our sales that day to two great Charities – Camp Papillon and AWSOM. Get it? 22 for 2! More details in next month’s letter for that one but reserve the time now!
Well it’s the Super Bowl, and no one does it like we do! We have our all NFL games wing special, prizes given out to someone every commercial – and YES we let the commercials play with sound – something we usually play music over, great dinner specials, and the game on 26 HI DEF monitors. Speaking of the big game between the Patriots and Falcons, how about the story behind the Bud Light $500 Super Bowl Party winner? Well first let me remind people how you get in the contest: every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday NFL night game we raffle off great prizes like sweatshirts, speakers, jerseys, footballs and more in between the 3rd and 4th quarter. Those that don’t win stay in a raffle bin we draw from at the NFC and AFC finals games every commercial until someone here has their name come up. That person and their friends win a $500 Super Bowl party here compliments of Bud Light. This year, after about five names were drawn, MAT MESKO’s name came up. Matt has been to almost every Green Bay Packers game here for years, as well as many other games – but thanks to his Dad, chose to watch the Packer’s playoff game home. Whoops Matt, $500 Super Bowl cash would have helped the pain of the Pack getting their butt kicked by Atlanta! Then a few names later, CHRISTIAN PORTER’s name came out of the bin. Yes the Christian Porter who has played the stage here for the past decade plus. His Dad, Paul was already here reserving a table for his whole family, but was all alone and had to think he and his family just lost a big prize! Then at the 2 minute warning commercial break of the NFC final, LORI PORTER’s name came up! Paul’s wife and Christian’s Mom, and guess what? She wasn’t here yet either, but was on the way. The rule is you have until the next commercial break to show up, and because it was the 2 minute warning, and their was no injuries or time outs, she was able to get in the door as the clocked ticked to 5 seconds before half time! I was counting down over the MIC and the room was as excited about the drama happening as they were of the game – maybe more! Not everyone was routing for Lori to make it, as they wanted the half grand reward still available for them, but no family has supported Sarah Street more then the Porter family, and for a very long time, and they certainly deserved it. The way in went down was also fun for all here to witness. So folks, next year get your name in that bin as many times as you can, and don’t miss the AFC/NFC finals here at SSG. Painful to have your name come up and not be here to celebrate one of our biggest prizes of the year we and our sponsors give away. We call that getting “COOKED”, as one of my best friends Mike Cooke, had his name come up a few years ago, and wasn’t here. Maybe now we call it an ” OVER COOKED MESKO”?
February is another month of great music. YOUNG LION continues as the featured Artists of the Month here every Thursday. This is the best back line George Wesley ever had with JAMIE ZALESKI singing in George’s spot. We all miss George so much, but to hear his music continue, as well as LION’s and Jamie’s, and great reggae covers is a wonderful thing. SERENE GREEN is a great blue grass jam band that hails form the Easton area and has really made Sarah Street their Pocono home stage and they are here on the 4th. COYOTE LOVE and KEITH KENNEY play the next weekend and both are don’t miss shows. SUZE is back from Scranton on the 17th, and 2ND ST PLAYERS, our NYE awesome R&B dance band is back on the 18th. Great rock band on Friday and a great dance, soul, classic dance tunes band on Saturday, why be anywhere else? The last weekend of the month brings in another great blue grass plus a lot more band with the STILL HAND STRING BAND on Friday and a great band from Vermont/Maine on Saturday, CHRIS ROSS and THE NORTH. The CR&TN band travels 9 hours one way to get here, and many who saw them here the second week in January say they were the best band they ever took our stage. That is quite a title with all the incredible music for 22 years here at SSG, but there is no doubt they are great, and if they can drive a total of 18 hours to play for you, you can find a way to be here! Then, as if that is not enough incredible stuff happening, HAMELL on TRIAL asked for a last minute month of Mondays shows to prep for a Europe tour. He and Johnny Rydell will share the stage for a month of Mondays and you don’t even have to pay a door charge. You can tip in the stage tip jar and buy some of Hamell’s terrific art work to show your love for his and Johnny’s music, but there is no cover charge.
There is no doubt Sarah Street is place to make the world a little more tolerable – at least to me. The music, the sports, the food, the service and a serious effort to always make a long time successful place even better is something we all could use a bit off. Hopefully we meet at the Street!
2017. Yes it is here. What will it be? Hopefully a wonderful year for all and I promise we here at Sarah Street will do out best to make it that way. In the first month I think we will be off to good start. We are open New Years Day with all the last games of the NFL regular season. If you are a fan whose team is on the edge, or a fan looking for one last hope for something positive to lead into next season – like me with the LA RAMS, or a team playing backups because they are locked in, it should be some fun football. The night game, GREEN BAY vs DETROIT is winner goes on playoff game and a great finish and great lead to Wild Card Weekend. We will have the same band here both Friday and Saturday for the Wild Card Weekends, the first weekend being MOCHESTER and the second CHRIS ROSS and THE NORTH. Great football and terrific live music after the games? Only here at Sarah Street! Speaking of Sarah, she will be closed a few days this month for some renovations in her kitchen and bar and sushi floors. We will be shut down the 9th, 10th, and 11th and hopefully opening back up the 12th. As you know if you have been coming here for a decent part of the near 22 years we have existed, we always are looking for ways to make this place even better. Our new kitchen design is to hopefully give us more options on preparing more great food and more speed in doing it when we are busy. The new bar and sushi floor? A little less exciting and just needs to be done. Make me happy and say you notice how great they look – even though you won’t. Were you here for the GEORGE WESLEY tribute night on December 2nd? It was wonderful and full of many tears of joy for the music and remorse for no longer having George with us. A band came from that tribute, called YOUNG LION and features Chris and Lion from George’s band and JAMIE ZALESKI on vocals and guitar. They will play reggae, originals, and George’s music and I think they are the beginning of something beautiful. They will be here every Thursday this month, except the 12th, and hopefully for many years to come in the Sarah Street rotation. The second half the month has four great weekend bands in this order: MOONDOG, ALLEN CARRESCIA (a band discovered by manager Kelly), THE SHIFT, and QUINCY MUMFORD @ THE REASONS WHY. Wow. Just move in. Those of you who did move in for the NFL season and filled out the raffle entries every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights, as well as the upcoming playoff of games, YOU WANT TO BE HERE ON SUNDAY THE 22ND FOR THE AFC/NFC FINALS! That is when we draw names out of our raffle bin every commercial until someone here hears their name come up, and that person wins a $500 Super Bowl Party for them and their friends, compliments of Budweiser, here at the Grill on Februray 5th.
One last note. We did lose some wonderful musicians this past year: David Bowie, Prince, Glen Fry, George Michael and more. We lost George Wesley too, and that leads me to my point. I was watching a show on TV and they were talking about how real music will never be what it was. I don’t agree. You will see real music happening in this small room all the time, because you already have for the past 20+ years. Proof is the videos that play here with a mixture of the famous world wide and those famous in this room. When a Jonah Smith, Quincy Mumford, George Wesley , Tom Graham, Bobby Syvarth, Pocono Duo, Five Flutophones or many other house performing videos mix with the videos of The Beatles, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and many other famous bands with their videos, here at Sarah Street with great flow, that is all the proof I need. The art of real music lives on, so support it as much as you can! Much love and happy New Year to you all.
Hard to believe it is the Holidays once again. Seems like we just cleaned up and stocked those decorations yesterday! Well with double decades of practice, I can truly say we are ready for some Cheer here at Sarah Street. The first being a very special tribute night to our good friend and missed super talent GEORGE WESLEY. On Friday December 2nd we will have George’s back line, Chris and Lion, perform George’s music with Jamie Zaleski, from South Side Bandits doing the vocals. These three met in Jamaica when Jamie filled in for George at my Five O b-day party. Johnny Rydell and Steve McDaniel will also be stepping up to perform some of George’s fantastic reggae originals. Besides that, Sarah Street Grill will be debuting SIX new George Wesley videos from our 20th Anniversary celebration. Two are already out and available to see at SSG’s YouTube channel, but six more will be seen Dec 2 for the first time. Johnny Rydell, on the sound, and Corey Barth, on video, worked endless hours to get these ready for this commemorative tribute day. George often raised money for Wounded Warriors, so in his name, we will be doing the same on Friday the 2nd with a portion of our door money, raffles, and 50/50’s. The very next night, Dec 3, THE SHIFT returns! They also played in Jamaica this past Summer, at the half way to a century party, right before touring in South America where their upbeat rock fusion is very popular. Come out and see why! COYOTE LOVE is back on Dec 9. Have you seen these guys (and gal) yet? You should. THE VIBEZ and JOE FERRY play the two weekend dates before our ANNUAL HAMELL ON TRIAL and JOHNNY RYDELL CHRISTMAS BASH on Dec 17. I know Johnny’s name has come up a lot in this letter, and it should, because he is a BIG part of the whole music scene here at SSG. He does the live sound here, the sound mixes on on our live videos, the editing of our house video files, the maintenance of our sound system and lights AND performs! When he and Hamell get together it is always special – great comedy, great music, and great to watch their very different styles merge. KEITH KENNEY returns on December 23rd, another don’t miss unique performer. I would love to someday have him and Hamell On Trial share a night on stage, because although very different, they both put on a full band show solo. On Christmas Eve we have all the NFL games on, kitchen and sushi open taking orders until 8 PM. The bar will stay open as long as there are people here – or 2 AM, whichever comes first. We probably are closed Christmas day, but I may come in to bartend myself if I can find a few others to help me do it. If so, we would open at 4 and have both the NFL games on. Check back as it gets closer to find out if that is happening. Speaking of the NFL, the games are getting pretty intense. Only here are all the games always on, always all in HI DEF, and sound on the night/solo/playoff games with music over the commercials. Oh, and always .40 Wings, great prizes given away, and a chance to win the $500 Super Bowl party. As we gear up to finish the year strong we have a special SERENE GREEN show here on Dec 29, the night PINK TALKIN PHISH are at the Sherman. Come to the after party or come for a whole night of Serene Greeen. What a great pre NYE party which will be followed by another with the POCONO TRIO DUO on Dec 30th. Then the BIG ONE! The AWSOME party band 2ND STREET PLAYERS is here on NYE. 8 piece R&B and Dance Music band, a Champagne toast at Midnight included, and a Dance DJ/VJ starting at 9 and during all the band breaks for $20 ticket charge in advance, or $25 night of, if they are still availabe? Yes, for real. At a hotel or club in the city it would cost 20x more and give you less. It is a great house party vibe with someone else doing all the work. You can also come here for dinner before you go to one of those house parties too, but make a reservation in advance. Chef Rob always has fantastic NYE dinner specials as well as our Sushi bar and regular menu. All downstairs reservations after 8 PM do need a show ticket, but I guarantee there will be no regrets for those that make their whole last part of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 here at Sarah Street.
