Food & Drink

Old Bay holding its last concerts as it prepares to close at the end of December

f32f77fa751429d405cc_5966_523734781010201_1759532126_n.jpg
f32f77fa751429d405cc_5966_523734781010201_1759532126_n.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Old Bay, a household name across the Hub City, will go out with a bang before shutting its doors for good at the end of the month. 

On Saturday, December 9, The Do Rights will have their last concert there. The next weekend, on Saturday, December 16, P-Funk North will perform for the final Old Bay concert. Then on December 23, the restaurant will host its final farewell to all its patrons.

The Old Bay has become known far and wide for its festive, Mardi Gras style of dining. The music is right there with you; not up on a stage.

Sign Up for E-News

For The Do Right’s members, the Old Bay has offered something unique for its patrons, and on top of that, a chance for the band to really build a name for itself.

“When I think of Mardi Gras, it’s this big party experience, sort of free and loose,” said Rolanda Franklin, the band’s vocalist, “I think that’s really what we’ve all felt, playing at the Old Bay, a sense of freedom, and festive party.”

Apples to oranges though; you’re bound to get a different experience at the Hub City Brewhouse, Court Tavern, Scarlet Pub or George Street Co-Op.

Still, the loss of another music venue has struck somewhat of a somber tone.

“It’s been a little sad to see these monuments of the city go out of business,” Franklin said. “I really hope that whatever ends up taking their place will be as accommodating of live music.”

For many musicians, the Old Bay has been a stepping stone for them, whether in their musical career, or at the very least, a confidence boost for any fledgling band or musician.

“A lot of places, you really need a lot of credentials to get through the door, but the Old Bay, they always had their finger on what was going on in the pulse musically, a lot of people came in and said ‘listen, just give us a shot’,” said Owen Wetzel, a founding member of The Do Rights.

“The Old Bay was a place that really harvested local music,” Wetzel said.

You’d be right if you thought “the Old Bay” and “The Do Rights,” have appeared in the same sentence time and time again.

The band has performed nearly half their shows there, at least once a month, according to Franklin.

“They were one of the venues around New Brunswick that just always had their doors open to us,” Franklin said. “The management and staff have just been really welcoming, and any time we just wanted to play out, they were very accommodating.”

Franklin credits the Old Bay with helping the band find a niche, and a platform to become successful.

The Old Bay’s contributions to the music scene hasn’t been without its complications, Wetzel said. Because the restaurant serves alcohol, music lovers under 21 couldn't get in. 

“Even if they do an all ages with wrist-bands, people keep finding a way to drink and they can get in trouble,” Wetzel said, adding that many times, this has posed a problem for venues like the Court Tavern, any restaurant on George Street or any bar on Easton Avenue.

And so, that gives the underground music scene a competitive edge; it caters to all ages, and you wouldn’t have to worry about being 21 to enjoy the show.

The Old Bay, and other restaurants in the area, have catered more to an older and more mature crowd as a result, Franklin said, well above the legal drinking age. 

What the future holds for bands like The Do Rights is up in the air, once the Old Bay becomes the Blackthorn Irish Pub & Restaurant.

“The venue is trying to shift gears into becoming more of a pub experience,” Franklin said. “I’m interested to see what it’s going to look like.”

“It’s probably a lot easier for a restaurant to say ‘we don’t need live music, let’s just put on the house music really loud’,” Wetzel said. “Which a lot of people do when the turn restaurants to bars.”

“We’ll see, hopefully. I’m sure that the new place is going to be great.”

The Do Rights go on stage on December 9 at 9:30 p.m. The Old Bay’s last concert is Saturday, December 16 at 10 p.m., with a performance by P-Funk. The restaurant’s final day of festivities is on Saturday, December 23 at 10 p.m.

Editor Daniel J. Munoz, dmunoz@tapinto.nettwitter.com/DanielMunoz100

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Franklin Township Astronomy Club Will Meet Tonight

July 19, 2018

SOMERSET, NJ - Stop by the Municipal Parking Lot in front of the library on Thursday, July 19, 7:30 PM-9:30 PM. (475 Demott Lane, Franklin Township, NJ).

On View: The Moon, Jupiter, The Hercules Star Cluster, and more!

At trillions of miles away, the stars seem distant, cold, and impersonal, but, something special happens on each clear night. Their light pierces our atmosphere at 300,000 ...

New Brunswick Battles Hunger with Largest Food Pantry Network in County

July 17, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Rev. Douglas Shepler became pastor of New Brunswick's Second Reformed in April 2008 and by October had a food pantry running that quickly attracted people in need, including Rutgers University students.

“We had graduate students coming to us and they had a choice of paying their rent or paying for food,” Shepler said. However, those students ...

