HTN Walks Into a Bar: Undo's Edition
Welcome to a new series called HTN Walks Into a Bar, where the gang at Hold the Note checks out a local music hangout, and has a candid conversation about our experience. This month, we visited Undo’s , an Italian restaurant and sports bar in Marietta, Ohio. If you want to know what our experience was like, and want to be a fly on the wall for the conversation(s) we had, keep reading.
There are some great spots in the Mid-Ohio Valley that host and support live music. We at HTN want to go visit them and have candid conversations about our experiences there, so you might have a better understanding of what you might expect when you stop by, for yourself. Undo’s on the Pike (of Marietta, Ohio) was on our radar for several reasons. One of the main reasons was that they regularly showcase local music. So “walk in”, we did. Amanda Reeder, Jason Waters, Todd Stubbe, Morgan Stubbe and Michelle Waters all walked in and had a conversation, and it went like this:
**When we first arrived, we mistakenly thought the live music was at the gazebo, that evening. However, we thought it was helpful to leave that bit in the conversation below, so you could get the follow up of the level of helpfulness of the staff**
Michelle: We have no idea where the gazebo is, but we heard there’s a show there…so we’re gonna try and figure it out…
Jason: If we can’t find the gazebo, then maybe that should be a negative…
Michelle: This is my husband Jason, and you can pretty much guarantee he will be the negative commentator of the discussion.
Michelle: But, he also helps me remember things (like my camera lens I left in the car).
Amanda: There’s plenty of parking spaces.
Michelle: There’s a lot of parking. It’s attached to the Quality Inn, inside and out.
**Since we weren’t sure where the gazebo was, yet, we went to the sports bar (a place we’d visited, before)**
I don’t think we’re in the right place, but I’m gonna ask somebody…
**I asked a bar patron, who didn’t know where the gazebo was, either…but he was really nice about it**
The patrons are gracious. I almost just accidentally walked behind the bar, just now.
**And then I ran into Megan Galici (who I interviewed later that night), and spilled the beans about reviewing Undo’s**
Megan Galici: They never pressure me about bringing in a bunch of people to play, and they have free food.
**This just made me possibly overly excited. I love free stuff, and I love buffets. Undo’s has a FREE appetizer bar from 5-7, every Friday!!!**
Megan: I think it’s for bar patrons, only. But if you buy your drink, you get the app bar
Michelle: Shut it. We were gonna get drinks, anyway. THIS IS MY FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD.
**We were gonna sit off to the side, behind the bar (away from the stage, so we could listen and not disrupt while talking/still see if we could hear our own conversation), and then realized we wouldn’t really be able to see Megan perform. So we opted for the far corner tall table (near the lottery machine). We easily found another stool to bring up to the table, so we could all sit together (it was only three of us, at first).**
Amanda: So there’s food?
Michelle: I had no idea there was food. I’m not sure if that’s a Friday thing.
Jason: So it’s not as much about someone taking our order here as it is maybe someone asking for a drink order, then (referring to the buffet).
Michelle: As for drinks, we might not have anyone come over and take a drink order. We might just have to stop at the bar and get them, ourselves.
Jason: Do you want to go ask the lady behind the bar how the (app bar) works?
**At this point, Megan has started performing. We can hear her, there is a medium level of conversation going on among the patrons, but it doesn’t feel to us like there’s a tension between being able to hear yourself speak, and being able to listen to the music**
**And Jay just ran into somebody he knows. Pretty much everywhere we go, Jay/Jason knows someone. He’s a born and raised Parkersburger, after all**
**We were waiting maybe 20 seconds before a bartender looked over at us to apologize for the wait. No biggie. Everyone at the bar is very friendly/social/comfortable to be around**
Michelle: I actually just had a question about the buffet. Is that if you’re drinking, and is that just Fridays (that’s technically 2 questions, right-oops!).
Bartender (who we would later find out is named Paige): Fridays, from 5-7.
Michelle: Okay, I know we’re getting drinks. I’m assuming we have to come over from sitting at our table, right (that’s three questions, huh?)? We just sat down.
Paige: Oh yeah, right where you’re sitting…we’ll get over to ya in a few minutes. That’s a bad table (she says, smiling). We can’t see you there, very well.
**We decide it’s smarter to just get our drink order from the bar, directly. But first, food…**
Michelle: So the music sound is a good level, to me. We can talk-I’m only talking more loudly, so my voice recorder can pick up my words, but I don’t feel like I have to.
Jason: The music is not obtrusive to a conversation (if you need to talk).
Amanda: It’s kinda hard to make out some of the words that are being sung, though…
Michelle: I’m assuming that there’s not a dedicated sound crew, because I saw Megan’s family helping with the soundcheck, tonight (an no one else).
