Another year is almost here.
Can you believe 2006 is almost over? It went by so fast, like every year seems to do anymore. We thought it would be fun to take a look back at all the happenings at The Sandbar this year.
The Sandbar was in the news on the very first day of 2006. The front page of the Lawrence Journal-World featured a story about all the happenings out on the town the night before. Since our place is usually already full of people pretty early, the LJW staff can get a good party picture for the paper. Justin and Michelle, as 80's punk rockers, were featured in the front page picture.
March brought some nasty weather to town, and one of the biggest stories of the year was the microburst that hit Lawrence on March 12. The downtown and eastern areas of Lawrence were especially hard-hit, however it was mostly buildings on the west side of the streets running north-south that had damage. The Sandbar luckily came away with all windows intact and no damage. Amazingly enough, our St. Patrick's Day float was also unscathed. The float is built every year on an empty lot next to Dave's house. The storm leveled a massive old tree that sat probably twenty feet from the float. But, just like tornadoes, these storms are strange; the float was left untouched.
March 17, of course, was our annual Sandbar holiday of St. Patrick's Day. Our theme this year was a giant wedding cake with three tiers, complete with icing and flowers. You might be wondering how we came up with this idea, and I'll get to that in a minute. We had lots of helpers to build our cake float and it was finished in time. All of the float riders dressed as brides and grooms, with tiaras and veils and sequined green bow ties. Unfortunately it was a very chilly day, so the costumes weren't on display quite like they usually are. We also had a white limo and a horse-drawn carriage as part of our entourage down Mass Street.
The Sandbar became a real beach bar this year with the addition of an upstairs beach in the spring of 2006. Lots and lots of sand was hauled upstairs and spread on the floor, and Dave built a "dock" leading to the sand. A giant beach scene wall mural is pasted on one wall. The beach scene is an ideal spot for photos for Sandbar guests. We also think it would be perfect for small weddings or vow renewal ceremonies! (This is where the idea for our St. Patrick's Day float came from). So far, we haven't had any takers on the wedding idea, but we're not giving up. We even have two officially ordained-on-the-internet ministers ready to perform a ceremony, as soon as someone out there decided that a beach wedding at The Sandbar is exactly what they want!
This fall, we added a new fish tank in the back room and brand new windows in the front of the bar. The windows are hinged so we can open them up on nice days. We managed to get the windows in right before the big Get Downtown! street party that took place right in front of The Sandbar. For the first time, we were able to have an outdoor patio area where customers could drink. It was a great night for everyone.
As with every year, our staff experienced changes. We said goodbye to Jake and John, who left for Australia, and Leah, who took off for graduate school in Texas. We welcomed John, Drew, Morgan, and Josie to our family. The Sandbar staff is a close knit group, and we celebrated this with our annual Christmas party and gift exchange in December.
The Sandbar in Ottawa continued to grow it's business this year. A new covered deck was added outside that has been very popular. Peach and Ted expanded their business ventures in Ottawa by purchasing, renovating, and reopening the Plaza Cinemas theater this summer. These places along with The Lodge of Baldwin City keep them very busy.
And, of course, we began this blog in September. We also started an official Sandbar MySpace page in an effort to keep up with the technology of the world.
We're looking forward to ringing out 2006 with lots of fun at our annual New Year's Eve party tomorrow night!