Viewing Date Set for 1-Year-Old Boy Killed in July 7 Crash in Raritan

RARITAN, NJ - A viewing for the 1-year-old Raritan boy killed on Anderson Street July 7 will be held this week at St. Ann Church, in Raritan, according to an obituary released by the Bongiovi Funeral Home.

Matias Ortega-Rosales was killed on the evening of his first birthday when a vehicle hit two cars and then his family as he was being pushed in a stroller by his mother, Domitila Rosales.

South Plainfield Police Investigators Seek Public’s Help in Fatal Crash

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Police Department and Middlesex County Prosecutors Office are looking for the public’s help in the July 4, 2018 fatal motorcycle accident that killed 28 year-old Jessica Montes of Piscataway.

According to police, the accident occurred at approximately 4:50am as the vehicle Montes was a passenger lost control and crashed on New Brunswick ...

Tee times, Pairings Announced for Start of Next Week’s U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Baltusrol GC in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – The USGA U.S. Junior Amateur Championship starts Monday.  The pairings for the first two rounds of the 71st edition were recently announced.

Monday (July 16) and Tuesday (July 17) tee times will be played on the 7,280-yard, par-71 Upper Course and at the 7,313-yard, par-70 Lower Course at Baltusrol Golf Club.

Monday, Tuesday tee times & pairings

The ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

New Restaurant Buys ‘Pocketed’ Westfield Liquor License

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield’s town council approved the transfer of a liquor license to Westfield Hospitality LLC for its Westfield Fish & Brew Company during the council's meeting Tuesday night. The license had been bought from Jeffrey’s when it closed in 2014 and remained unused, or “pocketed,” by that owner until now.

Though the restaurant does not ...

New Brunswick Battles Hunger with Largest Food Pantry Network in County

July 17, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Rev. Douglas Shepler became pastor of New Brunswick's Second Reformed in April 2008 and by October had a food pantry running that quickly attracted people in need, including Rutgers University students.

“We had graduate students coming to us and they had a choice of paying their rent or paying for food,” Shepler said. However, those students ...

Viewing Date Set for 1-Year-Old Boy Killed in July 7 Crash in Raritan

RARITAN, NJ - A viewing for the 1-year-old Raritan boy killed on Anderson Street July 7 will be held this week at St. Ann Church, in Raritan, according to an obituary released by the Bongiovi Funeral Home.

Matias Ortega-Rosales was killed on the evening of his first birthday when a vehicle hit two cars and then his family as he was being pushed in a stroller by his mother, Domitila Rosales.

South Plainfield Police Investigators Seek Public’s Help in Fatal Crash

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Police Department and Middlesex County Prosecutors Office are looking for the public’s help in the July 4, 2018 fatal motorcycle accident that killed 28 year-old Jessica Montes of Piscataway.

According to police, the accident occurred at approximately 4:50am as the vehicle Montes was a passenger lost control and crashed on New Brunswick ...

Somerville: Gallery Hosts Photo Society's 90th Anniversary Exhibit

July 13, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Arts on Division is presenting “Visions of Raritan Photographic Society – A Celebration of 90 years” from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at the Gallery on Division, 15B Division Street.

The Raritan Photographic Society, founded in 1929, is the oldest photography club in New Jersey. The exhibit celebrates the organization's 90 years ...

County Kicks Off Summer Concert Series with Bob Miranda and the Happenings

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Park Commission kicked off its Summer Concert Series at Duke Island Park Sunday with a performance by Bob Miranda and the Happenings.

A very large crowd turned out for the performance by the band made famous in part by the song "See You in September."

The next concert will be held July 15 at 7 p.m. at Duke Island Park, with Billy ...

"Xtreme" Adventures for Teens in Somerset County

BASKING RIDGE, NJ – The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center  has scheduled a challenging summer program series for teens 13 to 16.

“Xtreme Adventure” is a summer-long series of one-day outdoor programs that will entertain and educate teen girls and boys. All adventures begin at the Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling ...

Somerville: Gallery Hosts Photo Society's 90th Anniversary Exhibit

July 13, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Arts on Division is presenting “Visions of Raritan Photographic Society – A Celebration of 90 years” from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at the Gallery on Division, 15B Division Street.

The Raritan Photographic Society, founded in 1929, is the oldest photography club in New Jersey. The exhibit celebrates the organization's 90 years ...

County Kicks Off Summer Concert Series with Bob Miranda and the Happenings

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Park Commission kicked off its Summer Concert Series at Duke Island Park Sunday with a performance by Bob Miranda and the Happenings.

A very large crowd turned out for the performance by the band made famous in part by the song "See You in September."

The next concert will be held July 15 at 7 p.m. at Duke Island Park, with Billy ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.