April 05, 2017
By Brandi Harvey
"When you're alone and life is making you lonely you can always go....downtown."
Ah, Petula Clark had it right. As I begin my time covering the music scene for Connect, it seems there's no better way to begin than with a look at some of the local live music venues and no better place to start than downtown. As the buzz of community growth floods our local media and social media pages, the music scene in Statesboro is doing a great job keeping up. Local restaurants are tapping into the local music scene to not only bring in customers, but to add a bit of culture and a lot of energy to our dining while supporting local artists.
With the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority leading the charge in the "America's Best Communities" competition, local business owners and restaurateurs are catching the wave and bringing in local artists to attract a broader clientele and enliven the interaction between our growing population and the gifted musicians that Bulloch County has become known for.
We'll begin on West Main Street. A relatively new name to downtown, GeeDa's sits in the location formerly known as Chops, but management and staff are no strangers to the area. Owner Andy Aldred has stepped in to make sure this establishment has some deliciously unique food offerings and a bar scene that brings in local musicians for an excellent experience. The added bonus of serving a Sunday brunch makes this venue a prime spot for the after church crowd, but evenings featuring area musicians bring in crowds who are looking for a little something different.
To quote another familiar tune, "Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name," and our downtown restaurants have gotten this down to an art. If you frequent any of our downtown Statesboro establishments, you'll find bartenders who are quick to learn your face, name and drink. Often voted an area favorite in this department is 40 East Grill on East Main Street. Over the last two years, owners Woody Pumphrey and Brian Carter have brought on management and staff who know the value of relating to their customers. On Thursday through Saturday during the spring you can find the bar and back deck full of regulars who come back time and again to enjoy the live music of local and regional artists. They've even held a few CD release parties in their adjacent venue "The Hall," and they continue to bring in up and coming local artists while continuing to support their house favorites.
Our last stop on the "East-West Main Street Circuit" is Eagle Creek Brewery. If brews and music is your preference, head on down to Eagle Creek Brewery Co. While they are actually located on Savannah Avenue, they're a quick walk from the Bulloch County Courthouse and the Averitt Center for the Arts and feature Wednesday night open mics to give our local singer/songwriters one of the only local open mic venues around. Nothing helps a songwriter out like getting a live audience's feedback on an in-progress tune, and the Dismuke family understands what a great break these types of events can be for newcomers to the music scene. And, lest we forget, they also have regular bands, duets and solo acts on stage to add that extra something special that only live music can give an evening out for brews with friends.
As lovers of music can attest, the only way to keep live music growing and strong is to support these and other venues which offer us the chance to perform and build our fan base. Next month we will check out some of the hottest spots closer to Georgia Southern University, where you can catch some of our best local artists performing.