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October 17, 2002 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-17

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8B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazie - Thursday, October 17, 2002

The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine -

Off

the

beaten

path

Your guide to getting off campus for food and music

Daily Arts Writers
A sk most any University student about a good place to get food and hear music in Ann Arbor
and you will most likely be told to check out The Ark, The Bird of Paradise or The Blind Pig.
Unbeknownest to most students, Ann Arbor is home to a wide range of restaurants and bars
that feature music on a regular basis. The music scenes at these venues vary from jazz to folk
and everything in between. We've done the hard work for you and reviewed some of the lesser known

off-campus bars and restaurants that feature music.
The atmosphere of the Del Rio is best described as
eclectic. At first glance the Del Rio appears to be
decorated in the fashion of a local old-style tavern
- with dim lighting, raw brick walls and a bar
that stretches the length of the small restaurant.
However, upon further examination, one sees the
little idiosyncrasies that make this place unique;
church pews that serve as benches, artwork that
seems to have no relevance at all and a menu that
ranges from typical offerings such as nachos and
pizza (according to a waitress, the "best-kept
secret in town") to homemade tempeh chili. Even
the ethnic name, the "Del Rio" seems to have been
chosen at random, as the most Mexican aspect of
the whole place is per-
haps the nachos.=
The Del Rio offers ;
evening music ona
Sunday from 6 to 9
p.m. and Tuesday from
5 to 7 p.m. There is
never any cover for the ,
featured Sunday night°
jazz or the Tuesday
night "acoustic" sets.
Located at 122 West
Washington St., the
Del Rio offers a wide
range of music. While
jazz is usually featured
on Sundays (with a
fairly regular set of
rotating bands), the
Tuesday - night
acoustic features have
ranged in the past from
folk to classical to fla-
menco.T
The wide range in*
the menu and music The Old Town Tavern Is loca
offerings are, if any-
thing, representative of the wide range of cus-
tomers that come to enjoy themselves and the
music at the Del Rio. The customers are usual-
ly an eclectic mix of townies and students. No
matter who you are, and what kind of music
you may enjoy, there is "something for every-
one at least one time a month," a waitress at the
restaurant'said.
The Del Rio is a great option for those seeking
to hear live music in a comfortable atmosphere,
and who appreciate good drinks and very afford-
able food. Be forewarned, however, the music is

loud and is not conducive to conversation. This is
a great place to come with friends if you are just
looking to kick-back on a Sunday or Tuesday and
hear some tunes. Music listings are available in
The Current, a free local event listing available in
campus buildings and coffee shops.
For the past 15 years, local folk musicians have
made their way to the family-owned Old Town
Tavern every Sunday night to play music of the
folk and bluegrass genre. Starting at 8 p.m. and
often lasting well-beyond the designated 10 p.m.
ending time, the Old Town Tavern plays host to
folk and acoustic music offerings. Performers
have been known to
include Charlie
Weaver, Jay Steiltra,
Jim Roll, Chris
Buhalis and Rollie
Tussing III - all
well-known in Ann
Arbor's local folk
scene. While the Old
Town has a rotating
list of local bands,
new bands also play
here. Often times after
playing at the Ark,
. musicians are sent to
the Old Town on a
Sunday evening to
play a couple of sets,
said Liz Davis, the
self-described "man-
ager for 1,000 years."
A Tavern since
1867, thus making the
it one of the oldest
bars still running in
RYAN WEINER/Daily teaeteOdTw
ed at 122 W. Liberty St the area, the Old Town
offers a neighborhood
feel where "most of the staff, just like the regulars,
haven't changed much," Davis said. The Sunday
night crowd of regulars is a mix of musicians and
locals, most of whom know each other from years
past. The student faction is small, and you are
more likely to find grad students here than under-
grads. Although the Old Town certainly plays host
to a number of regulars, newcomers alike are wel-
comed, "I fight to maintain an atmosphere where
lots of people feel welcome," says Davis.
Favorite dishes in the Tavern include the que-
sadillas, burgers and ribs. The beers on tap are

JESSICA YURASEK/Daily

Patrons relax at Conor O'Neils, located at 318 S. Main St.

Michigan beers, with the favorite being Bells,
brewed out of Kalamazoo. However, Davis is
quick to point out that "good old-fashioned
American Beers are holding their-own against
Bell's." The Old Town has been compared in the
past to the closest place to Cheers you can find in
Ann Arbor. This is a place where after playing a
set, band members will often walk around and
chat with the audience.
If you enjoy folk music and the feel of a well-
established neighborhood bar, the Old Town is the
place to go. The Old Town is located at 122 West
Liberty St. Prices are affordable and music listings
are available in The Current.
The evening music available at the Kerrytown
Bistro is not meant to be the main feature for din-
ers. This is strikingly apparent when you walk into
the Bistro to find the musical talent set up direct-
ly in front of you, looking rather crammed in next
to the host's booth. Aesthetic appeal of the music
set-up aside, (or rather, lack-there-of) the mix of
quiet jazz and romantic guitar playing is quite
effective as what it is meant to be - background
music for customers who seek a quiet, romantic
evening. A romantic evening at the Kerrytown
Bistro is almost unavoidable; with luscious meals
that appeal to taste, smell and sight, as well as a
warm, picturesque atmosphere with dim lighting,
intimate candle-lit tables, open-brick walls and
beautiful hardwood floors. The Kerrytown Bistro
boasts both- aesthetic and saporific appeal. On
Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, it delightfully
appeals to the auditory senses as well.
Though the manager, Stephen Kasle, claims

that the Kerrytown Bistro attracts an "eclectic"
crowd,,this is a place where you can imagine find-
ing your Romantic Literature prof. out to an
anniversary dinner with his or her spouse (not that
we did or anything). The crowd here is older and
well, richer. Unless your budget allows for entrees
on up from $17 (for the stuffed squash) to $32 (for
the rack of lamb, which, incidentally is supposed
to be fantastic) you had better plan on sticking to
the salads and appetizers. Plates may, however, be
split at no extra charge.
The music featured is that of guitarists John
Harris-Behling and Jake Reichbart. Harris-Behling,
a School of Music grad student, usually covers
Tuesday evenings while Jake Reichbart, a profes-
sional musician, covers Wednesdays. The music was
originally started to attract more customers on the
slowest nights of the week. While manager Stephen
Kasle claims that sometimes there are so many peo-
ple you can hardly hear the music, last Tuesday there
were only about four tables occupied in the entire
restaurant (out of an estimated twenty or so).
Whether a full-house appeals to you or not, if you
are looking for mood-setting music to accompany a
quiet, romantic evening (and want to impress your
date... a lot) the Kerrytown Bistro on a Tuesday or
Wednesday evening is the place.
Conour t'Nei~s
Those interested in experiencing a truly authentic
Irish pub need go no further than Main Street to get
a real taste of the emerald isle. Conor O'Neill's
brings the distinct feel of an Irish pub right to down-
town Ann Arbor, from its traditional decor to its
friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
See VENUES, Page :IB

at

John Harrs-Behling, a University Music grad student, plays at The Kerrytown Bistro.

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