Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bartender of the Week, Second Saturdays, and Much More in Frenchtown, NJ

I wanted to craft a post for this blog that captured so much of what I've been feeling this last month, especially because when Pete and I read notes like these that our Hotel guests leave us, we feel so proud of our staff, and even happier that we were able to provide a little respite and an escape to these guests who chose us over so many other establishments to spend some time away from home.

I've tried to carve out time to write, but as so many of us know, it's difficult not to be pulled away by so many demands that we have, so many things that happen that need immediate attention.  But not today.  Today I am determined to start and to finish this little post, because it's something that I do for myself.  It reminds me of the days when I used to keep a journal--does anyone remember doing that or keeping a diary?--when your thoughts put on paper seemed to make the world "right," seemed to help you sort through the chaos that might have been around you?  Now, through blogs, we can actually open the lock on that most hidden journal/diary that we used to keep, and allow our friends to share our thoughts, share our emotions, share the joy (or the angst) of our lives.  And I have quite a few things to share that you might find interesting:

Bartender of the Week: Frenchtown hotel and bar
Bartender of the Week: Frenchtown hotel and barBartender Donna Sampler works her magic at The National Hotel, 31 Race St. in downtown Frenchtown.

I'm so pleased to actually share the article (and webclips) that were featured in the Lehigh Valley newspaper and online publication that named our stellar bartender, Donna Jane Sampler, "Bartender of the Week".  It features Donna preparing a couple of great cocktails detailing the "how to's" for each.

And coming up on May 6th, The Book Garden will host an Author Appearance, featuring Mary Lou Quinlan of Bucks County, who will sign her newest book, The God Box:  Sharing My Mother's Gift of Faith, Love and Letting Go, 2 - 4 p.m.

With so many events being planned in town this spring and summer, we're sure to offer something for everyone who visits our town.  For instance, next weekend there will be a special exhibit by one of Frenchtown's art galleries, Dion Hitchings Outsider Gallery, featuring the theme of "Toys".  

Let's not forget about last year's delightful Second Saturdays, where the town brightened with music played outdoors in several locations, entertaining visitors and residents alike.  This kicks off on Saturday, May 12th, where the Jericho Mountain Grass (a bluegrass band) and the Mitchell Cheng Jazz Quarter will play from 6 - 8 p.m.

At The National Hotel, we have a long list of entertainers who will perform throughout this spring and summer.  Please check our website for up-to-date information.  For instance, beginning next weekend, put on your cowboy boots & best hat, because Mike Pfeiffer is getting ready to showcase a great night of Country Music downstairs in the Rathskeller Pub (a.k.a., The Rat), on Saturday, May 5th, 9:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m., part of our Monthly Music Themed Night.  Make sure you wear your best Country-Western outfit, because there'll be prizes given out that night.

But looking back is sometimes as important as looking forward, and these last few weeks have been filled with incredible events that impacted the town itself through the work of these local not-for-profits.

I read the story about the Frenchtown, NJ woman who is the facilitator for the Monday Morning project focusing on the developmentally disabled, and was immediately reminded of the charitable work on which  the Frenchtown Lions Club embarks, raising money through member support and fundraisers.  They held their Casino Night Fundraiser at The National Hotel last month...I wanted to share these fantastic individuals' stories, their passion for helping those less fortunate around them.  These efforts by so many volunteers and by non-profits they serve, help the community at large--and often right here in our own backyard.  


I saw this on Saturday, when neighbors and residents of Frenchtown got together to clean up the Frenchtown Park behind the Pharmacy off Kingwood Avenue.  This is a great little park with a playground, a gazebo, a meeting place, with a creek that runs alongside it.  It can be a peaceful slice of time, and at other times, a wonderfully noisy, tumultuous area with little ones running around, playing on the see-saws and on the swing set, reminding all of us that there is so much joy in these simple activities--and in life in Frenchtown. 


We are surrounded by people who care, right here in Frenchtown.  It's that feeling of giving back, of knowing that you are part of something greater than yourself, and knowing that what you do matters in ever small ways that cumulatively make a real difference to some of the most vulnerable in our communities.  Thank you to our many volunteers, and to the organizations that raise funds to help those less fortunate!

As I walk along the streets that make up and bind this tight little Delaware River community, I feel so proud to be walking along with others, some clearly just visiting for the day or weekend, finding shop after shop lining Race Street, Bridge Street, and others, welcoming everyone who walks by.  Our strength is in our ability to be genuinely interested in our visitors and residents' experience.  I have had so many conversations with other business owners who all tell me that they feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to have found their niche in Frenchtown, to have discovered this little gem of a town that is just an hour and a half driving distance from New York City and from Philadelphia.  We're right at the center of major urban environments, and yet, oh so far.

As always, please continue to email us with your feedback, leave a comment on this blog, and stay up-to-date with everything being planned, by checking our website, calling us at 908.996.3200 or: 

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 Thank you again.

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