Restaurants that feature strolling violinists
Are there any restaurants that feature strolling violinists anymore? I seem to recall there was a Hungarian restaurant in Boston that featured one but it has long since closed. I'm curious if this is something that is common to a particular part of the world. I did happen to encounter a mariachi band recently in the El Pueblo district of Los Angeles. It was very nice to see and hear.
There is a touristy Mexican restaurant in downtown San Antonio that features mariachis.
Well, it's sitting, not strolling, but once a month my local bar and grill has me come down and play traditional Irish and American fiddle music for a couple of hours.
I have never seen this except in the movies.
Past tense-- there were restaurant/hotel based "strolling" violins at Minneapolis and Las Vegas. For Mariachi, go a little farther into East L.A. to El Mercado. The tradition is that the customer can have a private concert at their table, requesting any song they want, pay by the song. That is done at the big plazas at Guadalajara and Mexico city. When I worked with Mariachi Los Camperos, La Fonda restaurant, near McCarthur Park, the violins would scatter into the audience. One night I froze in the middle of a phrase, when I noticed that I was playing for George Harrison.
Also not strolling, but at the Cafe Schwartzenberg in Vienna, the duo of Dida & Ernest (piano and violin) play every Friday and Saturday night. When we were there a couple years ago, the waiter in our section would stand by the piano and sing songs with them.
Every city with a pedestrian friendly entertainment area will have buskers.
Yes, there is a nice restaurant in the historic village section of Williamsburg, VA that usually has a "strolling violinist" who plays period music.
George: Thanks for the reminder. I dined at Luchow's in the 1970s and thoroughly enjoyed my mean and the music. At that point in my musical life that experience convinced me of the richness of piano trios and I had one going (through 3 evolutions) for the next 40 years; 3 different pianists, 2 different violinists, and 2 different cellists - but I was always in all of them. Amateur, but we had pianists who had earned a living playing and teaching before we "stringers" joined up with them.
There is a piano-quartet venue in Virginia called the Garth Newel Music Center. You listen to a concert and then have a prix fixe type brunch or dinner. I have never been there but it's supposed to be very good. Hard to imagine playing the Dohnányi Piano Quintet while strolling among the diners, though.
Joel - what an amazing story!
My orchestra director strolls in restaurants as a gig.