June 1, 2018 § Leave a comment
World-class entertainer Rick Monroe brings his music and a magnetic presence wherever he goes. With a down-to-earth Country resonance, Monroe is no stranger to the stage: he’s performed in 17 countries – and every U.S. state except for Oregon. The seven-time Jagermeister Country Brand Ambassador has opened for Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Aaron Lewis, Eli Young Band, Charlie Daniels Band, Dwight Yoakam, Montgomery Gentry, Patty Loveless, Trick Pony, Emerson Drive, Pat Green, Randy Houser, Josh Thompson and more; entertained former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, and U.S. troops in Vietnam. Last year alone he traveled over 100,000 miles and played over 120 shows.
Show-goers can expect to hear Rick’s current single, the sultry “This Side of You,” and other songs from his upcoming EP, GYPSY SOUL. Monroe will also revisit tunes from his previous EP, IT’S A LOVE THING, including his third Billboard hit “Great Minds Drink Alike.” The “Great Minds” music video has logged over 300,000 views on YouTube, and added to Monroe’s already impressive fan base. For those who aren’t familiar with his music, Rick advises them to come to the show for a good time and to be ready for “just about anything.” “I love to play,” the handsome singer notes. “And I want everyone to play along. I like to think of my shows as an interactive sport.”
Rick grew up in a variety of places – California, Connecticut, Kansas, North Carolina, even England, and his love of music and outgoing personality naturally drew him to the stage. Now based in Nashville, Monroe, believes GYPSY SOUL shows the kind of diversity he can offer as an artist. He says, “I’m not so linear in my approach to music; I’m more diversified. My influences range from A to Z and I always try to put that into my music. But my home base will always be Country because it’s not just about the hype of an idea; it’s based on songs.” Fans can expect to hear a wide range of material – but Rick promises that it will all be quality. If his chart success is any indication, it’s clear Monroe knows what folks want to hear – and he’s eager to give them exactly that.
Rick enjoys sponsorships and/or endorsements with Monster Energy Drink, Banded Brand (Clothing and Water Fowl Gear), Framus Guitars, Speakeasy Jewelry and CRKT Knives.
Rick’s show begins at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday at HonkyTonk Saloon, which is located at 192 College Park Road, Ladson. 843.569.6000. HonkyTonkSaloon.com. Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com or at the door.
May 14, 2018 § Leave a comment
Celebrating 35 Years in Food & Beverage, 60th Birthday, and Entertaining Millions with HonkyTonk Saloon’s General Manager Bob Shipley
Bob Shipley went off to University of South Carolina to study law, following in the footsteps of his father, who worked as both a lawyer and a judge. After a year and a half the Goose Creek native changed course and started studying at MUSC. He worked nights to make extra money at a club. Thus began what would become a 35-year stint in the food and beverage industry with a nod towards entertainment.
“I’ve had over 2,500 people work for me over the years and in fifteen years at Desperados and another seven years at The Plex (2001 to 2008) we entertained over four million people,” says Shipley. “At Desperados, we entertained anywhere from 1,500 to 1,800 per night. Country was hot, really at its peak. At HonkyTonk Saloon (recently named Best Country Saloon in City Paper’s Best of 2018 issue), we average 500 to 700 on weekend nights. It’s one of the top country nightclubs in the southeast and one of the biggest attended venues in the area,” he added.
Despite his tremendous success, Bob Shipley is a humble man who happens to love his work and takes tremendous joy in keeping his clientele happy, safe and entertained. “We strive for great service and a great product. People need an escape. We strive to provide a safe atmosphere, especially for the ladies, that’s paramount. It is satisfying to see people have fun and appealing to see people have a quality dining and entertainment event.”
Reflecting upon his 35 years in the business, Shipley waxes sentimental. “I’m so blessed to have so many people work with me, literally thousands.” In addition to his work, Shipley takes exceptional pride in his children, Ryan and Lauren, both of whom are committed to spreading goodwill and giving back to the world. Ryan is in law enforcement and Lauren is a mental health technician about to take her sixth trip to Africa to assist orphanages and an artisan program for the underprivileged. “She’s a special person, they both are. God blessed them with the ability to make the world a better place.”
Shipley is so committed to Lauren’s cause, he is donating proceeds from $10 spaghetti dinner and raffles at his birthday party and anniversary to Artisan Global, the charity Lauren works with.
At HonkyTonk Saloon since 2016, Shipley was President of the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association for two years, Vice President for four years, and on the board for fifteen years. “It’s astounding how much the culinary industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. People always want to share a story with me about how great our area is. I love to do my best to give back to the community.”