Once again, thanks to all that have been part of another year of Sarah Street, as well as those that are no longer with us, like George Wesley. He and many other loved and missed people that have been a big part of who we are, and will always be remembered within these walls – and in George’s case through our speakers. Happy Holidays to all of you and your family, friends, and of course, your pets, from my staff, myself, and Howie, Bella and June – my pets.
As we get close to finishing another year, what a fun month we have planned. Lets start at the beginning, the first weekend. On November 4th, The Vine Brothers return to the Sarah Street stage. These guys are simply fantastic, and if you have seen them you know, and if you haven’t you should! Watch their videos on the web or here at Sarah Street. The next night, the 5th, is the 2ND STREET PLAYERS, who are also back the night before Thanksgiving, the 23rd. These guys are a fantastic R&B dance band who I am bringing back for New Years Eve. Come out to both these shows and see why. There will be a good chance you will want to get pre tickets for Dec 31st! I do think Sarah Street will be good place to be on Election Night. We will have Regina Sayles on stage and the election results on many a monitor. Certainly a night we are all going to be wanting to watch, as this Presidential Election has been in all our faces like non other, and the results will be very interesting. KEITH KENNY is the only one I book solo on a weekend, besides Hamell on Trial, because he is simply a whole show packed into one. No one has complained about his taking the stage without a band because he is so high energy, and unique. Come see him on the 11th. The next night is THE FERMENTORS return and are another don’t miss band. No need to plug the POCONO DUO TRIO on the 18th, as they are a SSG main stay for a very long time, but the next night, the 19th, has a first timer here. They are DUSTIN DOUGLAS and the ELECTRIC GENTLEMAN, and it is often fun to be here for a new bands debut, and to able to say you were when they become another favorite on our stage. Then it is RAILROAD EARTH weekend at the SHERMAN THEATRE. We are always involved with that great weekend by having pre and post shows. Friday it is THE TOMMY ROBERTS BAND playing here before and after (and during) the FGH show. Saturday we have SERENE GREEN playing from 3 pm to 6 pm, and the DAMON CALCAGNI BAND playing the before, after and during shows. What a fun weekend to work off the too much food we all eat on T-Giving. We are closed on that day so my staff can gather with their family and friends to be thankful.
Speaking of THANKFUL, I want to express some. First I am thankful to my staff, for without them, all the ideas in the word could not happen. Many of them have fully committed to this place as their life careers, and that has and aways will be as big a part of my incentive to grow Sarah Street as any other. Next is to the many customers/friends who make this place their home away from home. The loyalty they have to this place gives us the energy we need to keep it what it is. I also want to thank the thousands of loyal customers we have that are not from around here, but always make it a point to be here whenever in the area. When they express to me, and my staff, that they really wish there was a place like ours closer to them, it really puts wind in our sails. Thanks to the performers who also make Sarah Street part of their lives. They don’t get rich playing this room, but they are very appreciative of the respect and overall quality of how we do things, because they don’t get it as often elsewhere as they deserve. They have worked with me for 21+ years to bring great music from all over the World, and of course, locally, to out stage. Of course a very special Thanks to my Family and Friends, both who are capitalized intentionally! Last, a very sincere THANKS TO ALL for putting up with me being me. Sometimes its me forgetting to say hello because I am trying to not forget the zillion things on my mind as I march through the restaurant, or sharing politics when we all want a break from it, or making all the things I love like music, sports, and great food of various types all in one place that many others would put separate. Lastly, thanks for knowing that I do know that I have many other reasons to express thanks to all of you, but running out of space! Have a great November and hopefully we will see you at the Street.
So a couple of nights ago 80 million plus of us watched the first Presidential debate of the up coming election. Most of us saw two things that made us unhappy, one being a career politician acting like one, and the other looking to be a complete embarrassment to be anywhere close to leading our country. For the record, a long time ago when the male candidate was running in the primaries, I stated that the only logical explanation was that he was really working for the other side. There was no way he could win a popular or electorate vote, which would guarantee the very unpopular lady fully in the political machine to be the next President. Well turns out he is closer then seemed possible to winning, and our state, Pennsylvania is as powerful as any other state, and actually way more powerful then most, in deciding. If he wins our state, he has a strong chance of being the leader of the Free World. It has also become clear to me that there is no “act” and a secret support of the other side from the Republican nominee. He is as crazy and as unqualified as he seems – and very scary to have the title he pursues. Many of my friends are on all sides of this. Some think it makes no difference, some that think he his outside of the machine and supporting him is statement that has to be made, others think he is the Quarterback of their team and they wear red no matter what. Others think a protest vote to a third party is the best option. The friends I agree with think that she is the best, by far, option that we have. To put it as simple as I can: If I was given the title of hiring the next President, I would first look at their resume’s. Hers is long and almost perfectly scripted to the path of leading the Country. Certainly many issues of controversy at some of her earlier positions, and definitely changes in stances on issues of National importance, and some political decisions that seem at least dumb if not dishonest – something very common in most career politicians, but an experience list that almost seems impossible. His, well, not much to be impressed by. Wealthy, or at least living very wealthy, by exploiting as many things as he can. Living a life of a character in a video game, or a reality TV show, or someone that regardless of lifestyle, I personally have no jealousy over. Okay, thats the resume part, lets get to the interview. She scripts out a plan, far from perfect in a world of so many complex, and extremely dangerous issues, but a plan. One that has been adjusted to factor in things her primary opponent showed were very important to this country. Not hard to see that her plan also has a lot to keep the existing machine intact, as it is the one she has been a big part of, but the thinking participants in that machine can see that it needs some serious oiling and maintenance in a hurry to keep running and (hopefully) evolving. He says not much about anything specific except to point out all the things that are in terrible shape. When I ask how he will fix these things, he says something that means nothing, and repeats it three times, every time. He points out that many issues have been around a long while and something different has to be tried, but other then pointing out the fear most of us have, and suggesting isolationism in a shrinking World, he has very little to say. Rebuild the infrastructure, raise the military spending, and reducing taxes for the rich are ideas from someone who already doesn’t pay federal taxes and brags about it? Look, I know our Government has many faults. I know the two party system needs to be changed. I know it is struggle to grow a business, and increase the money and lifestyle of those that work it because we have done it here at Sarah Street for 21+ years. It sure would be sooner and easier if health care was not so ridiculous, and the huge amount of taxes and penalties such a burden. That said we have found a way to grow, and paid a lot of taxes to help keep things running around us. I want better lives for all that work here, and everywhere. I want positive change in the economy, both in our Country and the World. I want a global environment that has a chance to improve before our kind is wiped out. I want less war, not more. I want American pride to prosper and spread to other countries. I want our Country to continue to be multi ethnic as that is our backbone, as well as safe. He is not the path to any of those things, and hopefully she can and will be. If not, hopefully the other side gives us a less embarrassing option in four years then the one they have this time, as well as trying to help fix things right away instead of campaigning the day after this election ends.
Lots of great things going on at the Grill. Just look at our calendar, our Facebook, and the website. Sorry to mix politics and the world we like to get away from that stuff together, but this is a time to talk and think like few others.
As Summer comes to an end, and Fall a soon start, we, as always, start with two big SSG Traditions. The first is being in charge of the Main Stage in the Court House Square for STROUDFEST and having our food booth there as well, and the second is being the best place to watch the NFL Season in our area. Here is some details on the first one: COYOTE LOVE will be playing here September 2, Friday, and then opening Stroudfest at NOON the next day. What a unique and fun band! Then it is The 2ND ST PLAYERS keeping the Court House Square groovin around 2 30. This R&B-Dance-Jam mostly local band is a regular on the Sarah Street Grill stage, and if you come see them outdoors at Stroudfest you will find out why we have them here so often. They will also be back the night of September 24th, and after you see them you will want to plan to be at the Grill every time they play, including New Years Eve! I describe them as a great wedding band that is feeling it for real, not the fake, reading off of charts, board looking music professionals you see at most weddings! If you are looking for such a band on such an occasion, I highly recommend them. Then the closer of Stroudfest and the evening band here that night, Sept 3rd, is THE VINE BROTHERS. Not blood brothers, but music brothers that play a rocking style of Bluegrass eclectic jam like no other. All three of these acts are don’t miss, just like almost all the Sarah Street Grill music.
Before I talk about all the other great music to come in September, let me get back to the second SSG September tradition, NFL Football! All the games, all pre labeled on the Hi Def video screens, and multiple sound options. Lots of bars now have the NFL Ticket, mostly because of the success we have had doing it for 21 years, but none do it as well as us. We still have our Soundogs, at least until they all break, for sound, but there is also a new phone App called Tunity. It is another great way to listen to the games from your smartphone to a headphone. Figure the game playing in one ear, and the ability to have a conversation because the other ear is free. Or bring a powered speaker to plug your phone into – just turn down those commercials! Of course besides the NFL, and lots of drink specials and prizes being given away along with it, we will have College Football – not all the games, but very many. September is always full of important MLB games as that season winds down. Can the YANKEES or METS squeak in to a Wild Card game? IDK, but come watch and find out here!
So did you notice that we went 7 days a week of having live music this Summer? Well that does stop during the NFL season, but it will return in 2017. For now we have the MONDAY NIGHT, THURSDAY NIGHT, and SUNDAY NIGHT NFL games on with sound and music over the commercials on the first floor, and on with music playing the whole time on the second floor. In years past THE POCONO DUO would play following the game Sunday nights, but not this year. Come out and support their last Sunday of 2016 on the 4th. Don’t despair too much! There will often be the POCONO SOLO , Toby Costas, playing Sunday late night, as he is on the 25th, and many other Sunday nights during the NFL Season.
