Sandbar & Grille kicks off live music with new, outdoor space

NOW: Sandbar & Grille kicks off live music with new, outdoor space

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- Sandbar & Grille is finally getting to make use of a new outdoor space created to help stay open during the pandemic.

“We’re going to have this for the next five weeks, so we’ll have the bands play until 10 on Friday and 11 on Saturday up through Labor Day,” said Tom Jennings, a partner at The Sandbar & Grille.

Saint Joseph’s noise ordinance allows outdoor music until 9 on Fridays and 10 on Saturdays. The city previously approved Sandbar’s request to push both back one hour.

But – some residents were uneasy about the noise.

“They were concerned that we had it too late, there were a few concerns about noise, but we’re in a commercial area here and we’ll try to keep it down,” said Jennings.

Some others who live nearby say they’re happy to see the liveliness return to St. Joe.

“It wasn’t too loud, it didn’t overwhelm where we were - and I thought it was just long enough, it was really nice,” said resident Paul Byrne.

While resident Diane Freedman said, “To be able to sit out in your yard when you really can’t go anywhere because of the coronavirus and get a concert like that, it’s amazing.”

Jennings also owns Czar’s 505 downtown and said he came up with the idea since his club, which specializes in live music, hasn’t been able to open in any capacity for five months.

“Right now with the governors order it’s not practical to run Czar’s, an inside basement space, with live music and people gathering together so we have a bigger space out here,” said Jennings. “The bands were looking forward to it, they haven’t had a lot of gigs, so we picked up all of our all-star bands from Czar’s and are going to have them play here.”

With only about a dozen tables with 5 seats each, Sandbar will be able to keep this from becoming a huge gathering.

Plus —some of the proceeds will be donated.

“We’re trying to make a little money for charity, we have charities lined up for the rest of Saturdays and they’re going to get the door proceeds,” said Jennings.

Each weekend will support different organizations, some of those being CASA and Young Life.

As for the band’s this weekend, Johnnys and the Good Times performs on Friday night. Then Saturday, two Czar’s favorites, Freak Show and P.S. Dump Your Boyfriend.

The kitchen will also be open during the concerts and it only costs $5 dollars at the door, all of that money going to charity.

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