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?