Amanda: I love that it’s a family thing, though.
Michelle: Mee too.
Amanda: Let’s go get food.
**Just as we were about to get up to eat, Paige came toward our table and took out drink order-even though we know she was very busy. Bonus points for her. **
Michelle: Ooh, look at the pasta salad. They have some rolls..
Amanda: Pulled pork…
Michelle: And some meatballs…
**One of Undo’s bar patrons came over to the buffet while we were getting food**
Ooh! I have a question (to the patron)! It said online that the show (live music) was at the gazebo (no, it did not. Michelle is foolish, and was mistaken)…that was very confusing to us. But this is obviously not a gazebo.
Undo’s Patron: It is not, this is Undo’s bar. Maybe it was for another night?
Michelle: Yeah, who knows. We didn’t know.
**Now Paige came over, to check on the food supply at the buffet**
So the info online said something about a gazebo?
Paige: If you want to rent it, we have a gazebo in the back, that you can rent. We have weddings, parties, whatever you want.
(We found it)
Michelle: But are there musical performances out there, sometimes? Because I thought this one was going to be out there (man, she just won’t let it go).
Bartender: No, that was a few weeks ago, and it got rained out. We brought it inside. There were 4 different bands, and it was really nice. We brought them to the floor (the bands performed in the main restaurant).
**Back to food**
Amanda: I’m gonna need another plate. (There was so much food. Yum)
Michelle: So there’s pasta salad, pulled pork, meatballs, and now there’s two trays of pepperoni pizza. Amazing. Unlimited. I love that it’s free food as long as you drink. This is like Vegas.
The pulled pork…
Amanda: Is delicious.
Michelle: There are no signs on anything, but we’re just kinda running with it, and thinking it’s pork. And I’m okay with that, because it’s delicious. How’s the pizza?
Jason: Really good.
Michelle: Now you’re had their pizza before, right?
Jason: Maybe once.
Amanda: I have not had their pizza before, and it’s very good.
Michelle: Is it like, in the top 10 kinda thing?
Jason: Of this area? Yep. It’s easily better or comparable to any of the chains. It’s better than Papa John’s and Little Caesars, and it’s close to Pizza Place in my “enjoyment factor”. It’s not exactly like it. I like it, almost as much (these are strong words from Jason. He lives and dies by Pizza Place pizza).
**Two days after this, Jason and I ordered Undo’s pizza because we were craving it**
Amanda: It’s not as greasy as Pizza Place.
Our bartender is very friendly.
Jason: I know her from being in here, before.
Amanda: I like her.
Michelle: Oh! There were no knives at the buffet (and no trash can, except for at the bar, and one at the lottery machine). I guess that would be…
Jason: One negative.
Michelle: Yep. I don’t know if they normally do and were just out. The napkins were tucked away, too. The bartender did offer to take my plates for me, though. And she was very nice about it. And she also asked if we needed more drinks as she offered to take our plates.
So do you think you could get full on this buffet/free appetizer night?
Jason: Absolutely. (Again, saying something, because that boy can eat)
Amanda: Oh yeah. And all for the cost of your drink(s).
Jason: Amanda and I were noting that there was no one announcing Megan when she got up to perform, no one to bring attention to her…there were a few people shouting at the bar, and being loud….
Amanda: And there was one point where we had a hard time hearing her (Megan) perform. And I know we’re in a bar situation, but I feel bad for them (when they’re performing). But we thought maybe it would feel more official if someone announced her.
Michelle: When you are in a bar, to some people, she is background music.
Amanda: That’s true.
Michelle: That’s a challenge of playing in a bar.
**We then went on to note that the atmosphere of Undo’s bar reminds us of hanging out at (the now closed) River City. It’s not as large, but the atmosphere feels similar. It’s cozy, and everyone is friendly. We don’t know if it was the interior colors, lighting or something else in particular that made it feel so cozy, but we were very comfortable being there.
We also noted around this time, that you have to leave the restaurant to use the bathroom. The public restrooms are located “between” the Quality Inn and Undo’s proper. Since Undo’s is attached to Quality Inn, you just go through the adjoining doors in the restaurant lobby/“foyer”, and you’ll see the restroom doors on your left**
Michelle: Oh! There are other things happening! Tell ‘em about the steak, Jay.
Jason: Well (we’ve discovered) there’s a 10 oz. sirloin and 4 cheese ravioli for 13.99.
Michelle: Was that a certain day of the week, or just a thing?
Jason: We think it’s “just a thing”.
Amanda: But then on Tuesdays, it’s all you can eat pasta (from 5-9pm).
Jason. And Monday night is steak night. You get a 10 oz. sirloin for 9.99.