HonkyTonk Saloon is located at 192 College Park Road, Ladson, SC. For more information, call 843-569-6000 or visit honkytonksaloon.com
April 25, 2018 § Leave a comment
In its Best Of issue published today, April 25, writer Mary Scott Hardaway writes a glowing review of HonkyTonk Saloon Ladson. The most fun you can have with your boots on. Here’s a recap:
By Mary Scott Hardaway
The moment I entered into the dimly lit Honkytonk Saloon situated right off of I-26, exit 203 to Ladson, it was all Bud Light wishes and rhinestone dreams. I could feel the beer chasing my blues away, the whiskey drowning my worries … I knew I’d be okay. I thought to myself, grinning ear to ear, “Damn, those were some good directions.”
My sister and I first visited the country western bar on a Saturday night. It was still early, around 7 p.m., and the free hour of couple’s dance instruction was just getting started. With our fiances preferring the bar scene to the dancefloor, my sister and I partnered up with about four other couples, ’cause some days, you just gotta dance.
Two cocktails deep (this uncoordinated cowgirl needs to pregame a little to boot scoot boogie, OK?), I clutched my sister’s hand as she attempted to lead “one and two and three and four.” I looked around. We were the only couple facing the same direction in which we started. I wondered if we’d even moved.
“OK just pay attention,” I urged my sister; she nodded emphatically, sipping her vodka soda until the ice started to clink. It was only every other memory that I had of my sister chugging a rail vodka in a bar that led me to believe we were probably not going to master the West Coast Swing that night.
The instructor moved across the floor like a landslide — like one bourbon, one shot, and one beer — like a lifted F-150 on a red dirt road. You get the idea. She was a pro. She smiled patiently at our scuffling feet and swung the other dancers around the shiny wooden floor as the band from Nashville started to set up in the background. I ordered another vodka.
A week later and finally recovered from my honktonky hangover, I visited the bar on a Wednesday afternoon to chat with managers Bob Shipley and Shelly Shattuck and some bar flies. Over a shot of Jack Daniels Honey — well, two, split three ways, it was 4 p.m. after all — regulars Anthony Daubs and a man who called himself Rusty Shackelford informed me that people don’t come here for “that IPA scene.” My vodka/Bud Light/maybe some bourbon? hangover could attest to that — usually I’m a slow, steady saison sipper on a Saturday night.
“That’s out where you are, and that’s if you want to go back and relax,” say “Shackelford.” “They’re so heavy. The point here is the environment.” The single Daubs, who is here after work most days, says a Friday or Saturday evening brings out a lot of other singles. We didn’t ask him his success rate with pick-up lines, but he seemed amicable. Hell, everyone there was friendly. And not in that cheeseball saccharine, “oh let me try to sell you on this place” bullshit.They were just genuinely having a good time.
And why wouldn’t you? Even for a creature of habit who prefers clutching a crowler in a taproom to dancing on a bar, Honkytonk brought out the “Shit damn I wanna stay all night” in me. And for this 20-something homebody, that’s about as often as a cold day in July.
Even if staying into the wee hours on the weekend with, according to a security guard, anywhere from 500-700 other patrons (the place is HUGE), jamming to live country music and watching the servers hop on the bar for a coordinated dance (y’all seen Coyote Ugly?) isn’t your bottle of domestic beer. Honkytonk does it all.
“Tuesdays are open mic night, and we do a paint night for $10 on the second Tuesday of every month,” explains Shattuck. “Some Wednesdays are bike nights, with money going to a local children’s charity, some are truck/jeep nights with money going to a local PTSD foundation. Thursdays are ladies night — a lot of female regulars like to come and learn (for free) the dance the servers do on the bar. Fridays are line dancing and a DJ. Saturday is couple’s dance instruction and a live band and then a DJ later in the night. We’ve had a hypnotist, we’ve done comedy. We just started a jazz night.”
And then there’s the mechanical bull, which, “Shackelford” says you can “pay something like $5 and ride all night,” the pool tables, the laughably good happy hour prices.
“Country is hot right now,” says Shipley. “We are primarily a honky tonk, [people come here to] eat good food, drink a cold beer, dance to good music, and get great service. At the end of the day that’s what we’re about.” The spacious Honkytonk building, situated on an even larger parking lot, has changed hands quite a few times over the years. To solidify the identity of the less than two-year-old concept, Shipley knew the name was everything. “That’s why we came up with Honkytonk Saloon, we thought that said it all. There’s no doubt about what it is.”
It’s a country bar, it’s an after-work happy hour destination, it’s a hub for large, charitable events. It’s a meeting place for singles who want to dance all night, for families who come early for the barbecue, for the 85-year-old regular who, Shattuck says, closes the bar every Friday and Saturday night. It’s for a large demographic — races, genders, ages — driving in from Ridgeville, Mt. Pleasant, Johns Island, Summerville. It’s for those who stay ’til the ugly lights come on, for the cowboy who wants to prove he can ride that bull for 30 seconds. It’s as Shipley says, “the most fun you can have with your boots on.” And for this small town girl, it’s one helluva Saturday night.