This year, we celebrate an anniversary of sorts -- the five-year anniversary of a regular music series in our wine bar.

When we rebuilt in 2008, we created a second-level wine bar to capitalize on our water view and to give diners a second nighttime dining option at the restaurant. We hadn't really thought about using the second level for live music, but after finishing our first season in the new space in 2009, we were able to take a step back over the winter months and evaluate how we could enhance and improve The Cookery for our customers.

At the beginning of the 2009 season, we held a Grand Opening celebration -- an event which featured a live performance by local band Highland Road. The event was a huge success and kicked-off our initial thoughts about hosting music more frequently in the Wine Bar. The next year, we tried out a weekly music series during the month of June, which turned out to be very popular -- and as a result, we added a fall series as well. 

The next year, we decided that based on the success of the 2010 music series experiments, we would add music throughout the summer months. That marked the beginning of having Katie Dahl as a weekly act in the Wine Bar (a position she still holds, four years later!). We've continued to add and tweak our music schedule to best suit our customers and the busy restaurant schedule. 

One of the tenets we wanted to stick to when it came to programming the music was to focus on local Door County musicians and the immense talent that exists on our peninsula. We don't stick to a particular genre, but do feature a lot of the things we love -- folk, bluegrass, a bit of jazz, and musicians who enjoy their fair share of cover songs.

The other goal was to select music that would make a good dining companion. And, as it turns out, the acoustics in The Cookery are great! The music travels down to the main-level dining room as well. It's a happy accident for a space that was never intended to be used as a live music space.

This season has already been a fantastic one, and it will only get better as June progresses. We have our usual rotating series on Thursday evenings (favorites Katie Lott & George Saywn and HIghland Road are scheduled for the next two Thursdays, respectively) and Katie Dahl will be playing her usual Wednesday evenings starting Wednesday, June 24.

We also have a new addition to our lineup that we're pretty excited about -- we were asked by the Peninsula Ukelele Club if they might be able to practice in the Wine Bar one afternoon a week. We couldn't say no -- we thought it would be a fun addition to our music schedule on quiet Monday afternoons and would give local musicians a chance to show their budding talents. So, the club will be singing and strumming their ukeleles throughout Happy Hour on Mondays from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Whether you've enjoyed our live music performances before or you've never been, we encourage you to come and see what our 2015 schedule has in store. To see our full schedule, head to the calendar on our website.