**And about this time, Morgan and Todd Stubbe showed up to join us!**
Michelle: So you guys (Todd and Morgan) have been here, before. Have you eaten here before tonight.
Morgan: Yeah, we’ve come here with our families before, and had big family dinners. A few times.
Michelle: How have your food experiences been?
Morgan: For the most part, good. The pasta dish was great. I had one negative experience with nachos-I just didn’t know what to expect. I was expecting a different cheese. But the food is great. Yummy salad. The bartenders are fun. We’ve had good experiences.
Michelle: And y’all have performed here.
Morgan: Yeah, we have. Three times.
Todd: Once outside, and then inside.
Morgan: And the crowds have been really fun-engaged and supportive.
Todd: The room just fills up. People come in for the appetizers-it’s a nice draw, too.
Michelle: I really had no idea, it was like Christmas, to me.
Morgan: Free food, free music. What more do you need in life?
And it always seems like it’s a lot of nice, friendly people. And a lot of times, I feel like we run into people who are traveling-which makes sense because we’re at a hotel. So there are people who are in from out of town, who are coming in here and seeing the local music.
Michelle: I hadn’t thought about that before.
Todd: You know what I think they should do here? Or at least try? What do you think about moving the performance against that wall (the wall close to the food/buffet…it’s on the other side of the bar…when you’re there, this will make sense to see)? Because all of these people are kinda trapped backwards, and if you put the stage against “that” wall, then the whole room could enjoy their performance.
Jason: But when people come in, they would walk in front of the stage.
Todd. But you’re performing to more “backs” (at the bar) than if you were on this side of the bar.
Michelle: What if they move the bar? (Just kidding)
I think really my only negative was that there were no knives on the buffet, and that was sad. Everything else has been awesome. I like the food. The pulled pork was awesome.
**There was a discrepancy about what constituted being a “bar patron”, at this point…so we’re undecided as to whether you actually need to buy drinks for the free apps/food. But I feel confident in saying that I’ll always buy a drink before I eat at the free buffet. Yep.**
One of the reasons I was drawn to doing the first “Walks into a Bar” at Undo’s is because I’ve seen several people recently espouse their love for Undo’s, at least in part because of their (Undo’s) support of local music.
Todd: It’s really cool. They treat us really well.
Morgan: All the bartenders are great. It’s a really great place.
Michelle: I don’t think I’ve encountered one asshole here. I really don’t think I have.
Jason: When you guys performed here (Todd and Morgan) did anyone introduce you?
Todd: That’s pretty rare, actually.
Michelle: In general?
Todd: Yeah. Some places like to do that. It’s really cool if they do. Most places you’re just expected to introduce yourself. I’d say 98-99% of the time.
Morgan: I think on our tour, we were introduced at our very first stop, and one stop where our friends were (announcing them). So that was 2 out of 40 stops…
Michelle: Now I know Megan said her dad does her sound for her. Is it normal for you to do your own sound, vs. having a sound crew at the venues?
Morgan: Oh yeah.
Michelle: But you’re used to that, yeah? I would feel uncomfortable doing my own sound.
Todd: That’s a big part of it, really (knowing how to do your own sound). We’ve also worked with house sound guys. But that’s someone who’s never worked with you before, and doesn’t know how you’re supposed to sound. It’s kind of a guess on the fly.
Michelle: So do you bring your own sound gear?
Todd: Yeah, in general.
Michelle: I’ve heard this is a great place to play for.
Morgan: It’s a great place to play-especially if you were starting out. It’s a great first place to play.
So our overall takeaways:
Not our favorite things:
Sometimes a little loud to hear the performance
No knives at the buffet
Hard to find the trash cans
Bathrooms are “outside”
Musicians “perform to backs”
When the shows are at the gazebo, we don’t know where this is (though the staff directed us there, so we could check it out)
And our actual favorite things:
Very supportive of local music
The free food (5-7 on Fridays)-with very yummy pizza and pulled pork
The food specials outside of the free ones
Friendly (and patient) staff
Friendly bar patrons-low to nil asshole quotient
Patrons appreciated the live music (clapped, overall didn’t try to yell over the performance)
Would we go back? Most definitely. Would anything we experienced keep us from wanting to return? Nope.
Overall, Undo’s is a great local bar that caters to travelers as well as locals, connects our MOV music scene to our community, as well as travelers, and fosters an environment that’s comfortable to be a part of (while making yummy food). Can’t wait to go back, again. Thanks for having us, Undo’s!
And if you'd like to check out what's happening the rest of the week in live music, go here.
**Reviews are not endorsed/paid for, and are unannounced until posting of said review/conversation. We literally pick a place (as HTN), then “walk into the bar” and talk about our experience.