"The shows were open to locals and families and people could bring their dogs and kids and have picnics," Lisa Cilva Ward said during an interview with The Park Record. "It had a great energy to it."
During the early months of 2012, Ward and her husband came up with a plan to bring the live-concert energy inside the café and started up the Park City Limits series.
"The café is an intimate space and we only have 50 seats, so that dictated the type of music we could offer," Ward explained. "We knew that we needed to find intimate and acoustic artists who offered something that reached all audiences."
So, they chose the singer and songwriter genre, which also includes folk, bluegrass and Americana artists, and presented them on Friday and Saturday nights.
Next week, however, the Silver Star Café will offer Park City Limit concerts every night during film festival week, which runs from Thursday, Jan. 17, through Saturday, Jan. 26. (See accompanying schedule titled "Park City Limits film-festival Week line up").
"We wanted to (create) a place where locals could easily get to with free parking," Ward said. "Main Street can get congested during that time and locals, even those who enjoy the Sundance experience, want some time away from the crowds.
"We also wanted to offer people a place to come enjoy some food and music before heading off to the festival or just to take a night off," she said. "It's candle lit and almost like a house concert. It's cozy and very Park City in a genuine way."
Because the shows are so intimate, they will sell out quickly, Ward said.
"Reservations are really important, because we don't want to have to turn anyone away," she said.
All the concerts will be showcased in a dinner-concert setting.
"We're not a bar, so our liquor license doesn't allow us to serve wine or beer unless our guests are eating with us," Ward explained. "But the lineup is a mix of local, regional and national artists."
Local artists include Matt Wink, Small House Strings, Mister Sister and Elizabeth Hareza, who began playing in Park City a few months ago.
"We've got some Salt Lake artists like Billy Shaddox who plays once a month at the café, on the schedule," Ward said. "We're supporting him as a solo artist after he played for many years in a band in San Diego, and he will play with Kara Tauchman, who is an amazing vocalist."
Other Salt Lake artists on the schedule are Jamie Sterling, the Coldcreek Trio and the Onion Brothers, another trio, comprised of members of the Folka Dots.
"Since we can't accommodate a full band, we opted for trios, which is about as far as we can go in our space," Ward said.
The nationally known musicians who will play next week are Coles Whalen and Kim O'Hara, who are coming in from Denver, Colo., and Headshine, duo from San Diego who play acoustic reggae.
"We're expanding in our music to include acoustic reggae," Ward said. "Headshine played on the plaza during the summer and contacted us to see if we had some open spots during the Sundance."
Ever since the Silver Star Café started Park City Limits, the feedback has been rewarding.
"The nicest thing is that Jeff and I will usually enjoy our own dinner at the end of the evening and guests will stop by our table and say, 'Thank you for inviting us into your living room,'" Ward said. "We've been doing intimate shows for a little more than a year and have found people love them, so we wanted to offer a little more."
The Silver Star Café will offer Park City Limits concerts throughout film festival week, Jan. 17, through Jan. 26. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (435) 655-3456. For more information, visit www.silverstarcafe.com.