HISTORIC TRIANGLE — There are a couple of tried and true methods restauranteurs will use to attract customers on evenings during the early and middle parts of the week.
There are food and beverage specials, game nights, karaoke nights. Those are all well and good. As much as I love a good “two for one pound of shrimp” night, my favorite bar “gimmick” is a good old-fashioned Open Mic Night.
I know for a large segment of society the term “open mic” evokes images of amateurs performing music or a comedian delivering a punch line to a silent and and unamused crowd. And, yes, that can be a common occurrence at these events (particularly if I am behind the mic). But there is so much more these experiences have to offer.
Open Mics are where a lot of artists have started out. If you ask most musicians or comics how their early performances went, I would be willing to bet that all of them would quickly recall a night where they could not land a joke or they forgot the words to a song and froze. Of all of those horror stories, I have to assume that the vast majority of them were at a local open mic.
Here is the cool thing: When an artist crashes and burns but keeps coming back over the next several weeks and even months, you could see them grow in their craft. With each performance, they often get more confident and their skills grow.
This may even apply to many that play the same songs or tell the same jokes every set. You will see them adjust the chord phrasing or rearrange a joke set up. This could help them to start getting more attention.
As they get better, the crowds start responding. In some cases, you will see the kid who was almost too nervous to get up in front of people a few years prior start booking gigs around town and recording their original work.
Open Mics are a utilitarian experience. The restaurant gets some extra business and it is also a chance for artists of any caliber to get up and share their gift as well as work on their craft in front of an audience. The only prerequisite is having the guts to get on the mic.
Next time you have a free weeknight to go out, take a look around at some of the Historic Triangle’s many open mics. You never know who’s career you will be able to claim you saw the start of.
For now, here is a list of where you can catch Open Mics around the Historic Triangle throughout the month:
Ready to head out for the weekend? Check out who is playing where around the Historic Triangle!
- Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill, 199 S Boundary Street
- Brass Cannon Brewing, 5476 Mooretown Road
- Saturday, March 26, 6 p.m. The People Collection
- Copper Fox Distillery, 901 Capital Landing Rd.
- Thursday, March 14, 6 p.m. The Manhattan Affair
- Hoss’s Deli-Seafood & Oyster Bar, 806 Old Oyster Point Rd.
- Friday, March 25, 9 p.m. Bourbon O’ Clock
- Saturday, March 26, 9 p.m. The Clue
- Jolene’s Bar and Grill, 3032 Richmond Rd.
- Oceans & Ale, 5601 Richmond Rd.
- Saturday March 26, 8:30 p.m. Kelly Vaughan Duo
- Tradition Brewing, 700 Thimble Shoals Blvd. Newport News
- Friday, March 25, 6:30 p.m. CK Kelce
- Trojan Grill, 11833 Aspengraf Ln, New Kent
- Friday, March 25, 6:30 p.m. Brand Franklin
- Two Drummers Smokehouse, 8864 Richmond Rd.
- Thursday, March 17, 7:00 p.m. Todd Murray
- Williamsburg Winery, 5800 Wessex Hundred