Silver Star owners enjoy booking live shows
June 15, 2012
For Silver Star Café owners Jeff and Lisa Ward music is a large part of their lives.
Not only do they enjoy listening to music, but they also produce live concerts at the café and the adjacent plaza.
Plaza Palooza, a series held Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., is a laid-back concert series for the community.
The Friday night Park City Limits series is comprised of intimate offerings by singers and songwriters who perform for dining patrons who are seated at tables inside the café.
Plaza Palooza was in place before the Wards bought the café two years ago, said Jeff Ward during an interview with The Park Record.
"The previous owners basically handed the series off to us to keep it going," Ward said. "It wasn’t a hard sale, because we loved the idea of presenting a community event."
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The Wards do all the booking and coordinating of the concerts.
"We’ve also added our musical preferences when we schedule the acts," he said.
The musicians they hire for the outdoor shows tend to straddle the lines of folk rock and bluegrass, he said.
"We use quite a few local artists and also book Salt Lake artists and, on occasion, some nationally touring acts," Ward explained. "We don’t go full heavy rock ‘n’ roll or metal because there is really kind of laid-back feeling on the plaza, and that’s what’s dictates who we book."
The Wards also haven’t booked any jazz artists, either.
"We’re not opposed to jazz," he said. "It’s just that we haven’t done any jazz artists, yet, but that might be a good fit."
Plaza Palooza performances have also changed the way the café serves food on Thursday night.
"We don’t do our usual menu, nor do we do table service," Ward said. "It’s sort of a casual atmosphere and we do counter service where people walk up to our counter to order their foods. We also set up a grill on the plaza and cook specials, and people can approach the grill and order food, as well."
After ordering, people can find a place to sit and eat and enjoy the scene, he said.
"Everyone is welcome to come to the plaza and you don’t have to be a café patron to enjoy the music," Ward said. "The plaza is a wonderful area, not just for the residents of Silver Star, but for the whole community. I think the developers envisioned it as a gathering place and wanted to see it utilized in that way."
People who attend Plaza Palooza can also bring their own picnics, said Ward.
"We get families, hikers and people who ride their bikes attend these performances because we have two trails that come into our plaza, the Armstrong and Spiro trails," she said. "They can bring their own food and enjoy some music after their days on the trails."
The Park City Limits performances have a different dynamic, Jeff Ward said.
"This concert series is more of a treat for café diners and instead of playing music for the whole plaza, it’s a more intimate performance," he explained. "While you can hear the music all over the plaza, but it’s really designed to entertain the main audience is in the café.
"We also offer our full table service during these performances," he said.
To attend a Park City Limits performance, café patrons make their reservations and eat dinner while listening to the music, Lisa Ward said.
"When we started the Park City Limits series, the idea was to carry on that amazing energy the Thursday night concert had and bring that inside the café for the winter months," she said. "Because the café is very intimate, we decided to make the series a singer and songwriter showcase."
This year marks the first time Park City Limits will be presented in the summer.
"Since it was so successful during the winter, we decided to continue it in the summer," Lisa Ward said. "During the winter, we have the artists performing inside the café, but during the summer, they set up in the open doorway that straddles the café and the plaza."
On occasion, the Silver Star Café will present ticketed events for Park City Limits, such as the Brown Chicken Brown Cow performance on June 6, Jeff Ward said.
"We are doing a dinner and show special with those guys," he said. "People can buy a $40 ticket and $10 will go to the band and $30 will go to a dinner that will feature a three-course menu.
"If people respond to this, we’ll book more acts like this and present more unique experiences," Ward said. "To purchase tickets, people can contact the café."
Plaza Palooza and Park City Limits is a way for locals to enjoy the Silver Star Plaza.
"The mindset is more focused to present community-minded, local events," he said. "Parking is limited, so we encourages people who want to come to the performances to walk, ride the bus, bike or carpool."
See accompanying story titled "The schedules for Plaza Palooza and Park City Limits" for a schedule of concerts at the Silver Star Plaza. To order tickets for the Brown Chicken Brown Cow concert, visit http://www.wix.com/lis292/silverstarcafe#!events or call the café at (435) 655-3456.