Tonawanda News — Weekends on Webster will likely return this summer with an expanded concert series, with the North Tonawanda Common Council expected to approve the venture next week.
Crazy Jakes owner Greg Doel, who started the series in 2012 with fellow organizer Larry Denef, said they will hold five concerts beginning in June that will feature 80’s cover bands, some of which in the past have drawn up to 3,000 people to downtown North Tonawanda.
Doel said the event, exclusively held on Saturday evenings, would shut down part of Webster Street from 5 p.m. to midnight, and allow free access to an over 21 crowd.
The duo made some changes in 2013, moving a beer tent off the main strip to Crazy Jakes’ patio, and centering a stage across the street from the popular bar and restaurant.
“We also left the sidewalks open for neighboring businesses so customers could get to them easier,” Doel said, adding that the Renaissance Bridge will be closed during the event.
Doel said he and Denef chose an 80’s rock band genre due to its apparent widespread appeal, with cover bands devoted to acts such as AC/DC, Kiss and Journey.
“Obviously having a business down there, we want to take advantage of people coming down especially when it’s the nicest time of the year,” Doel said. “It’s probably never going to be as big as the Molson Canal Series that used to be downtown but it gives people an option. It might not be Eddie Money or the real Kiss but they’re very talented bands.”
Denef said it’s also about tapping into the recent uptick in traffic and business along Webster Street, noting that during one rainy concert last year in July, 500 individuals attended.
“Every year gets a little better,” he said. “It’s starting to grow feet on its own. Hopefully this year the draw will go up.”Weekends on Webster June 28: Never Stop Belevin' July 5: Lazy Bones July 12: Highway to Hell July 26: Mr. Speed Aug. 2: Heart Brigade