LISBON - The Outlaws Band will be center stage Friday at the Guilford Lake Grille.
It signifies a growing commitment to bring "name" entertainment to the greatly expanded popular restaurant and bocce club, and underscores the GLG's aim to "get into the event business."
The GLG is located at 7094 East Lake Road across from Guilford Lake.
Dick Sekely, left, and his wife Lindia own the Guilford Lake Grille while Roy Paparodis is the general manager. The GLG and its new 11,000 square foot arena/event hall is aimed at attaining regional recognition in the entertainment world and on the bocce circuit. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)
Dick and Lindia Sekely bought the restaurant six years ago and have steadily upgraded it.
The big addition is an 11,000-square foot indoor arena housing four international-size bocce courts that can be converted into what General Manager Roy Paradise calls an "event hall" with seating for upwards of 750 people.
A portable floor is set on the courts the way basketball courts are set atop ice hockey rinks.
That's what will happen before the legendary "Outlaws," a Southern rock group, best known for the 1975 hits "There Goes Another Love Song" and "Green Grass and High Tides," hits the stage at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $20. For more information, call 330-222-9611.
What was a lakeside restaurant and bar, now features big, international-size, bocce courts that Lindia said resulted from people being unable to play at their home during winter.
So the indoor courts were built and the arena, or convention hall, has already hosted a Super Bowl party, three concerts starring the Gordon-James Blues Band and Zach Paxson, famed for his song "Ohio" that is in the process of being designated as the official state country song.
Another concert with the New Wave Nation two months ago convinced the Sekelys that bands could draw, Paparodis said.
Ken Harding, bandleader and spokesman for NWN, an '80s era tribute band that uses a large multi-media stage show, praised the GLG's setup.
He was surprised.
"The place was pretty astonishing," he said, "we were not aware of it ... it was cool and a perfect setting for us.
"We do '80s music and video was a big medium then," he said, explaining they incorporate that into their show.
The height of the hall and the two giant in-house projection screens behind the main stage area presented "a great setup," Harding said. "He's got the space for sure, it's a great venue."
Harding said, "it's very easy" to unload the four-member band's equipment at the loading dock and the GLG's staff was "very accommodating."
The band is booked back for performances in June, October and December. Harding gave it high marks and recommended it to other bands.
Paparodis said, "We're actually getting into the event business. Whether concerts or class reunions, wrestling, bands, bike shows. It's basically becoming an event hall. We're looking at sportsman shows ... it's really going to be fun."
An Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) cage event is planned for fall.
In May, the GLG will be available for weddings and receptions. With all the new space it should be able to handle just about anything.
There is an overhead deck that was "designed for bocce spectating" but is now an all-purpose gathering area, Paparodis explained.
The outdoor concourse has a large BBQ pit smoker-cooker and three horseshoe pitching courts that host Friday night tournaments all summer.
Paparodis said the GLG has already catered two outdoor cookouts for about 1,800 people hosted by Momentum, the Utica East Ohio Midstream plant co-owner.
The restaurant seats 150, the lounge 65 and the decks another 75.
The Humane Society of Columbiana County has an event booked for early May.
Jenny R. Pike, president of the HSCC, said, "We have an all-day event out there on Kentucky Derby Day, May 3."
It will include the bands "Kryton Band" and the "Okie Ross Band," baskets, bocce and barbecue.
For tickets or information call 330-332-8622 or stop the new Animal Resource Complex (ARC) at 721 E. Pidgeon Road for pre-sale tickets or purchase tickets at the door.
For additional information about the Humane Society of Columbiana County go to: www.columbianahumane.org.
Paparodis said the thinking at the GLG about leaning hard toward entertainment isn't without memories of the great country and western venue at Ponderosa Park that closed years ago.
He said it's been in the back of their minds.
Upcoming events include, a Walking Dead party on March 7; Karaoke finals on March 8; DJ T dance party on March 14; Modern Roots Band on March 15; Coommon Ground on March 21 and a BST spring sale from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on March 22; Project A Band, also on March 22.
For more information, call 330-222-9611 or visit: www.facebook.com/pages/Guilford-Lake-Grille.