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Tavern on the River 

Since Donnie Thomas assumed his role as part owner of Rivershack Tavern (3449 River Road, Jefferson, 834-4938) nearly two years ago, his goal has remained the same -- to have the landmark spot serve as "a place for good food, good music and good times."

In addition to some interior remodeling that opened up the barroom area, Thomas has helped usher in an increased focus on live music as well as a revamped lunch menu.

"When you come in for lunch, there's no telling what you'll find," Thomas says of the ever-changing roster of daily specials. Monday, of course, always means red beans and rice, but during the rest of the week, you'll find offerings such as frog legs, shrimp stew and pork quesadillas as well as seafood specialties like pan-seared tuna and grilled mahi mahi. Lunch specials typically cost between $9 and $13.

Thomas keeps the prices at the bar affordable as well, as Rivershack does not raise drink prices during live music, despite the fact that the club never charges a cover.

Rivershack now offers live music three nights a week, from Thursday through Saturday. Thursday is acoustic jam night, when a laidback vibe from the music matches the show's 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. time slot. Often, Thursday features a well-known local artist -- such as Kim Carson or Washboard Chaz -- seeking to perform a gig in a more mellow environment, without a backing band.

"Thursday is for people to come out, have a drink, listen and enjoy some music and be home early," says Thomas.

On Fridays, Rivershack usually hosts new acts, while Saturday brings established favorites such as bluesman Bryan Lee.

"The bands bring their crowd, and the Rivershack has its own crowd. So it works out well for everybody," Thomas says.

Children's Holiday Tea
"Taking tea" in the proper British fashion has become a tradition at Le Salon in the Windsor Court Hotel (300 Gravier St.). During the holidays there will be a special menu featuring gingerbread men and hot cocoa for the kids, who will marvel at the towering 20-foot Christmas tree surrounded by an Orient-Express model train and life-size toy soldiers in the hotel lobby. For a reservation, call 596-4773.

click to enlarge Rivershack Tavern focuses on good music and tasty food, - which equals a good time for customers. - FRANK ETHERIDGE
  • Frank Etheridge
  • Rivershack Tavern focuses on good music and tasty food, which equals a good time for customers.
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