I am a singer-songwriter, and I live in Georgetown. I wrote and performed in Nashville, Tenn., for years, and I now spend a few days there each month. I admit that I am spoiled when it comes to live music. You can only imagine my elation when I got the news that a new music venue, Gypsy Sally’s, would be opening down on the Georgetown waterfront. Back in my early twenties, I was a regular groupie at the legendary music club, the Bayou. When it closed in 1998 I feared that, other than Blues Alley, Georgetown had seen the last of its musical glory days.
Just a few blocks from where many Bayou memories reside for me, a new, Americana-themed, 300-seat music and dinner club, Gypsy Sally’s, has recently opened. The party is not only back in town, but it has changed for the better. It’s no longer about enduring a standing-room-only crowd, developing neck cricks from straining to see the band or bringing peanuts to munch on during the show. Gypsy Sally’s features local, regional and national Americana bands and offers a menu consisting of the foodie generation’s F.L.O.S.S. theme: “Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal and Sustainable.” My two favorite menu picks are the sunflower hempseed hummus as well as the kale salad.
The few times I have managed to sneak away after putting the kids down, I’ve been blown away…not only by the talent Gypsy Sally’s has booked (Jim Lauderdale graced the stage opening night), but by the comfort, hip factor and tech savvy of the establishment. There is ample tiered, graduated seating so that everyone can see. Booking online can also ensure a specific table or even barstool. Tim Kidwell of the Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., consulted on the state of the art, incredibly balanced sound system (no ear plugs ever needed). Yet another surprise is the dance floor situated in front of the stage. Finally, a place to dance in Georgetown.
If you feel like you just want to chill and chat with friends, Gypsy Sally’s also boasts a space called the Vinyl Lounge with an entrance off 34th Street. Once inside, you can play your old records (yes, bring them with you, or choose from their amazing collection). Eat from the eclectic, ethnically diverse menu, and relax.
I sat up at the bar in the Vinyl Lounge the other night, hanging out with my girlfriend, Karen Ensor, co-owner of the place with her husband, David. The room was packed, the vinyl spinning. I asked her what the one message about Gypsy Sally’s would be if she could put it out there. She said: “Trust us.”
Karen and David Ensor really know music. David is a singer-songwriter, and Karen went to college at Vanderbilt University in the midst of Nashville’s music heyday. Whether you come to Gypsy Sally’s to enjoy a concert or to hang out in the Vinyl Lounge, you will be pleasantly reminded that the music is still alive and well in Georgetown, and our good friends, the Ensors, promise that there is something for everyone any night of the week. The glory days are back.
Visit www.GypsySallys.com for the music calendar and other information.