CHRISTIAN PORTER BAND on the 9th and QUINCY MUMFORD and THE REASONS WHY are back on the 10th! What a fun weekend that will be. Then on a Tuesday night, the 13th, we have two VERY unique projects sharing a weeknight: SIT KITTY SIT and BIRDS EAT BABY. Look these guys (and all our bands) up on the NET. You can often do so just by clicking on our calendar at SARAHSTREETGRILL.COM, or just search the names. What else you ask? Well THE POCONO DUO TRIO , of course! They are, and have been in our house rotation for a very long time, and will be again on the 16th. We also have one of Scranton/Wilkes Barre biggest draws returning on the 17th, SOUTHSIDE BANDITS. What another fun party weekend that will be too! Who wasn’t mentioned yet? Well three bands are back for their second time, SERENE GREEN on the 23rd, and DISPLACED PEOPLES on the 30th and THE MOONDOGS on October 1. Did I start talking about Oct 1, and NYE in this letter?! Where the heck does the time go!
A very sad reminder of how precious life and music is, hit us all when we lost George Wesley, just a few weeks after we had planned to listen to him perform in the Cliffs of Negril. I have known George since 1992, longer then the 21+ years I have been here. I was just 26 years old, running a big night club in Wilkes-Barre PA. His band played every Sunday night, and after a long weekend, every weekend, of working a very stressful job, I would get thin skinned when his band would pack up slow. When he would respond to me with a Jamaican Rasta vibe in his tone, I could lose my head, and once said “your from NE PA, not the Caribbean, stop faking it!”. Boy was I wrong. George was always George and his music was in many ways more authentic Reggae then many Jamaican versions. I was so excited to be bringing him to where Bob Marley made the Reggae capital of the World, Jamaica. I could show the locals, I have come to know in my many trips to Negril, how real Reggae can be coming from Pennsylvania. Unfortunately a quick and vicious sickness made other plans. As I said in lasts months letter, Chris and Lion from his band did attend with others, and we did hear a whole lot of great music, but if only George had made it, the already great memories would have been even better! We were very lucky that George had made a home here at Sarah Street the last few years, and that we recorded his show at our 20th Anniversary. Two of those videos are finished and can be seen at sarahstreetgrill.com or the Sarah St youtube channel. We will finish the rest and debut them all together in a commemorative night that we are in the stages of planning now, perhaps December 2, and with many more details to be coming.
Well as we speak of great music, and how it needs to be appreciated while you can, there is another crazy great month coming at you this August. HAMELL ON TRIAL will be doing both 3 of 5 Mondays (the 1st, 22nd, and 29th) as well as an Art show. He will be setting up the exhibit on the first Monday, doing the Opening two weeks later at 7 pm on the 22nd. Have you seen his work? It is really cool. Two pieces hang already in my office, and he has been selling them quicker then he can get them done. As we, speak – or as I write this – he is painting like mad to get the work ready. Then to have him performing 3x in one month is a real treat. That is kind of the theme this August – multiple shows for multiple artists: The POCONO DUO does three of four Sunday nights as well as Friday the 12th; 2ND ST PLAYERS doing the first Saturday and then two more Thursdays as they gear up for STROUDFEST; KEITH KENNEY doing the second Monday and Saturday the 20th; and the VIBEZ doing one Thursday and Friday the 26th. I can say for sure there has never in 21 years been a month with this type of booking. We also have some great touring bands with MOCHESTER, MOODOG, and CHRIS ROTH AND THE NORTH. If in at SSG, ask for a video of Chris Roth’s band to be played (or watch them on the net), and you can see why he, as well as all our musical acts, should not be missed.
As we say goodbye to George, and hello to a great cast of musicians taking our stage, I once again want to make a claim. This is one, if not the very best small room stages in the entire country, if not the world. The sound is almost always perfect – yes loud at times – as certain types of music need volume, the artists some of the best anywhere, and the vibe in the room of sharing sports and live music unique. The only thing missing, and only sometimes, is the crowd that is not full enough. This month is another opportunity to use live music to get away from the stresses we all feel, and see some of the best of many different styles of music in a room like ours. Show up and support the Art of Live Music. Pay the door charge if there is one, throw some more in the tip jar if you can, and encourage what we would all miss very much if it ever stops – like how I and many others feel about George Wesley.
George Wesley 1954 – 2016
Greetings from Sarah Street Negril, Jamaica! We, some of Sarah Street’s staff and friends, are finishing a month of bringing a lot of the SSG vibe to the Cliffs of Negril. While you were there enjoying our garden, the end of the NBA and NHL seasons and MLB hitting its prime time, and a long list of great musicians, we have been doing the same in paradise. Lion and Chris from George Wesley’s band jammed with Jamie Z, from Southside Bandits, the first week. They were joined by a long list of local Reggae rappers, including Sexy Rexy (Google him!) and Fernando – two Negril legends. As we finish up an unbelievable celebration of life, The Shift has flown in to play the remaining days here. Last night was their first jammin evening of what will be four straight, and they killed it with the assistance of Riosamaya, a fantastic Argentine couple touring from South America. Got a feeling we will someday see them on the Stroudsburg SSG Stage. While this has been an extremely wonderful overall time, life’s other side does follow us all, and we are all wishing George could have made the trip here and given Jamaica the special treat of his music. Lets all bond our spirits to make him fully recover and we celebrate by planning a duplication of this trip sooner then later! Hopefully more of you will also join us, because all the photos and videos we have been shooting can’t even come close to actually being here. Also I, and all that knew him, lost a friend when AJ – Arageon JR – decided to visit his name mentor in Dog Heaven. Being the stand up Gentledog he was his entire life, he waited until we were down here to leave us. No place is perfect to deal with losing family, a friend, or a pet that gave you the joy of their love, but having great music and friends around you, in a place of off the charts beauty, certainly helps. This whole trip actually started for me at our 3rd Annual Wing Festival in the SSG Parking Lot on June 12. What an event of positive feelings! We raised a lot of money for the Blue Ridge Fire Department, Teddy’s Tavern defended it’s Title with another Best Overall as well as Best Decorated Booth. Really great feelings all around in the group of local Bars and Tavern’s that were there. I really want to thank them for including Sarah Street in a the list of legendary places like Rudy’s, Teddy’s , Floods, Goal Line, Cinder Inn, and the rookie in the crew, Warrior. It made me flush to be treated as one of them, even though SSG is 21 years old, it still seems new to me in comparison to most of them. Lots happening in July at The Grill to help those of us South get used to being back in the Poconos! Many new bands, a bunch of our best regular bands, and even a JONAH SMITH show in Blairstown on the 9th. That’s right, SSG Legend, Jonah Smith is in from LA and doing a show 15 miles into NJ. We will be having an after party with DISPLACED PEOPLE’S and maybe, just maybe, Jonah takes visit to his long time home away from home, the SSG Stage late night. How about a early dinner at Sarah St, a 20 minute ride to the Jonah show, and then an after party back in the Burg? I am in! Please excuse my upcoming extreme over use of the Yoh Mon words – just can’t be helped.
Before I start talking about June, let me first give love and thanks to some key employees whose life has taken them to new destinations. Sara Marie, who has worked at Sarah Street for over six years, and Nazreen who has been here for almost three, have moved on to hopefully wonderful new lives. If not, they will always have a home here, and we will miss them very much while they are gone. On that note, rarely are we aggressively hiring, as usually there is a waiting list to get aboard the Sarah Street team, but with the two of them gone, and others graduating college or transferring, we are right now. If you, or someone you know wants to come be a part of our family, and has some good experience in the service industry, come see us! Part time and full time positions are available. Remember that you have to learn a lot of things: the main menu, the sushi menu, the wine list, the beer list, whats growing fresh in the garden, who is performing on the stage, what teams are playing on our HI DEF monitors, and most importantly, what mood is Dave in. Ha ha, (well all good jokes have a little reality to them, and even most bad ones). A note to all of our thousands of regulars, we are very busy – in fact that busiest we have ever been in a place that has been high volume for double decades – and many of our staff is new and soon more will be. They already have learned a lot, and soon will know even more, but know we are working a hard to replace some key folks, like Sara and Naz. No excuses, just a reality. We still have our core in place, and those people will soon have all of our new ones be part of that core. Those of us who have made this place our life careers promise that to you! Not only will we maintain what we have become, but will continue to improve it as we have done for 21 years. Speaking of improving, I had one of the best meals here ever just last night, and requested it to made again today. It was a Grilled Sea Bass over top of our fresh Sarah Street garden salad with capers, black olives, tomatoes, crumbled blu cheese, and onions with a lemon vinegar dressing. OMG it was like ice cream – I didn’t want it to be finished! The SSG Garden, in its second year, is giving us some wonderful seasonal options for you (and me) to enjoy. Okay, now lets talk about June. We have moved Open Mic back to its original home, Wednesday nights. Sachin Rodriguez and Friends will be doing the featured artist Thursdays, and every single Friday and Saturday has a don’t miss show on the stage. It has been unbelievable to me how many nights of great music are happening on our stage. I don’t even have any openings until Oct/Nov because so many wonderful music acts are in our rotation. The only thing that ever bums me out is when a great band is playing to not enough people, and a combination of luck (me who books the shows) and skill (the artists that take our stage) is making that happen less, and I hope someday it will happen never. Hey, if you have a passport and want to join a party for me turning half a century, a bunch of us are getting crazy in Jamaica in the cliffs of Negril. Be there from June 13 to the 30th at the Villas Sur Mer. If they have any rooms there left, you get a 20% discount by using my name, and there are many other places nearby to stay. Already close to 100 people going, at different times, as well as two Sarah Street bands, The George Wesley Band and The Shift. Going to be fun and you can see photos on the Sarah Street Facebook and my Facebook (David Lapoint – the one with the Bulldog head resting on mine) of things going on – well some things! Be writing July’s letter from there too, so if you can’t make it in person, I will try to get you to feel some of the experience.
Have a great Summer all and I will see you at the Street – except from June 13 to the 30th!
