with a quaint, local, neighborhood charm, big-time music, a solid menu
of bar foods and ice-cold brew on tap.
Appropriately, the pub will cater to its
redheaded roots and the Syracuse crowd that boasts the Emerald Isle as
part of its heritage this weekend, all leading into a daylong St.
Patty’s Day extravaganza next Tuesday. Festivities kick off Saturday,
March 14, with breakfast and mimosas at 9 a.m. followed by bagpipers,
Celtic-pumping deejays, Irish step dancers, corned beef and cabbage
galore and performances by bands Killrush and Cluidan, a Utica-based outfit that won the 2008 Syracuse New Times Syracuse Area Music Award (Sammy)
for Best Recording in Other Styles. The shenanigans will continue
through Sunday, March 15, and will pick up again Tuesday, March 17,
right where they left off: mimosas in the morning, all-day
entertainment, and, on top of a karaoke night held each Tuesday,
Cluidan will provide an encore performance.
According to 31-year-old Mattydale native and owner Barbara Karazuba,
ShamROCKS! has been going strong since its opening in late October.
“People have been really supportive,” Karazuba says of the warm
welcome. “It’s been picking up everyday.”
Pour-aloora-loora: Steve Patrick, manager of the new North Syracuse venue, ShamROCKS!, taps an Irish keg. MICHAEL DAVIS
The pub is already boasting a global
beer list of 90, bands lined up to play three months in advance and
happy patrons a-plenty. The split of a younger and 30-something crowd
are patrons who Karazuba says “are exactly the kind of people we opened
this place for.”
Karazuba gets management assistance in running the bar from her best friend, former nationally touring comedian ”Devilboy” Steve Patrick
of Syracuse. (Patrick maintained that his age was a closely guarded
secret.) The pair met about 3 ½ years ago at Singers Karaoke Bar in
Solvay, and since then hashed around the idea of starting their own
joint. “We make a great team,” Karazuba says. “He’s creative and fun,
and I’m logistical and responsible.”
When Karazuba was forced to go on
disability leave for an injured back about a year ago after being
employed as a furniture saleswoman at Raymour & Flanigan, she spent
time scouring the Internet to research a way to make hers and Patrick’s
dream a reality. Shortly after, the two opened the ShamROCKS! doors,
their first co-venture in the bar business.
Including such diverse genres as classic
rock, ska and mellow acoustic grooves, ShamROCKS! intends to hone in on
live musical entertainment, albeit not always with a Celtic theme. “We
have one of the best, if not the best stage in Syracuse,”
Patrick boasts. “The bands we’ve had here are incredible. We’re always
trying to bring in something different, do something different from
Given their shared interest in beer
connoisseurship, the couple has secured deals with beer vendors in
order to supply certain brews not likely to be found anywhere else in
the Salt City, including Weyerbacher Brewing Company’s Insanity,
Unibroue’s Maudite, Belhaven Scottish Ale and Wichwood samplings. And
especially appealing to its customers, according to Karazuba, are Angus
Beef burgers, as well as other bar food fare (conspicuously lacking
Celtic dishes). “We’ve got all the noise of a nightclub and all the
beers of a downtown bar,” Patrick says.
Karazuba and Patrick have dreams about
opening other bars, although none have yet materialized. Patrick,
employing his comedic background, humbly kids about their future
endeavors: “We want a ShamROCKS! in every town in America.”
Karazuba hopes this weekend’s blowout
will be the biggest event the 99-person capacity venue has yet hosted,
a head count that will increase to 300 after the installation of a
sprinkler system. Yet she admits a recent prom night-themed Valentine’s
Day soiree will be pretty tough to beat. “Maybe we’ll have to have a
St. Patrick’s Day king and queen,” she jokes.
For more information about the St. Patrick’s Day events at ShamROCKS!, call 218-6615.
and Matt Mumau