June 1, 2006

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Weíre still here!
Jillianís reopens with a bang after shutting down for two weeks due to floods
By Richie Victorino  rvictorino@hippopress.com

Setting up shop by a raging river has its ups and downs, as the folks at Jillianís Billiards Club have discovered.

Jillianís has one of the best outdoor decks in the city (despite the nearby construction that has recently created an eyesore) with the gently flowing Merrimack River less than a stoneís throw away.

But the river isnít always flowing gently. Take, for example, Motherís Day, this past Sunday, May 14, when the Merrimack turned angry as a result of all that rain we endured. Jillianís General Manager Lissa Goodman found out firsthand how much power the Merrimack has when she moseyed on down to Jillianísí basement on that Sunday.

She first noticed two inches of water, so she called the landlord. But before she knew it, two inches turned into 12 inches, which quickly turned into three feet of water in the basement. The basement is used to store supplies as well as the walk-in coolers, cases of beers, the draft system and more.

Everything in the basement was destroyed.

ďI had no time to get anything out,Ē Goodman said.

Bottles of beer had to be stacked in the barís function room, as opposed to being stored in a cooler. Food had to be stored in a refrigeration truck that sat outside of the bar.

The bar itself remained unharmed, but for the last two weeks Goodman has been putting back all the pieces that make up the underbelly of Jillianís. Worse yet, the electricity for the entire building was in that flooded basement. As a result, Jillianís was without lights for almost two weeks.

All that damage led to the barís closing since Motherís Day. Goodman finally reopened on Saturday, May 27.

The fun
To make up for two weeks lost, Jillianís is throwing a grand reopening party this weekend. The bar will use its prime location, the very thing that caused all Goodmanís headaches, to its advantage. All weekend long thereíll be music and prizes and other forms of entertainment (like hopefully a Velcro wall and dunk tank) set up outside and inside. Proceeds from raffles will benefit local flood victims.

Schedule
Red Sox and free stuff: The festivities start on Friday afternoon when Jillianís and Rock 101, WGIR, launch their Friday After Work Party from 4 to 7 p.m., with prizes and giveaways. The Friday After Work Party will run for 12 weeks.

At 9 p.m., Boston-based cover band Beantown Project performs. Throughout the evening thereíll be various raffles, including raffling off Red Sox tickets every hour, starting at 9 p.m.

Pig roast: Starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, thereíll be a pig roast (spit and everything). From 4 to 7 p.m. Emergency Broadcast System will perform. Bright Wings performs from 9 p.m. to close.

Show a badge, meet a wolf: Sunday is Service Men and Women Appreciation Day. Anyone with a badge or ID will get 25 percent off food. The Manchester Wolves will be by from 2 to 4 p.m. Aaron Seibert performs acoustic music from 11:30 to 4 p.m. and My Cousinís Band performs from 5 to 9 p.m.


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