So doing something different for this Letter. Instead of talking about all the great music this month – and it, as always, is really worth checking out. In fact, as I type this, I realize that I at least have to give a plug to a very special show happening on Mother’s Day night when THE HIGGS come back into town from California. They did this once before when touring the East Coast, and it was a major concert in a small room. Come out after making your Mom happy, or bring her like I plan to do, and really enjoy a great night. Take a look at the calendar and see all the great acts happening in May, you can usually go right from our calendar to their website and Facebook pages. Okay back to my “different” form of the Monthly What I Have to Say Letter:
DOG’S IN PUBLIC PLACES
So if you have a long history with Sarah Street, you probably remember Arageon. He was my Boxer, and traveled with me wherever I went. Actually I didn’t have much of a choice, because unless I left him with a beautiful woman, like my roommate, one of my best friends, and one of Sarah Street’s original staff members, Janine Kashimba – you know the one the Pasta Kashimba is named after – he would get pretty destructive at home. For example, he once tore up my leather couch cushions, and then (no BS) tried to re-stuff the foam into them himself. I knew that because they were upside down and on a weird angle, and most of the foam was in them instead of all over the place. As long as he was with me, or in my car, he was content anywhere I went. Well it is often too cold or hot to leave a dog in a car, so he would often be in my office at Sarah Street. When the kitchen closed, or I knew or asked the customers that were there if it was okay, he would come out into the bar. He would give most everyone a hello, then often go lie on the stage while the band performed. In the 10 years that he was often part of the SSG scene there was only one complaint from a customer to our awesome, and long time, Health Inspector, Jeff Wilkins. Jeff did give me a call along the lines of “You know it is not okay for a dog to be in a public dining place… don’t you?” and I said that I did and was even more cautious to make sure no one was offended for Arageon to be in the bar or dining rooms before I let him. More often then not, people would actually be requesting his presence, and I would tell them they would have to wait until the kitchen closed. This was not actually something that made it legal, but kept things low profile enough to get away with it. I have three really great dogs to replace that one, and they visit once in a great while, but two of them wander too much looking for food and kids, and the other is a big scardy away from home and has to be no further then two feet from me. Why am I telling this story? Because people have been asking if they can bring their dogs with them to Sarah Street, mostly on the outside deck, and we have had to come up with a policy. One of the issues was that with the tables out on Main St, some of the other local Bars and Restaurants were actually encouraging people to have their dogs with them. If they could bring their dogs out on Main Street, why not the SSG deck, a place with a history of being at least owner dog friendly? At the very same time we got a review on our Facebook page that loved everything, but was very upset about a dog being in the dining room during diner time, and deducted 3 of 5 stars because of it. I replied to that letter and let them know that the people with that dog had paper work making it legal to bring their guardian dog wherever they went. Someone with a guardian dog paperwork can bring a dog on a plane, a mall, or any public place. Of course one would expect a guardian dog to behave like Arageon did over 10 years ago, and this one was being fed on the floor, and quite active while the table who gave the review was right next to them. The fact that the dog was not a good public dog, and we could do little about it, is a little upsetting. We, the management team, discussed if there was a way for us to allow all dogs on the deck, and permitted guardian dogs in the building. Just a few days before were dealing with making an official policy, I had told several people that it would be okay to bring dogs on the deck. After all, if I would allow my dog to roam wherever ten years ago, why not let folks bring theirs on the deck now? Well, the management team came up with lots of scenarios that could present big problems – like two dogs not getting along, or children being in danger, or how they would get to the deck without coming through the restaurant, and quite a few more. After a long discussion, it was basically decided that we are too high volume to be dealing with people bringing pets with them unless they had guardian dog paperwork. As a business owner I understood our decision, as a dog lover, I hated it. So here it is: If you see a dog at Sarah Street, it is either a legal guardian dog, or one of mine – and since Bella, Howard and AJ are not Arageon, that won’t be often. I promise Jeff!
Remember Sarah Street is great place to watch the NBA and NHL playoffs as well as the METS, PHILLIES , and YANKEES, in HI DEF, while also watching either the Music Videos in our huge collection or some awesome live music from some of the best performers anywhere. I really think of that as more of a fact then an opinion… well in my opinion anyway.
So 21 it is, as in years we have been about. Still feel like we just started celebrating the 20th, and yet we are already on to the next. As we always do on our birthday, we have picked a charity/local organization to raise money for, with your help of course. We are giving 21% of our sales to the local Green/Park commission, and all you need to do is be here on Monday April 11th and spend some money while enjoying great music from Christian Porter, Public Displays of Rejection, The Vibez, Bill Rooth is on Fire, and more. There will also be our annual pool and dart tournaments, raffles, 50/50’s, and all the things we traditionally do every year to both say thank you to our patrons and support local great causes. Yes Sarah Street can now legally drink in her own house, you know, being the big two one, so come on down and have one with her!
So speaking of music, which I sometimes do in these letters – and maybe just a little repetitive in some of the wording – I just saw Bruce Springsteen at MSG in the make up show that was canceled in the one big storm we had this Winter. Was center stage in the pit watching timeless rock and roll and basking in glory at how close I was from Bruce and the E Street band all night. I would turn around and look at 20,000 people, who were both having a blast and probably wishing they had my spot! Well in my mind, and I say this with 100% honesty, I was not only loving the show, but thinking how lucky I was the Saturday before with the same 10 ft. distance from THE VINE BROTHERS, or the Thursday before watching 2ND ST PLAYERS, or almost all the shows here, as I was watching Bruce at the Garden. They were just as special to me as a true rock and roll legend. Now I am sure a few eyes are rolling at these statements, but not by many that were here for the shows I have referenced recently, or the shows that have happened in our 21 years that so many of were musically special. Remember KINGS IN DISGUISE? CHRIS BERRY? How about RICK DANKO? The TONAL EVANGELISTS and FLUTOPHONE JACKSON? Do you remember that RAILROAD EARTH formed out of four different SSG bands and had one of their first shows anywhere here? If I tried to list them all it would be a chapter in a book, not a monthly news letter. My point, made simple, is that watching Bruce with 20k others was awesome, but really not too different then so many nights right here in a much smaller room. I know if Bruce ever stopped here and witnessed so many of the acts we have, there is a real good chance he would jump up on the stage and it would seem just like it does so often, awesome! Thank you to Bruce and ALL the great musicians in the World, and a real special thanks to those that make a home here at the Sarah St Grill.
Happy 21st Sarah St!
Before I get to March, it is time to do a little community service complaining here in Stroudsburg. MetEd has once again proven beyond a doubt that they do NOT deserve the small grid of power supply they have here in Stroudsburg. PPL has the majority of the town, and MetEd a small partial, and unfortunately Sarah Street Grill is part of it. For the 4th time in about as many years, the rest of the town overcame a power outage, or never experienced one at all, while those of us with Met Ed waited for days – once even more then a week. I understand that a small grid is not as important as a big one, but is it not time to let that small grid go? Please partition our local politicians to tell Met Ed to give this grid to PPL, so you when you pull up to Sarah Street in a town full of power, you don’t wonder if I paid the bill.
Okay, now lets talk up March. Who knows if it will be in like a King of the Jungle and out like a source of stew (Lion/Lamb) with all the crazy weather we have had, but we do know that it will be fun. Open Mic Mondays are off to a great start, and will continue. Tuesdays singer songwriter night has a great rotation – some classics like Regina Sayles and Christian Porter, and some newbies like Sachi Rodriguez. Wednesdays is GEORGE WESLEY and his Jamaican bass player, LION. The second Wednesday actually has GREG KLYMA and friends, but George and Lion are here for most. Featured Artist Thursdays has 2ND ST PLAYERS BAND jamming it up with a large and funky groovin’ group of many local R&B folks. They will be here on St Patties Day, the 17th, as well as the other three Thursdays. The weekends are full of great bands, as always. TIM HARAKIL returns on the 4th, and what a fun show he and his band bring here. A few more covers then some of our other bands, but all done very well! Boy have I missed QUINCY MUMFORD and the REASONS WHY, and they are back on the 5th. Please, please, please spread the word and show up for these guys! They are so much fun and drive a long way to play here. The following weekend brings in 55 FLOOD, which is Steve McDaniel’s and Bill Rooth’s is on Fire band, and then the next day, Saturday the 12, is THE CHRISTIAN PORTER BAND. Both these bands are reasons our area keeps growing as a great musician filled region. Speaking of local, the POCONO DUO TRIO is here on Friday the 18th – as well as every Sunday in the DUO format. STEEL CITY SUNRISE is here for the first time on the Saturday the 19th. Come and show a new band some local fan love. The next day, Sunday the 20th, is the St Patties Day Parade, and we will once again have our Float in the mix. The Pocono Duo get another newsletter plug, as they will continue the tradition of being one of the highlights for the people who pack the streets. They will also be doing the Sunday night show earlier then usual Sundays. Last, but not least, we finish the month’s weekends with two great bands, first being MOCHESTER – who rocked this place a few weeks ago, and then the VINE BROTHERS. The Vine Brothers are a very unique, blue grassy with a whole lot more, unrelated by blood trio – I guess they are united by fermented grapes!
I often fill these “Letters” with talk about the bands and musicians that perform here. It has been quite a history of special performances on that stage of ours, but it has never been better. Our music is very varied in styles, but almost always consistent in high quality. I think there is few other places anywhere that compare to our stage, sound quality, and uniqueness. I am happy to say that it seems more people are feeling the same way, and showing up for the music. Still room for some more though, so pick a few, if not many, and come support the arts. While your at it, enjoy, what many tell me, is the best Sushi in the area. Come and enjoy our varied menu of steaks, pastas, bar food and more. Be ready for our Garden to begin it’s third year, and Sarah St to celebrate turning 21 next month – yes the Grill is soon drinking age! More about the 21st in next months Letter, but reserve Monday April 11th now.
Thank you all for a great Winter of business. We pledge to keep working on being even better at all things we do, not because we are not good already, but because we respect our customers and always want to be tweaking the details and being open to change that leads to improvement. Much love and respect to all of you – and my staff too.
