Instead of featuring live bands on the plaza, the café will expand its intimate Park City Limits dinner performances to include Thursday, as well as the regular Friday and Saturday nights, said Lisa Cilva Ward, who along with her husband Jeff, own the Silver Star Café.
"These performances, like Friday and Saturday nights' performances will be for the Silver Star customers," Ward said during an interview with The Park Record. "This is a dinner show and it's an intimate dining experience, so it will be a really good idea to make a reservation.
The performances, which will begin with Shannon Runyon on Thursday, May 8, when the café reopens for the summer season, will still be outdoors and feature local and nationally touring artists. (See story titled "Silver Star Café Music Schedule from May to October" for schedule)
The difference is that the concerts will be only for café dinner guests.
"We are committed to supporting local artists, and we started Park City Limits by working with local artists, four years ago," Ward said. "As our reputation as a music venue has grown, we are being contacted more and more by touring artists and they have shared that with other artists. We started booking soloists and duos, and in the past year, we've added trios."
The only criteria for artists to perform at Silver Star Café is that their music needs to complement the intimacy of the Silver Star Café.
"We look for people who play original, acoustic styles that fit within our space," Ward said. "They can play bluegrass, blues, jazz, folk and some folk-rock.
"As much as we love rock 'n' roll, it's not really a fit for us because the restaurant is so intimate," she said.
Originally, the Park City Limits performances were an attempt to bring the energy from Plaza Palooza inside the café during the winter.
"Music is such a big part of Jeff's and my identities," Ward said. "We both grew up with music and wanted to include music as one of the art forms we support here."
Live music also forms the foundation of what the Wards want to do with the Silver Star Café.
"We want to offer good food, good service, a unique ambiance and good music," Ward said. "It's like a four-legged table.
In addition to giving their customers a great dining and listening experience, the Wards give the musicians a unique performing experience.
"We strongly support the artists," she said. "We pay them well and we offer them dinner before the show and treat them as our guests."
Although adding Thursday to the Park City Limits schedule is exciting, Ward said she will miss working with the bands that have performed during Plaza Palooza.
"What's nice is a lot of the musicians in those bands play in trio configurations," she said. "So they are coming to play for us in the café."
Still, it was good five-year run for Plaza Palooza, Ward said.
"It started with the Silver Star property developers," she explained. "It was a way to get people up here and to bring some energy to the development to show them what this area was about."
The Wards purchased the Silver Star Café in 2010 and agreed to keep Plaza Palooza going.
"When we took it over we paid for everything, did all the logistics and hired all the bands," Ward said. "Then it got so big that it became an issue just dealing with the needs and volume of people who were coming to the shows and balancing that with being respectful of the neighborhood. Some Thursdays we had more than 300 people."
That proved to be a challenge because of the plaza's location.
"We're in a formal neighborhood and have more than 100 property owners on site, and have homes all around us," Ward said. "The event got so big that the property manager had to hire additional staff just to deal with all the people and car traffic on the Plaza Palooza nights. It was just too much of a good thing."
For more information about Park City Limits, the Silver Star Café and reservations call 435-655-3456 or visit www.thesiverstarcafe.com.