Duke’s: When All Else Fails

Duke’s Riverside (or The Riverside G-Man, as roughly 99% of us locals still call it) has always been an integral part of living here. It’s not particularly trendy and it’s not particularly cheap. But it does have a deck, it is easy to get to, and most of the food is pretty good awesome. In fact, it’s an all-around excellent place to spend a lazy summer afternoon eating & drinking. I don’t know of anybody who actually hates going there; it’s the one place that most people can agree on most of the time. So with the first really nice weekend upon us, my party of three ventured out to the deck this afternoon for dinner, drinks, and what wound up being the worst experience I’ve ever had there.

Continue reading Duke’s: When All Else Fails

Downtown Closure

I was just thinking about how many downtown venues have come and gone in the post-Vault era of downtown Harrisburg, and I was surprised by my realization.  Since the opening of 5:01, we’ve averaged just over 1.5 venues per year flaming out.  It’s been said before, and it will be said again, but this rapid-fire open / close / rename / reopen / refail / close strategy is going to be the end of downtown. Continue reading Downtown Closure

Goodbye Smalls

In a rampant rumor which has “not” been “confirmed” by “two” “sources” now, Smalls appears to be closing after tonight to make room for Mars.  This surprises no one for exactly two reasons:

  1. It was popular and unique, offering some variety to the otherwise cookie-cutter downtown area
  2. It’s been there over a year

As you know, any venue falling into one of those categories — let alone both — doesn’t last long downtown.  And while Mars was pretty cool back in the day, that door was slammed shut a long time ago.  Bringing back “Mars Remixed” just feels like a cheap publicity stunt.  Moreover, with a seemingly booming business, it’s hard to see a good reason for Smalls to shutter.

At any rate, they’ll be missed.  The music wasn’t entirely my thing, but it was 100% better than hearing the exact same 20 songs you hear everywhere else.  Smalls was a breath of fresh air downtown.