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What a month full of big things! We have the Super Bowl on the 7th with great prizes given out every commercial, and sound on the commercial’s as well as the game – something we usually play music over. The SB commercials are often the most talked about thing after the game, so despite how much better great music is then advertisement, we give them the spotlight to warrant the MILLIONS that have been spent on them! Congratulations to our $500 Bud Light Super Bowl Party winner, Leman. He, and a bunch of his friends will be here for the big game paid for by Bud Light and The Sarah Street Grill. How did he win, you ask? Well he entered into the raffle when he was here for Monday, Thursday, and Sunday night football, and those who didn’t win the evening prize went into the big raffle bin we use during the AFC/NFC Championship Games. We draw every commercial break until someone present wins, and during just the third attempt Leman’s name came up – and wisely he was here. Hopefully, if you don’t already, next year you will follow his lead. Feel free to practice by making us your home for watching the NBA and NHL games, since we have them all, and the nationally and locally broadcasted NCAA b ball games on our HI DEF everywhere 20 TV’s.
Another big thing is that OPEN MIC is back. After taking a few months off after celebrating 20 Years of Open Mic, it now resumes on Monday’s with new hosts, Rick and Shane. These hosts got their music start at Sarah Street’s Open Mic many years ago, and now they are very excited to be hosting the new one. They also have the band Public Displays of Rejection, and play on every first Tuesday of the month. What about the former home of Open Mic, Wednesdays? Well that will be GEORGE WESLEY and LION, his Jamaican bass player, every Wednesday in February! Have you seen these guys play together? If not, check them out on the SSG You Tube Channel. They will blow you away, and then, hopefully, you will sign up as a member of our channel so we let you know when new videos are posted.
Throw in Valentines Day, Presidents Weekend, KEITH KENNEY being here every Thursday as the February Featured Artist, some new bands mixed with SSG classic bands on the weekends, and enjoy the heart of Winter here at the Grill. Okay? Got it? LOL people, and much love!
Welcome to another New Year here at Sarah Street. We are OPEN New Years Day with all the College Bowl Games on. For those of you that need to get over the celebrations from the night before, we will be featuring our brunch menu from 11 30 – 3 pm, as well as our full regular and sushi menus. Come in for some Bloody Mary’s, break the fast, and enjoy some football. The TOMMY ROBERTS band is here for the first time New Years Day night to help start things off right. Then on Saturday GEORGE WESLEY is back! One of the best REGGAE trios to exist on the planet will be spreading great vibes here all night. Have you seen George’s video JUNKY MAN, available on YouTube? How about the newest SSG recorded SOLUTION AD video, Fearless? Well you can, of course, see them here, but if you are a member of the Sarah Street YouTube channel, you would be notified every time Johnny, Corey and I finish a new one, and be one of the first to see them on your phone or computer. Not only does that channel have our new videos, but access to all of the in house videos that have been released over the years. You can see Christian Porter at 15, and you can see him 10 years later in a new video. To see “dated” video productions – all good, we have just gotten better over the years- is another example of how long we have been around. At some point we will even go back to the 90’s and find some archived one angle, one mix, videos we have stashed away, and post them on the page too. Please take the 30 seconds to join our YouTube channel, and be in that loop. The more followers we get, the more likely we will eventually be doing live video and audio internet broadcasts – so every SSG music fan and performer should feel very motivated to jump aboard. Wouldn’t be great to be on a beach vacation somewhere and be watching your favorite Sarah Street band live?Well back to January: No one does the NFL Football games like we do, and the playoffs start off on the 9th and 10th with the Wild Card Weekend, and the 16th and 17th they continue. January 24th is the NFC/AFC finals, and that is when we give away a $500 Super Bowl Party for February 7. The more games you made in the regular season and make in the playoffs, the more chances you have to win. Someone here on the 24th will walk out with quite a prize! Where else has that kind of offer and plays music over the commercials (except the Super Bowl), and follows the games with great live music? Well I say it only happens here. We will also do the NCAA College Football final on the 11th with the same enthusiasm.
So I have been asked by many what the plans are for Open Mic. Well we are taking off January to continue to consider all options, but I am leaning towards moving it to Mondays and then booking Wednesday nights with either a featured artist concept like Thursdays, different people/duos like Tuesdays, or a regular performer like we do with THE POCONO DUO on Sundays. Look for something definitive in next months Newsletter – I almost promise!
Come on out and enjoy some sushi, some steaks, the best music videos ever (some made right here!), all the NBA and NHL games on in HI DEF, live music, a varied and always being worked on menu and believe it or not…MORE. I hope I see you at the Grill.
It is the end of another year, and it does seem that I start every one of these “Newsletters” the same way: time is going too damn fast! Well let me finish a few topics of last months letter. We had a fantastic celebration of 20 Years/1000 Open Mic Nights, with over 30 terrific performances, starting at 7 pm and going all the way to 2 am. Many deserved compliments went to the 20 year hosts, Willie and Diane. Somewhat by surprise, it also became a retirement celebration as well, with the two of them deciding to finish with a bang, and they no longer host Open Mic Wednesdays here at Sarah Street. Out of respect for the long history they have had here, we have decided to take December off of having an Open Mic night, and make our decision of if, what, and how we will handle the Open Mic concept in the beginning of 2016. Another sad point, for me anyway, is the way the World Series went. The Mets did not do much, getting knocked out in five games. There is no “new” Mr October. Maybe they can copy the KC Royals and make a more experienced trip to WS next year, but there is no doubt that a serious opportunity was missed. It is way more common to not get second chances at titles, then it is to do what KC did. Well, as we often do at Sarah Street, lets jump from Music, to Sports, and back to Music! What another great month December will be as we prep for the Holidays and the Winter. Two special bands start off the month with the first being the HOOCHIE COOCHIE MEN on Friday the 4th. These guys get better every time I hear them. Various lead vocals and styles of music, mixed with top notch skills make for a very fun night. The next night features a 2015 tradition of having QUINCY MUMFORD and THE REASONS WHY on the first Saturday of the Month. In 2016 we will have them not quite as much, more like every other month, but they will finish this year’s game plan with a great night, and I really request that we show them some love and turn out in big numbers to dance and jam. More of the same the next weekend as THE WALLACE BROTHERS return on Friday and THE CURRENT on Saturday. I say, with confidence. that these are two more unique and high skilled bands, which is typical of almost all the bands that take our stage on the weekends. December 18th is the one and only 2015 HAMELL ON TRIAL show as he continues a Sarah Street tradition of his HOLIDAY HARDCORE ACOUSTIC PARTY. Hamell is a big part of the SSG music history story. His coming to play this room almost 20 years ago really helped us become the room we are now. If you know HAMELL, come out and show him some love, and if you have never heard him, you should. He is one of a kind, mixing comedy, politics, poetry, punk- eclectic-acoustic tunes in a true rock and roll vibe. Just don’t sit in front of the stage and talk, unless responding to him. To fully get what he is doing you will want to focus on the show. It also hurts the others around you from getting the full experience of a Hamell performance. Hopefully JOHNNY RYDELL will continue the Hamell Holiday Tradition and join him on stage, as he has done many times in the past The 19th features a combination of Sports and Music, as the NFL and Bobby Syvarth share the stage. Bobby will be going on right after the JETS vs COWBOYS game, as we are also doing the 26th when KEITH KENNEY follows WASHINGTON vs THE EAGLES. Christmas Eve we are open full kitchen and sushi until 8 pm, and then the bar stays open as long as people are enjoying the CHARGERS vs RAIDERS game, our Music Videos, and some Christmas music – the only day we play them here (plenty of it everywhere else starting way too soon!). We are closed the Friday of Christmas so my staff can spend the day with there families. Then the BIG finish of the year with the CHRISTIAN PORTER BAND on New Years Eve. Christian’s band features, as always, the very specially talented REGINA SAYLES as one of it’s members. Tickets for NYE are available now for $15 until Dec 24th, which includes a champagne toast at midnight. Then, unless sold out, they will be $20. If you are coming for dinner only, and leaving by 10, there is no cover – but don’t be taking our party favors off to other parties! Those party favors, and the DJ/VJ that keeps everyone dancing on the set breaks, and the midnight champagne toast, are part of what those that buy a ticket, or pay the cover, get. After the midnight toast the price of admission drops to $10. As 2016 kicks in, we are open on New Years Day Friday with TOMMY ROBERTS performing, and GEORGE WESLEY taking the stage on Saturday the 2nd. What a great start to hopefully a great new year.
One last point: As we deal with what has happened in Paris, and are all justifiably scared of what may come next, it is time for all Americans, of all races, and all religions or non- religions, to unite together, and have each others backs in many ways. Without prejudging, watch all who you don’t know. Share what you see with others. It is true that our values are more important then our lives, but that does not mean our lives aren’t very important. We can’t let anyone of evil intent, and who use the excuse of religious context, alter what makes our country great. That is there intention. We can be careful though, and careful we shall be.
Love you all and thank you so much for being a part of another Sarah Street year. Still can’t believe it was a 20th.
