Thursday, April 8, 2010


It's Thursday and it must be Open Mic Night at The National Hotel's Rathskeller Pub Lounge! Last week's Open Mic Night ended in a spontaneous jam session at the bitter end with the musicians still "in the house." It was great!!! Make sure you make it out tonight. Sign-ups start at 8:30 p.m. and the music kicks off at 9 p.m.

And there will be more music this Sunday, April 11th in the upstairs Restaurant, where the Jericho Mountain Grass ("The Grass") return to The National Hotel from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. The Grass blends traditional ballads and new-grass tunes. It consists of Carl Klingler on mandolin, Toby Hoffman on banjo, Peter Kane on fiddle, John Stetson on bass and John Gehman on guitar.

Right before The Grass take the microphone, we're hosting our FIRST Poetry Reading in The Rathskeller Pub Lounge from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. This is the brainchild of Skye Van Saun,
[photo courtesy of]
who is a recognized poet, writer, editor, and teacher. She recently completed a chapbook, Versus Verses, and is Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge Poet.

Do plan to come by...spend the weekend if you have the time. We are so fortunate to be able to host these events, fill the building with music and the arts, and also the comfort of 10 luxury guest suites that can make the weekend feel truly special--especially if you add-in some special packages (like a spa session, a yoga lesson, or a pilates your very room, or at our partners' facilities). Now I sound like a commercial, but the feedback we've gotten from our guests has just blown me away. I feel that I need to share this part of the building's success, and not just the music, the food and the drinks. With Marlon attending to every detail, our hotel guests have truly wonderful things to say--and I'm talking about the middle of winter, the bitter, cold winter days we've had! It's going to be so much nicer now that the good weather has arrived. The fact that each room was carefully designed and features bathrooms en suite, WiFi and modern amenities--not to mention breakfast the next morning--has helped The National Hotel become a truly complete hospitality destination--for our local neighbors and new friends who've come from far away. We are so proud to be able to be a part of the rebirth of The National Hotel and the renewed growth and spirit of Frenchtown itself.

And all this follows quite a busy week. Easter Sunday was just jumping with people filling the different areas of our great old building. And best of all, the weekend weather was so beautiful that guests were able to enjoy the porch.

The flowers are blooming...just a little over a week ago, they were just breaking the threshold between darkness and sunshine. This week, they are in full bloom. What a joy to see them grow. And what a surprise they were to me! Kristine Marinelli, our incredible interior designer, planted the bulbs in the fall when she helped us with our landscaping and floral designs. She, Marlon Aranha, our General Manager, and even Pete, kept this a secret...and I got the joyous surprise of seeing little green spokes piercing the ground around the mums that had long ceased blooming.

You've got to stop by and look at them now! They're screaming, "SPRING IS HERE," and make the entrance to The National Hotel so inviting! The porch is just clamoring for people to take a seat, order some food or just gather with friends to enjoy a drink and watch the people walking down Race Street--not to mention the beautiful classic cars that often drive slowly by, or the classic motorcycles that share the roads with these cars. There is "eye candy" everywhere you look in Frenchtown.

And to close out the weekend festivities and come back full circle, don't forget to come by tonight for Open Mic Night, and on Sunday for the launch of our Sunday Poetry Readings (2 p.m. - 4 p.m.) in The Rathskeller Pub Lounge, followed by The Grass, back by popular demand in "the great upstairs" Restaurant (5 p.m. - 7 p.m.). It's going to be a beautiful, sunny weekend outside, and a beautiful, fun weekend inside The National Hotel too. Do join us!

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