Amidst the pair of flat screen TVs tuned on to college basketball, local eatery Public Eat + Drink was all about the music on Feb. 1. The good food and excellent drink was accompanied by the joint’s first open mic night, featuring local acoustic acts.
MCLA students, alum, and Berkshire folks crowded the main dining room, dividing their attention between the food and the entertainment. With sign-ups starting at 8 p.m. and the list full by 9, everyone was in for a treat.
“We’re really enjoying tonight,” MCLA junior Kate Moore said. “The food is wonderful and it’s nice to get a glass of wine and listen to local music.”
From Bob Dylan sound-a-likes to Fender Resonator’s, Public’s first open mic night was nothing short of a success. Between renditions of True Blood’s opening theme song (“Bad Things” by Jace Everett, for those who have been wondering all these years) and original songs written by dreamy crooners, Public was really the place to be last week.
The college’s talent shone, of course. Freshman Tyler Bernard rocked old style to some Jimi Hendrix, but included a classic-sounding style of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” toward the end of the night. Graduate student Mike Quinones took time off from teaching to give off a Jason Mraz feel early on in the evening.
As Quinones is the belter of Everett’s “Bad Things”, this reporter feels the general population needs to know that the singer has a Facebook, Mike Quinones Music, with links to videos and impressive MP3s.
While the musical side of Public last week was the highlight, the establishment itself has continued impressive upkeep since opening this past fall. Owner Jared Decoteau mentioned the menu changes to come, as well as the changes to the restaurant itself.
“We swapped out the art,” Decoteau pointed out, “and I’m looking at new entertainment acts.”
Decoteau pointed out new drink specials, such as the new Winter Delight, a decadent liquid equipped with Godiva liqueur and peppermint. Public has also started carrying Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, circling through multiple flavors each night, including caramel and peppermint.
“There are still drink and food changes to come,” promised Decoteau. “I try to keep it fresh. People like it here, they say it’s a nice urban place in a rural setting.”
While the next open mic night is still yet to be planned, Public features trivia every Monday night with the grand prize a $25 gift certificate towards a meal. Recently, the Decoteau has put Public up on Groupon, giving loyal patrons certain percentages off meals. They also hosted MCLA Presents! Blues and Funk Festival last week. Public is staying plenty busy in the entertainment department.