As we start the new decade, it’s important to view the new year as a blank canvas that’s ready to be painted with new experiences and memories. However, there is no hurt in reflecting on the past and remembering successes, improvements, and breakthroughs.
At Patrick’s Grille and Sunset Grille, 2019 was full of celebrations, community involvement, and togetherness. Let’s take a look back on some of the restaurants’ most memorable moments and events in 2019.
Year-round givebacks and specials
At Sunset Grille, guests enjoyed the restaurant’s weekly-running live entertainment –Sunset Sunday Serenades. Overlooking the beautiful view of the shores of Lake Michigan, every Sunday evening on Sunset’s rooftop this past summer, Sunset Grille hosted live entertainment during sunset (6-8 p.m.) with acts including Steve and Mary E. June, Quinn Guillermo, and Justin Anderson.
Also, a running weekly favorite at Sunset Grille is Sunset Social Hour. Every Thursday, guests enjoyed drink specials, beer and wine samples, chef takeovers, and so much more.
Each month, Patrick’s Grille participates in Give Back Tuesdays, when 10 percent of total regular dining room sales on Tuesdays is donated to local not-for-profits. The not-for-profits of choice vary from month to month, and for January 2020, Patrick’s Grille chose to give back to the Samaritan Center and Stepping Stone Women’s Shelter. Be sure to stop in on a Tuesday this month to support these featured non-profits.
Every Thursday at Patrick’s Grille, you can find a packed bar populated by community members who have built friendships thanks to, and based around, weekly wing nights. Sure, at just $8, the price of the savory bone-in chicken wings simply cannot be beaten—but it’s the company that keeps customers coming back week after week.
In September, Patrick’s hosted aGive Back Event for Lakefront Career Network & Reins of Life. Ten percent of dining room sales returned as a donation to Lakefront Career Network and the non-profit organization they sponsored last year, Reins of Life. No ticket was necessary—attendees were able to just stop by and have a great meal, enjoy a great cocktail, and automatically helped an incredible cause.
Cocktails for a Cure was a fundraising event Patrick’s Grille hosted for the Woodland Cancer Care LaPorte County Relay for Life Team. Patrick's Grille provided complimentary appetizers and a cash bar with purchase of ticket to the event.
Which Mule will rule? Last summer, Patrick’s had the honor of hosting the mule showdown of the year in Northwest Indiana. There were Moscow Mules and Kentucky Mules, Spicy Mules, Lavender Mules.
Save The Dunes Mac & Cheese fest – this was a very fun and busy day for all involved!
For just $15 per person, guests enjoyed a Christmas Eve Midday Buffet with $5 holiday drink specials.
On New Year’s Eve, guests experienced a special menu accompanied by a champagne toast and received a commemorative gift.
In an effort to prepare the future workforce of the food industry—and scout out potential future employees—Patrick’s Grille team members worked closely with La Porte County Career and Technical Education, housed at the A.K. Smith Career Center.
The high school differs from others in that it places students on a fast track to their careers, offering hands-on learning opportunities and real-world work experience. Credits can be transferred to two- or four-year colleges, and students can earn additional certifications to help secure jobs fresh out of high school.
For two years, Executive Chef Rick Bruggeman and Catering/Events Manager at Patrick’s Grille Julie Krause have served on the A.K. Smith Culinary Arts Advisory Board.
For the past year, La Porte County Career and Technical Education’s Culinary Arts Academy Chef Instructor Mary Koselke has been selecting students to intern at Patrick’s Grille or Sunset Grille. Upon completing the Culinary Arts Academy, interns then have a chance to be hired directly by one of the restaurants. This established relationship is mutually beneficial to the students and their leaders.
Patrick’s also hosted a Toys 4 Tots drive this past holiday season. For each person that brought a new, unwrapped gift to donate to the cause, Patrick’s gave a complimentary appetizer
The 11th Annual Great Lakes Grand Prix proves to be a local favorite each year. The event showcases Washington Park Beach and the amazing Lake Michigan shoreline right here in LaPorte County—which are filled with the sights and sounds of machines racing along over the surface of the water at incredible speeds during the Great Lakes Grand Prix. All the excitement sure worked up an incredible appetite, not just for speed, but for the taste of some amazing local food options.
In the spirit of the Grand Prix, Sunset Grille offered something new last year—a breakfast special and Bloody Mary bar for early birds heading to the races.
“On Sunday evening, following the close of the races, we offer live entertainment to help people relax and unwind from the weekend,” Krause said. “We just have the best view there. You’re right there on the beach, on the rooftop and it’s just amazing.”
Sunset Grille also celebrated an end of an awesome summer 2019 with live music by Brian Wheatbrook and a mouthwatering buffet. Located right on the shore of Lake Michigan and completing its second year of service, the rooftop bar and grill was the new hot spot for summertime fun. As the summer 2019 season came to a close, the entire staff and Michigan City community already felt excited for the 2020 season to begin.
Here’s to another amazing year at Patrick’s and Sunset Grille! Be sure to be on the lookout for all the upcoming great news that the restaurants have to offer in 2020.