Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good luck Americana

I like the concept for The Americana in Pineville, but I’m not sure it’s going to work.

It’s got good food and good music. Always a plus.
But it’s not close to uptown, and they want way too much money.

Road Dawg and I went there late Friday. We were two of maybe six people there at about 11 p.m. We ate the black-eyed pea battered shrimp appetizer, and bread pudding dessert. The bread pudding wasn’t worth talking about, but the shrimp was tasty. It was lightly battered, and it didn’t taste black-eyed-pea-ey at all. The waitress gave us a discount because our order was one shrimp short.

She also only charged us $8 admission because we arrived so late.
The place is homey, like Cracker Barrel without the clutter. They sell knickknacks such as Southern-themed recipe books, roots music CDs, muscadine syrup, etc. Tuesday through Sunday the venue features a live Americana band, from bluegrass to jazz to gospel.

It also offers a Sunday gospel brunch. (No alcohol on Sundays.)
We heard Neighbor Acres perform last week, and the band was good. But here’s the rub: After 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, you pay an $8 to $12 cover charge even if you’ve arrived earlier and ate dinner. Entrees range from $8-$22.

The restaurant should waive the cover for patrons who arrive before 9 p.m. and who spend a pre-determined minimum.

Roots music is a niche genre. The Americana is competing against the Sylvia Theatre in York and the Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte. Both attract more well-known acts. During the holidays, people will be shopping at and around Carolina Place. Why not entice them with good food and no cover charge?


Get Serious Tonya said...

So you don't think the entertainer's should be paid? You should just get to listen for free? Get serious. Cover charges are how bands make money. Particularly if it's a touring act, they come in there to play with a modest guarantee or none at all. So just because you happened to come to eat, you should get to listen for free? You always go on and on and on and ON about good bands not coming to Charlotte and going elsewhere. You think that not paying them is the answer? You can go see a bs cover band for free at crappy sports bars because 1) the bar pays them a pittance, likely $150 to $300 (and that's all they are worth probably anyway 2) the bar hasn't spent any money to have them there (i.e. the band is responsible for bringing their own PA and support 3) the band is likely local and isn't making their living at it anyway.

When you want to go see a real original band at a real venue with a real sound system that they've spent real money, you can't be surprised when they also expect a cover, ESPECIALLY on a Friday night. Get serious. Pay or go home. When was the last time you saw a show on a weekend for free at the Neighborhood Theatre? When was the last time you didn't ask for a paycheck for writing a terrible column or blog in the paper?

I mean, really. You are who was freaking out a couple days ago that only 5000(!) people were willing to pay $100 apiece to go see a washed up version of Stevie Wonder, and you're complaining about $8! My god.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this one, Tonya. When was the last time I dropped $75 on a meal & drinks at Neighborhood Theatre & THEN was expected to come up with a cover charge to see some music?? NEVER!! I love the reference to "national touring acts" also. Just because someone has a guitar and can get in their car and drive around the country, it is misleading to advertise them as such. First rule of thumb in the music got to have somebody people WANT to see before they will come out. If you want to check it out this place you should go soon. I predict a ghost town by March.

Anonymous said...

It's out of business. By the way, when did the previous poster pay $75 for a meal and drinks at the Americana?

Sorry Tonya, Americana didn't have people up there "spinning" another artist's music, so it wouldn't be your kind of place.