Events at the Tent, a newly announced collaboration between local restaurants, will bring entertainment and fine dining to the public in a safe, socially-distanced manner.
Teaming up with Jagoe Homes, Lure Seafood & Grille and Famous Bistro began offering additional tables and live music to the public through Events at the Tent last weekend.
Lure operating partner Ben Skiadas developed the idea with Bill and Scott Jagoe after discussing his desire to keep customers safe during what could be a rough fall and winter for local restaurants after patios close down and indoor seating continues to be reduced because of COVID-19.
“The whole reason we’re doing this is to increase safety. This gives people something to do in a safe way,” Skiadas said.
Skiadas said Lure had been offering live music on the patio five nights a week and had received great feedback from customers about the vibe and the opportunity to hear local musicians play again. He said it felt good to be able to book musicians, many of whom had struggled to find gigs during the pandemic.
But with the weather growing colder, Skiadas was aware that patio season would soon come to a close. So he spoke with the Jagoes — which he called longtime supporters, neighbors and friends of Lure — about how to continue that vibe amidst the various government regulations in place for indoor restaurants and bars.
“If the government decides to take us down to 25%, that gets a little tricky,” he said. “The Bistro has 15 tables. At 25% capacity, that’s only three tables. That’s a huge obstacle to overcome as a business.”
Skiadas’ parents, who own Famous Bistro, have been well aware of the dangers of COVID-19, Skiadas said. Both are considered high-risk because of age, while one is immunocompromised.
The Jagoes offered Skiadas their green space in front of Smothers Park to place an outdoor tent that could accommodate more tables. They also offered to sponsor the Events at the Tent.
“I don’t know what I did to deserve this fantastic relationship with them, but I’m so grateful for it,” Skiadas said. “I told them, ‘That’s huge.’”
Two days later, the City of Owensboro approved the idea and things began to fall into place one by one, Skiadas said. He was able to acquire a catering liquor license, draft trailers for beer and a trailer bar.
“Before I knew it, it was actually feasible,” Skiadas said. “Now we’re open and running.”
The tent will serve as a joint patio for Lure and Famous Bistro. Customers will have to be seated at a table. The tent was designed to seat 500 but in the name of safety, Skiadas and his team will allow 125 patrons to be seated at one time.
Though the patio and restaurants remain open at both locations, live music was moved from Lure to the tent because of the cooler weather. Food can be ordered from either restaurant inside the tent and will be delivered via golf cart by employees.
Events at the Tent will also feature a projector screen and two 82-inch TVs that feature sports, including high school football games.
Skiadas said customers have responded positively to the idea, and being able to help those in the community has made him fulfilled, especially during such a turbulent time for restaurants and bars.
“It’s something different, and I think, in these times, you need something different,” he said. “We’re going to continue to be creative in making situations work so we can provide great service and entertainment to the community.”
Located at 118 W. Veterans Boulevard, the tent will be open to the public from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12-4 p.m. on Sundays. Live music will be played Thursday-Saturday from 7-11 p.m.