-OB - e Michigan Daily Weeken Magazine - Thursday, eptember 19, 1996
U U 9 3
Diamondback Saloon, Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon kick
back, offer country-style atmosphere
By Jennifer Harvey
Daily Staff Reporter
Country lovers often miss the legendary cowboy
call when they come to Ann Arbor. But a few scat-
tered havens offer opportunities to hear a good
vee-haw," and even, don't faint. country music in
[or those who just want to kick back. listen to
some Alan Jackson or Clint Black and eat meat.
the Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon, located at
903 W. Eisenhower Pkwy. is the place to be.
"We're trying to recreate the theme of an old
Texas saloon," said Lone Star Executive Vice
President and CEO John White. "It's a place to
relax and have a little entertainment."
Another local mecca for those who want to head
"down home" for a night out dancing is the
Diamondback Saloon, located on the I-94 service
drive in VanBuren Township. The Diamondback
features country dancing and drinks.
"It's just a good place to have a good time.' said
Director Billy Hamblin. "It's
a country crowd, but it's a he DJ
White said the Lone Star Saloon is
offers its guests an unconven-
tional atmosphere, where the down-and
portions are large and the
shells are shucked on the raunchy I
Yep, the Lone Star staff tonn
Hamblin said Diamondback visitors can expect
a fun, but safe time. "We watch over our people
real well," he said. "We don't let people get smash-
ing drunk in here. We'll offer them coffee and
water until they're okay to leave."
"We're not a sit-down-and-get-drunk raunchy
honky-tonk," he said.
Hamblin said the Diamondback is essentially a
dance club. "We have a complete dance program
with instructors at all levels," he said.
The Diamondback's dance floor is plenty spa-
cious, according to Hamblin. "The building used
to be a Sports Illustrated racquet ball center, so it's
a good-sized dance floor."
Dance classes are offered in eight-week ses-
sions at the Diamondback. Prices for the classes
vary. The next session will start in early or mid-
October, Hamblin said.
Free line dance classes are held on Wednesdays
Hamblin said in addition to dancing fun, the
club offers "games." Hamblin described one game,
saying four men and four
women are picked out of
monaIck the crowd and taken to the
center of the dance floor.
110 a si Once there, the women
race a golf ball up and
get-drunk down the men's pants.
Hamblin said the winners
lnQ- receive various prizes.
Hamblin said drinks are
cheap at the
- Billy Hamblin Diamondback, with spe-
. Billycials nearly every night.
ainment Director Shot specials are a club
favorite on Friday and
Saturday nights, Hamblin
Thirsty dancers can wet their whistles on
Mondays with $4 pitchers, he said.
A deli-style kitchen serves up snacks and sand-
wiches for bar-goers as well.
Live music is another big plus for the club,
Hamblin said. He said bands rotate the establish-
ment Tuesday through Sunday. Hamblin said the
bands Northern Drive, Barnstormer, Rebel Heart
and the James Michael Simmons band currently
play at the Diamondback.
Thursday night, all-request night, is a favorite
among younger crowds, Hamblin said. The DJ plays
a mix of rock, jazz, pop, country and dance music.
Draft beer for $.25 is also a big draw, he said.
The Diamondback restricts admission to those
21 years old or older, unless an individual is
accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.
Anyone under 21 must leave the bar at 10 p.m.
Hamblin said there is no cover charge in place
during the week, but weekend guest must pay $2
Yee-haw, you don't have to chase forlornly after
guys playing country music from their jeeps, you
know where to find others like you.
allows and even encourages
guests to throw the shells of
the complimentary peanuts
on the floor. "It's a custom at
.the Lone Star," White said.
"You can just throw 'em on the floor."
White said the shell-tossing is part of the "Texas
hospitality" on which the Lone Star prides itself.
"We have large portions, Texas-size portions, and
Texas hospitality," he said.
Lone Star food is great, White said. "We feature
steaks, USDA choice beef, cut in the kitchen and,
aged to our specifications."
From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. guests can also choose
some fabulous rib, fish and chicken dishes, White
said. "We also have a great pork chop."
All entrees include the cost of bread and a din-
ner salad. White said the average dinner costs
about $18 per person. "But, you can eat quite well
for $10 or 12," he said.
White said guests are occasionally -entertained
by a spontaneous line-dance performance by the
servers. "Or they might try to get the customers to
sing a few bars of a country song,' he said.
Guests are also encouraged to join the servers'
dancing, White said.
The Lone Star also features a full bar, open an
hour later than the kitchen.
Those who want to get more physical about
their country music can head to the Diamondback.
Melissa Grackz, from EMU, and Jeff Menzer, from Trenton, learn how to line-dance at the Diamondback
Saloon. This is their first time line dancing, but they hope to practice more in the future.
Yee-Haw! Here's a little bit of country in the
Ann Arbor area:
~ Diamondback Saloon
Located on the 1-94 service drive, VanBuren Township.
Features country dancing and drinks.
~ Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon
903 West Eisenhower Pkwy, Ann Arbor.
Featuring line-dancing servers along with Texas-size portions and hospitality.
Dance Class Schedule at the Diamondback
Beginner and Intermediate West Coast Swing
Intermediate and Advanced Two-step
Free line dance class
Advanced and beginner two-step
Beginner and intermediate two-step
Free line dance class free two-step class
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