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As I sit to write this months letter to you, I am dealing with the second Met’s loss in the World Series from last night. When you actually read this, it may already be over, as games 3 and 4 are this upcoming Halloween weekend. Hopefully not, and November begins with game 5 on Sunday the 1st – on at the same time as the Packers vs Broncos, who are both 6 – 0. We plan on showing both all over the restaurant, with sound in the Pool Room of the Football game, and sound of the baseball everywhere else. If there is a game 6 on Tuesday, Public Displays of Rejection will start after the game, and a game 7 on Wednesday, Open Mic will be upstairs. For what it is worth, the Mets also lost the first two in 1986, the last time they won the WS. I know thanks to Sarah Marie, one of Sarah Street’s bartenders, who just texted me that “have hope” message! I really want to talk/write some sports smack talk about Daniel Murphy being the NEW Mr. October (Reggie who?), and I guess we will know soon if I will get the chance. Before I get off the sports topic, just one more reminder that we have all the NFL games, access to all the NHL and NBA games, and many of the College Football games. We are one of very few places that are as committed to music as we are sports. These two things often don’t fly that well together, but they do here. November is always a big music month, and this is certainly no exception. Two great bands start if off on the first weekend with the CHRISTIAN PORTER BAND on Friday, and QUINCY MUMFORD AND THE REASONS WHY on Saturday. Christian’s band is also playing here on NYE, so come and check them out on the 6th. Quincy’s band has been playing here for over three years, and it really is past due for them to get a strong local following, just as they do down in the Asbury Park Jersey shore area. THE POCONO DUO TRIO is here on the 13th to celebrate the birthday of one of their drummer’s, Richie Boom Boom. The next night features another reggae stye band, InDAZE, who will be here for the first time on the 14th. SUZE is back from the Scranton area on the 20th, and 55FLOOD, Bill Rooth’s and Steve McDaniel’s current band, on the 21st. The last weekend is one of Stroudsburg’s best music weekends every year. It starts off with GEORGE WESLEY playing here the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, one of the best party nights of the year. Before you head home on Thursday to eat lots, watch football, and fight sleep, be here the night before – you will be “Thankfull” you did! Thanksgiving is one of the few days we close entirely every year, but it also gives you a day to prep for the big TG Weekend. As RAILROAD EARTH does it’s East Coast Pocono Weekend at the Sherman Theatre, we have pre and post parties here at Sarah Street. Friday has two bands sharing that duty with THE HAWK OWLS and MILKWEED, and Saturday features THE VINE BROTHERS. Music here starts at 6 pm to 8 pm, and continues after 10 pm. There is no Music Charge for the pre show, and if you have a Weekend pass for the Sherman, no charge for the after party either. Come out and support Eclectic Bluegrass, and one of the biggest bands on the West Coast and Colorado, who are mostly from, and live, in our back yard, RAILROAD EARTH! They sell out Red Rock and many other large venues, and to see them here at the Sherman with only 1400 other people, and enjoy great pre and post parties here at Sarah Street, and some other local stages, should not be missed. Besides hopefully watching game 6 of the Word Series on the 3rd, and then enjoying PDR on the stage after, don’t forget to VOTE. It is a privelege and a responsibility that no one should take for granted. Sure, politics is frustrating, but being uninvolved is more so. Okay, off my soap box and down stairs to do sound on the Patriots vs Dolphins game for Thursday Night Football. Hope I see you at the Street!
What a month we have coming here at Sarah Street! Our stage, which in my not so humble opinion, is one of the best anywhere, once again is full of great shows. Our all HI DEF monitors will feature all the NFL games, the MLB playoffs, the beginning of the NHL and NBA seasons with all the games available, a ton of the College Football games, and one of the best music video collections in the world. A lot of local places have tried to follow our lead in how to maximize their video use, but we still are clearly in first place. That said, we made a pretty big, yet understandable mistake, yesterday, September 26th. With a ridiculous amount of big College games on, and the METS cinching the National League Eastern Conference, we told some customers that #1 Ohio State was not available and if we didn’t have it on, no one would. Well they were the featured National Game on ABC, so we were completely wrong. We were thrown a bit of a curve ball as ESPN 2 listed they would have either that game or the Virginia game, and when they showed Virginia game we assumed (assume: ASS OUT OF YOU AND ME) the Ohio game was not on. We did get it in on, but the people who left to watch it elsewhere shouldn’t have had to. Why do I share this story? Because I want you to know how much such a thing bothers us, and how hard we work to not let it happen, so when it does, we both apologize and work even harder to not repeat the error. Now back to those METS! When they have their playoff games, as well as YANKEE playoff games (if they make it), we will feature them with sound on the game and music over the commercials, just as we do for Monday, Thursday, and Sunday Night Football. Maybe, just maybe, we get a Subway Series again! Now back to the Sarah Street Stage: Were you here for Christian Porter’s Birthday Show on Friday, September 25th? If you were you saw a very responsive and crowded room celebrate his 24th Birthday, and enjoy a terrific full band show. Because it was his 24th, it was also celebration of him playing on the SSG Stage for 10 years. Yes, with the help of Open Mic and the band FIVE PERCENT, Christian first played here at the age of 14. Now he plays here with his own, and one of the best, local bands. He is lucky to partner with Regina Sayles, who also started here a long time ago at our Open Mic Night. Regina has also become one of the best musicians in our area: vocally, with whatever instrument she chooses to play, solo, duo with Christian, or with the full band. Christian and Regina’s full band is back two more times this year, November 6 and New Years Eve, and you should mark your calendars now. Speaking of Open Mic, it will be celebrating it’s own 20th Anniversary on November 11. Many of the performers that got their start playing on Open Mic Night will be showing up to honor Willie and Diane for hosting close to 1000 Wednesday nights. I will share more info in next months letter, but it is another night to plan to attend long in advance. This month brings in some new shows, starting on October 3 with the FERMENTERS. KAT WRIGHT and THE INDOMITABLE SOUL BAND will be opening for QUINCY MUMFORD AND THE REASONS WHY on October 10. TIM HARAKAL BAND and MYSTERY FYRE both return from too long an absence on the 9th and 16th. THE WALACE BROTHERS BAND plays ESU HOMECOMING WEEKEND on the 17th. MOCHESTER and THE VINE BROTHERS are very different, but both extremely worth checking out on the weekend of the 23 and 24th. The first is a high energy real rock pop band, and the second a Blue Grass Trio with some unique funk sound. Want to hear a Blue Grass Funk Dance Instrumental version of the Mario Brothers theme song, followed by an original strong vocal ballid? Well that would be The Vine Brothers. Then it is Halloween with two costume parties, one Friday the 30th, with the GEORGE WESLEY BAND, and the second the next night, Saturday the 31st with two bands. The first band will be THE FUSTICS, who travel East Coast once a year, and the second THE HOOTENANNY OFFICIAL AFTER CABINET PARTY BAND. Cabinet is performing at the Sherman Theatre for their Annual Halloween show, and then having an After Party here starting at mid night. Going to be a fun costume filled Halloween here at Sarah Street with our Annual Awards given out two nights in a row. Have you signed up as a Sarah Street/You tube channel follower? You should because we keep adding more professional mastered videos from our 20 Anniversary Weekend in the beginning of April. A new Tom Graham and Five Flutophone video are just getting posted now. I am very proud to produce these high quality videos, so they are around forever, and show accurate examples of how good the music is so often on our stage. Please check them out and tell me what you think, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or here in person. Enjoy the Fall with some great music, lots of fun games to watch, and our very varied menu here at The Sarah Street Grill.
Well as finish up a great Summer and prepare for an awesome Fall we start out big with STROUDFEST on September 5. This on is going to be even more special then it always is with Stroudsburg celebrating it’s 200 Anniversary and Sarah Street Grill continuing to celebrate it’s 20th. On the STROUDFEST stage, starting at noon, we will have four great Sarah Street regular bands performing. The first is the Wallace Brothers, who are also performing the night before at the Grill, and are a great rock/country/eclectic fun band. Then we have the Bobby Syvarth Combo who has a been a huge part of the music here almost from the beginning. Bobby was actually involved with running the original stage when STROUDFEST was Garlic Fest taking place in the Courthouse Square, and it is great to have him and his band here for this historical day. The following week he is also closing out the Deleware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts Festival Sunday night. The next band is SUZE, a great jam rock band from the Scranton area. Then we close out with Quincy Mumford and the Reasons Why, one of the strongest semi new (three years) SSG stage takers we have. Fireworks start right next to the restaurant after the show ends, and then Quincy and his band retake the stage here at the Grill as they do almost every first Saturday of the month (second Saturday in October). Thats right! Fireworks in Stroudsburg and I am pretty sure the deck will be filled as soon, or sooner then the Courthouse Square Stage ends, because that will be the best seat in a town full of great places to watch the light show go on. What a party that day will be: arts and crafts booths all up and down Main St, great food booth options by the Sarah Street and Sherman Theatre Main Stage in the Courthouse Square, a beer tent run by the Sherman right by the stage, and all the great bars and restaurants in our town to enjoy. Happy 200th Stroudsburg! Locals and travelers enjoy, because it will be FUN!
Of course the NFL Season is upon us too, and we have been running the NFL ticket all 20 years we have been around. All NFL games – Monday night, Thursday night, Sunday and Sunday night feature our famous Wings for .40 and lots of great bar and beer promos. Thursday night the 10th is the opening game with the Steelers and Patriots, Monday the 14th has two Monday night games, the first being the Eagles and Falcons, followed by the Vikings and 49ers. All the other games will be on in HI DEF and sound available on Sunday the 13th. When there is night games we also play the sound through the PA system with music over the commercials. Make Sarah Street your home away from home to support your teams, and we will make you feel you picked the right place. Also looking pretty exciting for both NY baseball teams this Fall – maybe, just maybe, they meet in the WS!
There is a lot of new projects taking the stage here this month too – Pure Kane Sugar (opening for JMAC and Junior), Neversink, and Keith Kenny. Come out and be a part of evaluating if they should be in our loop repeatedly.
Things have gotten a little nasty between me and few reviews on the Web. It is common knowledge that you should not react angry when someone is negative about your business in a review – and actually a negative review can be helpful to find things you need to address. However, when you have been somewhere for 20 Years and someone seems to personally attack you or your people in an unfair way, it sure is hard not to bite back. It is calming to know that the vast majority of reviewers are very positive, and the few I have squared off with are carry overs from months ago – and even already referred to in July’s letter – but it is our goal to make everyone happy and failing by your own fault or someone else’s still hurts. The day I don’t care about that kind of stuff will be my last in this business – and I don’t think that is ever happening!
