Updated Wed, Aug 20, 2014 11:52 pm
Kiser's Barbeque is bringing a bit of The Big Easy to The Plains this weekend.
A day-long New Orleans Jazz BBQ and Dance Party is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. this Saturday at the restaurant's Eclipse Company Town location.
The event will feature top-notch local talent on Kiser's outdoor stage, including The High Society Jazz Band, Angela Blair, Ry Burhans & The Calypso Jugband Extravaganza, The Word of Mouth Jazz Band and The Wild Honeybees.
An all-you-can-eat barbeque and crab buffet is planned, with barbeque pork, ribs, wings and tofu, crab legs and a variety of sides, along with hurricanes (a New Orleans cocktail) and seasonal Ohio craft brews.
The Honeybees' Mark Burhans came up with the concept for the New Orleans-style shindig, although he wasn't sure how restaurant owner Sean Kiser would react to the idea.
"I was fully prepared to be met with skepticism, and ultimately, rejection," said Burhans. "Instead, I received an enthusiastic “hell yeah!” from Sean."
Burhans added that Kiser has been fully supportive of the event, putting time, energy and money into ensuring its success. As a fellow restauranteur (Burhans is a co-owner of Salaam), he's well aware of the risk anytime an eatery tries something new.
"I have nothing but admiration and respect for Sean's willingness to include music as part of his restaurant, because I know it's not always the most profitable thing from a restaurant owner's point of view," he said. "He has put complete trust in me to come up with a program of interesting and exciting music to go along with the interesting, exciting and delicious food that Kiser's will be offering."
While barbeque is Kiser's specialty, the restaurant has built up a large repertoire of other dishes that are often served during private gatherings at Eclipse, which range from business meetings to weddings. Some of those off-menu items are shared at special public events, such as this weekend's party and the recent Jammin' Hog Music & BBQ Festival, held in conjunction with Ohio Brew Week.
"We love to host these special events," said Kiser's Event Coordinator Tiffany Tomeo. "They give our fans an opportunity to try out some of the other great foods we make that can't be ordered at our other locations. Also, our guests really enjoy the historic building and our outdoor lawn. It's a great space for both indoor and outdoor concerts."
While all the musical and culinary ingredients are in place for this weekend, creating a New Orleans vibe isn't just about music and food--it's also about bringing people together to celebrate life, according to Burhans.
"One of the things I love about the street music of New Orleans is the sense of community. Everyone, young and old, babies and grandparents alike, gets out in the street and participates," he said, referring to the city's traditional "second line" parades. "When the feeling is right, everybody wants to get involved, whether it's just by stomping your foot or dancing like a fool. When you do that, you're no longer just an audience member; you become part of the show, and part of a kind of transcendent experience that we all crave. The Honeybees try to create that kind of energy every time we play, and we certainly hope to do that on Saturday night."
Tickets for the buffet and music are $20 (adult), $7 (kids age four-12) and free for kids three and under. Music-only tickets are $5 per person. Tickets will be sold at the door and in advance at www.eventbrite.com.
For information and updates, visit the Kiser's BBQ at Eclipse Facebook page.
2 p.m. High Society Jazz Band
4 p.m. Angela Blair
4 p.m. Ry Burhans & The Calypso Jugband Extravaganza
6 p.m. Word of Mouth Jazz Band
8 p.m. The Wild Honeybees