Set the standard

There's a whole lot more to Barlow Plaza than a grocery store and strip mall with the opening of the Barlow Plaza Event Center .

What is it?

Barlow Plaza Event Center hosts indoor and outdoor events.

Colorful poles and canopies mark the outdoor stage, which held its first concert Aug. 10 headlined by Chester Bay. Outdoor events will typically be free and feature food vendors and a full outdoor bar. Patrons can bring their own lawn chairs to set up in the parking lot.

Indoor events will range from gourmet brunches with live music to private parties. The first major corporate event was held this week, said Steve Barlow, owner of Barlow Plaza. The idea is to hold private corporate events such as fundraisers, retirement parties and holiday parties on Tuesdays and Thursdays and reserve Saturdays for weddings, anniversaries and other private events. The rest of the week will feature a host of open events.


What's coming up?

Paul Cebar , a nationally known musician based out of Milwaukee, will play his African, Latin, Caribbean, reggae, zydeco, R&B and soul-influenced music with Paul Cebar and the Tomorrow Sound today at 7 p.m.. Cebar has been playing music since the 1970s, including with Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans and the R&B Cadets. This will be Cebar's first time playing in Rochester since he normally plays in the Twin Cities. Opening the show at 5:30 p.m. will be The Morning Kings , a Rochester-based, groove-laden dance band. The show will move inside in the event of bad weather.

Incognito , a Rochester-based variety band that's developed a large following since its debut in 1985, will play from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 23, outside weather permitting.

Johnny Mango's Sunday Brunch , hosted by chef Johnny Mangouras, is expected to start Sept. 11.

"He will put together a phenomenal brunch," Barlow said. "It will set the standard for Rochester."

There will also be featured cocktails made from freshly squeezed juice and live music, he said.

A Friday night live music seriesis expected to kick off Sept. 30. The night will feature live music, dancing and dinner shows. Diners can have a high-end dinner and cocktails before the band and dancing starts, Barlow said.

Search for the Northern Star, hosted by Mary Lieser of Incognito, is a local talent competition much like "American Idol" or "The Voice," that combines live performances and online voting. Singers will compete on Wednesday nights.


"We want to be a place to showcase local talent," Barlow said.

That's something that resonates with Lieser.

"The concept of a venue that morphs its purpose and atmosphere from event to event is unique," Lieser said, looking forward to performing there with Incognito and hosting the talent competition. "There are so many different styles of music that this venue can support via the Sunday brunch, karaoke, group competition, live band nights, open mic nights, and outdoor concerts. I hope that my involvement will allow other musicians I know to have a place to showcase their talent."

Find out more

"Like" Barlow Plaza Event Center on Facebook to get updates on upcoming events and be eligible to win prizes during events.

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