Hard to believe, again, that a year is moving so fast: is it really August?! This past month had so many great things happen at Sarah Street, and August will be the same. As I write this, it is the last week of the Traveling Birds, here from California as a special Monday featured Artist of the Month, and also Christian Porter as the Thursday featured artist of the Month, both in July. What a great success they both were musically, and sometimes attendance wise for these artists. August features Sarah Street legend, BOBBY SYVARTH, as the featured Thursday artist . Bobby had his new band here on Saturday, July 25th, and the show was terrific. Why there weren’t more folks here is the topic that aches me for the past 20 years, but you can make amends by showing up for some of his Thursdays. He is blessed with the honor of closing out the Celebration of the Arts festival Sept 13 in Delaware Water Gap, and we are blessed that he is using his historical home of Sarah Street to get extra ready for a big event. As I have talked about so many times, the only thing we do here that isn’t right where I feel it should be, is getting the incredible artists that take our stage the respect they deserve of a good audience – not just sometimes, but all the time. Really, we are at all time highs in the overall business we do, and that is because we work hard at improving something that is pretty darn good to begin with. Before I get accused of self titling, I say that because of the increased business and growth of content customers. Here is an example of what I feel should be well attended. August 1st features not one, but two full bands. For only a $6 music charge you will get Quincy Mumford and the Reasons Why, who play here almost every first Saturday, and whose videos are often on in our room, and who have played here for over three years AND The Matt Mackelcan Band, who I predict will be awesome. What I won’t know until that night is will there be the right crowd here for them? Well there should be, and always should be. I am not saying that every band and artist will be a new favorite, but many of them will be. I know it sounds like a lecture, but I also know if there ever was a day where we didn’t have all this great music on our stage, my ears would hear many a complaint. This month, like all months, is just full of don’t miss shows. Check out the bands websites, watch their videos on line, and come and support the arts right where you already support the food and drink . Where else do you get sushi, steaks, fresh grown produce from an on site garden, the game you want to watch, play pool, darts, or our Miss Pac Man and Galaga via 1981, and listen to great music videos and live and often original performances? Here at Sarah Street, that’s where! I, despite my complaining that the live music needs some icing provided by you on their well baked cake, thank you sincerely for supporting us for 20 Years. Without you there is no us!
Were you here for our second annual Wing Contest on June 14th, Flag Day? What a success! We raised, with help from all the cool bars in our area (Floods, Teddy’s, The Warrior, Goaline, Rudy’s, and The Minisink) The Sherman Theatre, Banko Beverage, and the Marines, $2000 for the Marshall’s Creek Fire Dept., and had a lot of fun doing so. George Wesley Band was on the outdoor stage as well as Regina Sayles and Christian Porter. What a great duo the last two have become and George is a good as it gets, in my opinion. His bass player, LION, who George met here at Sarah Street, has added a new rejuvenation to one of the best reggae artists around. If you have not seen them yet, they are here on July 11, and check out their video on You Tube, JUNKY MAN, performed here at Sarah Street during our 20th Anniversary Celebration. Christian is here as the featured artist this July on Thursdays, and I am pretty sure Regina will be joining him on some of them. Well back to The SSG Wingfest: Next year will be the Blue Ridge Fire Company, and we are already planning to have an even better one then this year! Not easy to do, but we will find ways. A special thanks to my management team, and kitchen staff for making this happen. I honestly felt overwhelmed and was NOT the leader in this project, but they were, and now I am excited about it happening every year!
We are closed July 6th for our staff Summer party, but we are having live music EVERY other evening in July because we have the Traveling Birds playing every Monday (and our party, and the first Friday), our rotation of singer song writers on Tuesdays, Open Mic on Wednesdays, Christian Porter and Friends every Thursday, Great Bands every Friday and Saturday, and the The Pocono Duo every Sunday. We are OPEN on July 4th and have the great band Quincy Mumford and the Reasons Why, as we do almost every first weekend. When you are done with Fireworks, outdoor parties, or dinner here, plan on celebrating the Red White and Blue and listen and dance to some great tunes at the Sarah Street Grill! Steve McDaniels and Billy Rooth’s band, 55 Flood returns July 17. The next night, the 18th is THIS WAY TO THE EGGRESS, with a pretty radical stand up crazy thing between sets that we wont let happen until the kitchen closes. You have to be here to find out why. VINE BROTHERS are here for the first time on the 10th and another brother band, WALLACE BROTHERS BAND finish the month on the 31st. POCONO DUO TRIO returns on the 24th and BOBBY SYVARTH COMBO is here on the 25th. Bobby Syvarth is prepping to close out the CODA JAZZFEST concert weekend on Sunday, September 13th. Pretty big billing for the first artist I produced a record for! Another month of great live music here at Sarah Street! Please join it as much as you can, as these artists deserve it, and you won’t regret it! Promise! Can’t argue with this many explanation points, can you? (!)
We get mostly really great reviews on all the internet opinion sites. Every now and then someone who is just passing through, and or tends to write very critical reviews of almost every place they go, write what I feel is unfair and untrue about us. If you are someone who truly knows us, and wants to respond to these reviews with one of your own, please do. GOOGLE, Trip Advisor, YELP are the ones we tend to follow ourselves and all usually fill us with pride, or even some good ideas on what we can do better. We get 20 to 1 positive over negative, but those 5% that bash what they don’t know need a response from someone other then me. You can also always talk directly to me at email@example.com and share any and all that cross your mind about this restaurant, music room, and escape from life’s pressure place we work hard to be. I always say we made it 20 years by constantly looking for ways to be even better, and the minute we don’t would have to be a minute I am no longer involved.
June already? Wasn’t I just talking about a New Year? Well it may be moving fast, but it is far from uneventful. May was the busiest month in our 20 year existence and included the busiest day and week. We are very proud that we did it, but we also learned that we are not done growing and not done learning how to handle that growth. During ESU Graduation and Mother’s Day weekend, over 1500 people came here for lunch and dinner and hundreds more to enjoy the music on our stage and sports on our HI DEF screens. We knew it would be busy – even pretty sure we would break records – but not by as much as we did. To all of you that were here to help make that happen, thank you so much. To any that had anything less then an A+ experience, our sincerest apologies. Many more compliments came our way than complaints, but we knew we were struggling to maintain the level we set for ourselves. The bonus, other then setting new records, was that although it stayed very busy the following two weeks, it felt like a walk in the park to us!
Have you tried one of our Beer Dinners yet? Our next one is Thursday June 11, featuring well paired beer and cuisine. I believe there are some tickets still available, just call Sarah Street at 570 424 9120 to get yours.
We have our Second Annual Wing Off on June 14, which benefits local fire companies, and this year is Marshall’s Creek. Come try and vote for your favorite wings from all the cool local bars, enjoy live music on our outdoor stage, and know you can enjoy beverages outside, and cool off from spices and heat inside.
You know I try and give special Live Music Events an extra plug in these Newsletters, but it’s hard to mention one or some and not the others, because they are all great. I still will when I think a band needs extra attention, like a traveling band, or a once or twice a year event, or a band I know deserves a bigger crowd then they have been drawing, but right now they are all great and are all mostly drawing well – not as well as they deserve, but well. Just look at the calendar, check out the artists websites and music videos, and come out and support one of the very few real music rooms left. Oh, and I do have to mention that TOM GRAHAM AND FRIENDS are the featured artists of the month on Thursdays. Tom is coming with someone, or someones (I know that’s not a word), different each week.
Speaking of Tom Graham, he was one of many artists that came out to support the 20th Anniversary weekend in April. We are making video and audio edited videos of almost all of the performances from that weekend, and like everything we try to do, these will be better then any others we have done in the past. Tom’s is one of the first finished, along with a Pocono Duo with MJ Law and George Wesley. Check them out on the bands’ Facebook pages and websites, our website, and here at Sarah Street. Cory Barth is providing the video recording management and editing, Johnny Rydell is on the sound recording and editing, and yours truly is the Producer. We are very proud and you will see why. Maybe someday we will make them available to purchase also.
Hey I know I make typos and grammar mistakes in these letters, and May was no exception (and probably not June), but throw some grief to Brandi as well as me. She is my overseer before print and post, along with about 500 other job titles and responsibilities! If she gets teased along with me, maybe as a team we will get it right. Or rightererist.
questions or comments Dave@sarahstreetgrill.com
The Anniversary Weekend went very well. We raises $4000. for our charity THE POCONO WILDLIFE REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION CENTER. All who were here seemed to have a great time, and we have video saved all the performances so we can relive the music forever. The actual SSG b day may over, but the celebration of making it to 20 will continue all year. Here are some examples: May 1st JOHNNY RYDELL AND HAMELL ON TRIAL team up to SPRING INTO ACTION. Then the next night, Saturday the 2nd, brings back QUINCY MUMFORD and THE REASONS WHY. I really believe in this band, and that is why they are playing almost every Month of 2015, mostly on the first Saturday. Then its a crazy event-
*MONDAY MAY 4, THE HIGGS*
Yes on a Monday night, with no cover charge, we have a full band that is touring the country from California. They are really good and worth an extension of the weekend. Come out and welcome this band to our town and the Sarah St Stage. The fun continues with Buffalo Stack taking a turn as featured Artists of the Month on every Thursday, and finishing with a Friday show as well on the 29th. Really, every music night is worth being here! Check out the all the website of the bands on the calendar, and many of them can be accessed by just clicking on that calendar at our website. We have some new bands, like the very popular North of here group, SOUTHSIDE BANDITS, as well as MOCHESTER, and NO VACANCY. We have lots of SSG Classic bands like 55 FLOOD (Steve McDaniel’s and Bill Rooth’s project), Pocono Duo Trio, and the legend himself – GEORGE WESLEY! CHRISTINE HAVRILLA and GYPSY FUZZ also return to finish out the month. As always: WHAT A MONTH! Throw in the NBA and NHL playoffs, and the PHILLIES, YANKEES, and first place METS and why ever be home! I do concede that Teddy’s is the best RANGER FAN home for the games, but if you want to watch NYR play and watch the METS (yes I am one of the annoying METS fans that have been waiting for some trash talk ability for too long!) and hear some great live music all at the same time, then Sarah Street is for you. Or just come over after the RANGER game is done down at the historic, and classic, and good friends bar, Teddy’s.
