Seven Local Pubs and Restaurants Participating in Friday’s Party
By Matt Bayman
YELLOW SPRINGS — Fat Tuesday will take place on February 21 this year, but in Yellow Springs, Mardi Gras is coming early.
On Friday, February 17, Yellow Springs will host the Cajun Invasion Pub Crawl — an event that combines the flavors of Cajun cuisine at local restaurants and the nightlife atmosphere of the Big Easy during Mardi Gras at local pubs.
“Yellow Springs isn’t a big enough town to have a big party on a Tuesday night, so I think it’s a great idea to celebrate Mardi Gras on Saturday night. That way, everyone can come out, relax and have a good time on the weekend,” said “Clean” Gene Elohman, a local DJ that I met at Peach’s Bar & Grill, which is one of seven pubs and restaurants taking part in the event on Friday. On Friday night Elohman will be the DJ at Ye Olde Trail Tavern — another participating location — and said he looks forward to contributing to the Mardi Gras theme.
“I love the music of New Orleans and I can’t wait to play some great Cajun music, zydeco, jazz and blues, and I know Cathy, the owner of the pub, will be cooking up something very special for the evening,” he said.
Holly Simpson, Marketing and Events Coordinator for the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce, said the Cajun Invasion Pub Crawl is a “celebration of Cajun food and drink” and that there is no set time for the start of the event.
“Visitors can start their evening with dinner at one of the participating restaurants: Peach’s Grill, The Sunrise Café, The Winds Café, Ye Olde Trail Tavern or Chen’s Asian Bistro, or come early to stroll around town and sample the unique culture Yellow Springs has to offer, including 65 shops and attractions,” she said. The party will technically go on until the bars close their doors late in the evening.
Maisie Taibbi, an employee at Emporium Wines, said Friday nights are always fun at the Emporium, and that this Friday should be no different.
“We have a wine tasting every Friday and people always have a wonderful time. Kurt, the owner of the wine store and bar, always picks a great wine and I’m sure he’ll do something French (for the Cajun Invasion) and we always have live music,” she said. Gary Arnold and Stone Cold Soup will be playing live at the Emporium on Friday.
Steve Edington, owner of The Gulch at 128 Dayton Street, said Yellow Springs’ “old school long bar” will be extending its happy hour pricing on all domestic and import beers on Friday and also hosting a colorful karaoke night.
“You can sing “Blue Bayou” or any of your favorites during karaoke,” he said. Karaoke starts at 9p.m. and runs until 12:30a.m., and there is no cover charge.
Mary Kay Smith, owner of the Winds Café, will transform her traditional gourmet menu in order to serve authentic Cajun favorites for one evening only.
“We will be serving fried oysters with remoulade, chicken and andouille gumbo and a host of Cajun inspired cocktails,” she said.
Simpson said visitors also can stop by Ye Olde Trail Tavern to not only enjoy a beer and DJ Clean Gene spinning tunes (5-10p.m.), but to purchase a limited edition Cajun Invasion Pub Crawl T-shirt, which were screened locally by Basho Apparel.
Simpson said visitors can top off their evening at the Sunrise Café’s Martini and Tapas Lounge (it opens at 9:30 p.m.) or by listening to the music of Ape the Ghost at Peach’s Grill, which starts at 10p.m.
As an added bonus, visitors to the Cajun Invasion Pub Crawl can enter to win gift certificates from participating businesses. Winners will be selected at random on Monday, February 20. Entry forms and a map that leads visitors to each of the participating restaurants and pubs during the Cajun Invasion Pub Crawl can be found at any of the above-mentioned locations.
The Cajun Invasion Pub Crawl is part of the Third Weekend Fling in the Springs celebration that takes place each month. For more information on future Fling in the Springs and other events scheduled in Yellow Springs, visit www.yellowspringsohio.org or call (937) 767-2686.
Reach DCP freelance writer Matt Bayman at MattBayman@DaytonCityPaper.com
Photo: Chad Dean Productions