The country twang and grub from Nashville, Tenn., has inspired a weekly themed night in Wantagh — just as the area begins to return to normalcy.
Every Wednesday evening this summer, Craft Kitchen & Tap House will host “Nashville Nights,” which will bring live country music, Nashville-inspired barbeque dishes and specialty cocktails to the local eatery.
“The pandemic is coming to an end … and we've had the chance to change our menu for the summer during that time,” general manager Dennis Durdaller, of Rockville Centre, said. “We wanted to do something to change it up a little bit.”
Co-owner, Anthony Geraci said himself, Durdaller and co-owner Thomas Nicholas created the country-themed nights at the Wantagh location because the genre is gaining popularity.
“Theme-nights are important, each night needs to have some kind of identity,” Geraci said, and nearly each night at Craft has its own theme. On Mondays, dine-in customers that are first-responders receive a 20 percent discount on their check. The restaurant has “Taco Tuesdays” with trivia and drink deals each week, and Thursdays through Saturdays typically have live music. Brunch deals are offered on Sundays, Geraci said.
“We know people are into country music, and after Covid-19, when people were stuck in their houses … we just thought this was a good way to do something different to break up the week,” he said.
Durdaller said he believes that within this community, country-themed nights are hard to find. “Honestly, I know country music is becoming more mainstream,” Durdaller said. “I haven’t known or seen any places around Wantagh that have done this.”
As of now, the weekly themed nights will run from 7:30 to 10 p.m. If the series is successful, it may continue this fall, Durdaller said.
Some of the dishes offered earlier this month included: barbeque sliders, a Nashville hot chicken salad, barbeque pulled-pork macaroni and cheese, Memphis-inspired nachos, a barbeque brisket sandwich on Texas toast, and more, Durdaller said. The menu will change each week, but the southern staples, like the sliders and nachos, will be offered all season long, Durdaller said.
Restaurant-goers who aren’t a fan of the country flare can still choose from the regular American, grill and bar menu each week, Geraci said.
Musician Eric Annibale, who has performed at Craft’s Wantagh and Lynbrook locations, will take the stage most Wednesday nights. He said the business owners knew he loved to play country tunes, “so when they started up the Nashville nights, fortunately, they thought of me right away.”
Annibale said he believes that the live music will encourage community members to stop by.
“With reopening, I think people are craving the opportunity to get out,” Annibale said, “and live music is a catalyst for a good time.”