Echos Spirited Bar & Grill, Collingwood
Listening to Golden Oldies at Echos--where I want to be!
Right up there with investigative journalism and gourmet cooking, the allure of the Golden Oldies is my passion.
Tuning in to AM740 is the start of my every business day. The songs of Dean Martin, Fats Domino and Gerry Vale keep me going. They make all the difference in my overly busy life in front of the computer screen.
Sometimes I get to tune in to AM740 when not writing for Canada Free Press (CFP). Barring business emergencies, at 2 p.m. every Sunday, I put everything aside to hear Gene Stevens. I rate his Vintage Favorites; from 2 to 4 as the best radio show I've ever heard!
So big a part of my passion are the Golden Oldies that a few months back, I started a Golden Oldies section advertised on the front page of CFP with a '50s style Jukebox.
|span style="font-size: 90%;">D.J. Lenny (left) and Owner Kerry Wilkinson|
My dream was to track down and publish the upcoming appearances of recording Golden Oldie artists still packing them in decades later.
It sounded easy, but proved difficult.
Having only lukewarm success in tracking down touring legends, I began searching the Net for venues close to me where '50s music is played on weekends. Dancing would be great but even being able to listen to it would satisfy my craving.
I wanted to be where the Golden Oldies music was being played the last two New Year's Eves. Both places where I welcomed in the New Year played only a smattering of the songs they had advertised months in advance.
Debby, a private eye friend, came up to spend a few days with me in May. We were determined to find a Friday or Saturday night dance in the Wasage Beach-Collingwood area.
In the end, we had to settle for listening to AM740 on my patio.
So you can imagine my enthusiasm when CFP resident techie Brian Thompson told me about a new place called Echos Spirited Bar & Grill. As things turned out, Echos is literally around the corner from where I live.
The first time I ventured to Echos, it was with some trepidation. I had three years of disappointments of the past to keep me from being too excited.
The Friday night I went to Echoes is the best night out I've had in some time.
First of all, it was, as promised my kind of music!
The restaurant turned out to be in the outstanding category in the aesthetics department. Cozy fireplaces, in front of which I dream of being every Friday night during the upcoming long Canadian winter. The bar is roomy enough to accommodate both tourists and locals; a kind of congenial meeting place to come to after a long week at the office. If it's privacy with a friend that suits you better, the booth seating at Echos is both comfy and convenient.
Savvy owner Kerry Wilkinson has made Echos the kind of place you can boast about to out-of-town friends.
Needing a social outlet from my work, I look forward to venturing back on my own to Echoes.
You'd never feel alone there thanks. D.J. Lenny, who gets so caught up in the music that he sometimes comes out from behind his corner to dance solo around the floor.
Shades of Moonwalking, this guy knows how to move and is one cool dude to boot!
Echos features live entertainment on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Then there's the incredible appeal of the Echos menu.
I won't go into the menu in too much detail as “The Cooks Come to Dinner” team who do CFP restaurant reviews are planning on a visit.
The first night I went to Echoes, I decided to order dinner, thinking to myself, “It will fill the spot at least.
My assumptions have never been more wrong!
The Grilled Halibut served with toasted almond and sun dried cranberry butter, tomato confit and basmati rice brought me back to order the same dish a couple of weeks later.
Whiskey Peppercorn Steak, Almond-crusted Roasted Lamb Leg, and Sesame-crusted Salmon are just some of the dishes for which Echoes is already famous. Dinner for two with drinks came to less than $100.
(Here's betting that CFP restaurant reviewers Tom and Terri Cook sample every dish once they partake of one.)
There were times last winter when my daily view of overlooking the lighthouse on Georgian Bay, left me feeling somewhat bleak and longing for Toronto.
This is one winter to which I'm looking forward.
Echos--where the music is--is where I want to be!
For people looking for Friday night Golden Oldies while dining in the most wonderful surroundings, Echos Spirited Bar & Grill is located at 99 Balsam Street, Collingwood (www.echosspirit.com).