Remember to get involved in the NAN Foundation, run by our long time multi SSG job title holder, Christy Connolly. Check out what NAN is about, and if you Golf, get into her Annual NAN Golf and Party hard day on Monday the 11th at Shawnee. If you don’t golf their are many other things that are NAN Foundation functions that raise funds for a great cause, and are a blast to be a part of.
peace love and thanks to all for helping us reach 20
Well it is here. The weekend I have been thinking about for a long time, our 20th Anniversary Weekend, starting on my Mom’s birthday April 10th. That night we have three great acts sharing the stage, TOM GRAHAM and WILL ORNER, THE POCONO DUO/TRIO, and SOLUTION AD. Then it is on to Saturday the 11th. That night brings back the first musician that wanted to bring a full band to our stage, BOBBY SYVARTH. Bobby started bringing William Patterson Music majors to our stage, and those people, led by CHRIS CUZME, have been a huge part of so many great projects and fun nights here at Sarah Street. CUZME will be here that night along with EDDIE SANABRIA, who is coming from LA, TIM CARBONE, who is world famous and deserves more local acclaim where he lives – here, DAVE CINQUEGRANA, one of the best guitar players I know, and YONI HALEVY on drums. Probably a few surprises that night too! Then we have Sunday, which will be the POCONO DUO and GUESTS. Hopefully some of Saturday’s crew will resurface that evening, along with even more surprises. Then it is on to Monday the 13th. As we have done for many years, we will be donating the percentage of existence, 20, to a local charity. This time it is the POCONO WILDLIFE REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION CENTER. 20% of all food and liquor sold that day will be donated to the PWREC, along with the funds from the raffles, dart and pool tournaments (contact Dan Janda at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in these tournaments) , and 50/50’s. So many great musicians will be taking the stage that day, probably starting at 3 pm and going until close, including: CHRISTIAN PORTER, STEVE MCDANIELS and BILL ROOTH, REGINA SAYLES, SACHI RODRIGUEZ (who will also be featured artist of the month on Thursdays in April), GEORGE WESLEY, many of the artists from the weekend shows and MORE! I truly think if you come to all four nights in a row you won’t regret it. If you are not in this area, get a hotel room and make it a mini vacation. It may be the best four day party you ever go to!
As always, the rest of the month is stacked with great music. Come and see why QUINCY MUMFORD and THE REASONS WHY are here every first Saturday in 2015. Enjoy great Reggae Music with both GEORGE WESLEY and the TROUBLE CITY ALL STARS. HOOCHIE COOCHIE MEN are back, CHRISTIAN PORTERS band continues to impress, and FISH HOUSE ROAD is this months new SSG band, so heck, just put a tent in our parking lot and stay all of April. Okay, don’t really pitch a tent on the pavement, put it up in Christy and Dan’s yard and leave it there until the Summer Solstice.
It is also the beginning of year 2 of the Sarah Street Garden, and even more of our produce will be grown right here. As it said on our St Patties day float, 20 Years And Still Growing – now there is a Garden! We are not, and never will be, done trying to be better at what we do. That philosophy allowed us to turn 20, and we will continue to use it.
Baseball is here, and all the METS, YANKEES , and PHILLIES games will be on. The NHL and NBA playoffs start soon, and you won’t have to ask for them to be ready to view in HI DEF.
Congratulations to our friends Todd, who took over the Warrior bar, and Wes, who is now the man at the Goaline. May they someday celebrate a 20th too.
Last, and most importantly, thanks to you! Without you we could not be talking about being here double decades. I know a lot of these comments are repeated ones in these letters and out my mouth, but I truly am appreciative of all the support this town, all current and past employees, all the great musicians that have and do take the stage, my family and friends, and both the luck and skill that contributed to me being able to make it happen- THANKS TO ALL OF THAT AND MORE!
We should be in the last lap of the coldest Winter I remember in the 20 Years Sarah Street has been around. I certainly hope so! As we approach the actual 20th Anniversary Weekend, April 10 – 13th (the next news letter will be all about that weekend, but plan to be here for ALL OF IT, and get a hotel room booked now if you are from out of town) we have lots of fun things planned to make March go fast and fun. Some new bands, like JMAC and JUNIOR, JOHN CAVE BAND, and EVY ZEE BAND will take our stage for the first time. Evy Zee will be the featured artist of the month on Thursdays. LA CUCHINA will be here on the 13th and starting a little earlier then usual, 9 30. Many of you have encouraged earlier start times and this is a chance to show its a good idea. If you haven’t seen QUINCY MUMFORD AND THE REASONS WHY and or THE WALLACE BROTHERS yet, you should! THE CURRENT, SUZE, and SSG house regulars THE POCONO DUO/TRIO round out the weekend shows. I say over and over to come out and support the live music, and many of you are. Thanks to those, and to those that have not… COME ON! Your missing some great stuff!
Speaking of great stuff, why not come out and watch the Sarah Street Hockey team take on ESU’s Hockey Club at the Penguins Arena in Wilkes Bare on March 14 at 1 pm. Sarah Street is six consecutive Men’s A league champions, and ESU had their well played season be cut short for some unlucky and untimely decisions. Lots of friendly trash talk happening about this game and it should be fun to watch. Tickets are not needed for our game, but we will also have tickets available for the Pens game after ours, if your are interested in attending both.
I also have to plug two days before that is my last living Grandparent, my Grandmother Peggy, 90th Birthday. She has always been a strong supporter of my goals in life, and helped, along with other family members, to make Sarah Street happen. She turns 90, Stroudsburg 200, Sarah Street 20 all this year!
Speaking of Stroudsburg, the St Patrick’s parade day is March 22. The Pocono Duo will once again be on our float and they will play the after party here. March is going to be fun, and then it is the actual 20th Anniversary Month! We are really doing our best to put smiles on all your faces, because without you, there is no us.
We are also your home for all the NBA and NHL games and of course, March Madness. Only here can you watch the game, get sushi or American food, watch live or video music ALL THE TIME. Maybe that is why we made it to 20.
Well I hope you were not one of the 70 or so people whose name was drawn as the $500 Bud Light Super Bowl Party Winner, but then joined the Packers and Colts as Close But No Cigar because you were not here for the AFC/NFC Finals. The person who did win, Nate Horn, had earned it because he had a lot of raffle tickets in the bin from being here for many regular season and playoff games. Other people names came up multiple times, but whether it was the so-so weather and road conditions, or preference to be on the couch for these games, they won’t be figuring what friends to invite to spend $500 here on Super Bowl Sunday like Nate will. The good news for those folks, and all others, is we are still giving away a ridiculous amount of great prizes every commercial break during the game. Snow boards, ski passes, sweatshirts, t shirts, dart boards, and so much more. Be here early to get a good seat, enjoy some great food and drink, potentially (and probably) win some great prizes, enjoy what we hope are great commercials (yes, we are letting the sound play on them), and hope even more for – A GREAT GAME.
Featured Artists of the Month is Public Displays of Rejection, a really talented duo playing a mixture of original and unique cover music. They have a long history here at Sarah Street, having played open mic night many years ago, and here once a month on Tuesdays. They really are worth checking out. Their first Thursday, the 5th, is also one of our Beer Dinners featuring beer from Victory and courses to match from Chef Rob. I think that is sold out, or very close to it. Whether you are here for that, or dining off the menu and sushi bar, you should plan to stay for the music. Lots of other great music happening on our stage. HOOCHIE COOCHIE MEN is here on the 6th and a real good time. QUINCY MUMFORD BAND is back here on the 7th, and doing every first Saturday for the entire year. They are truly one of my favorites, and if you are looking for a new band to be a big fan off, these guys deserve a try you won’t regret. Big night on the 13th as TOM GRAHAM and WILL ORNER bring a CD Release Party to the Burg. The local legend CHRISTIAN PORTER brings a full band on the 14th, and combining that with our Valentines Weekend Specials will get you big plus points with the other half of your love relationship. The next weekend has MARIELLA AND HER BROOKLYN BOYS BAND both Friday and Saturday. Some of you know this band as BABY CAVE, but since the CAVE part of that band is here next month with his new project and no longer part of this one, I figured to go with MAHBBB. Maybe MAHBB sounds like mob, and Mariella will can my title and come up with a better one, but lets have a mob show up for them! The weekend shows finish with BUFFALO STACK on the 27th, and CLARENCE SPADY on the 28th. These are both don’t miss shows. Buffalo Stack is playing here this weekend as I write this (January 31st), and I know people are traveling from far away and getting hotel rooms to see them. Clarence Spady is a musician of near fame. We are so lucky and blessed to have so many great music moments in this room. The only thing missing is you! I also want to give a quick plug to two other music events, the first being on Tuesday the 10th, when Sachi Rodriguez makes her debut as the artist musician for an entire night, and Sunday the 15th of Presidents weekend, when Christy’s cousin RYAN ZIMMERMAN fills in for the Pocono Duo.
Come out and join us for Sports like all the NBA and NHL games and of course the Super Bowl, the most varied menu choices in the area, and one of the best music rooms in the World. Maybe that is a self title, but since SSG is celebrating 20 years of doing what we do, we have some decent qualifications to brag a bit!
It is now official. Our 20th year has begun! First I want to once again thank everyone who helped make the last 19 years a big success full of many terrific things. 2014 was our best year ever. Not just in sales, which is the title you have given us, but in quality. The music, the food, the service have never been better, and that is probably the main reason you have been here more often and been spending more money. That was your thank you to us, and our response to you will be to continue to work on all that we do to be even better in 2015.
Here is one example: We will be open on New Years Day, a day we have closed in the past for our staff Holiday party, so you can be here for the NCAA Final Football 4. We will put our Sunday brunch menu into effect, along with our Sushi and regular menu. We will also have our .40 Wings, music over the game commercials, which will also be happening at all the NFL Playoff games and the College Final on Jan 12th. We will be closed on January 5th for that staff party that is not on NYD. While we are talking football, all of you that have been getting in the game raffles on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights HERE COMES THE BIG ONE! On Sunday January 18th, during the AFC/NFC Championships, we will be drawing on those raffle tickets you have been filling out until one of you who is here has their name drawn. That person, and a bunch of friends, will win a $500 Super Bowl Party here on February 1st! We will be adding to those raffles tickets each of the playoff games and pro bowl too, so you can still increase your odds of winning.
Lots of great, don’t miss music happening, including some new and second time here stuff. Christine Havrilla will be the featured artist of the month playing every Thursday except NYD. We have one of our famous, and almost always sold out Wine tastings on the 6th. 2015 is here and we are ready!
Mark your social calendars to reserve the dates of April 10 – 13th when we have the Actual 20th Year celebration. Details will be public soon, but I know you don’t want to miss any of that weekend and Monday. I do have some insider info on what is coming! The whole year will be filled with lots of 20 year hoopla, but we have an actual SSG 20th B day that has to stand on its own too, and I promise it will.
Questions/ Comments: email@example.com