From the tail-end of May through August, Thursday is the new Friday and Borio’s Party on the Patio is the new Inner Harbor Wednesdays on the Water.
Although the series has been going on for about 10 years, since the addition of a new bar and patio this year, the revelry has exploded thanks to the killer combination. Marty Borio, co-owner with his cousin Tony and brother Chuck, explains, “The success of this is based on two things: good music and the best location. Syracuse has a tremendous amount of local talent.” Apparently the combo convinced the masses it’s worth the drive from the usual downtown digs and Borio’s blew up with crowds from 300 to 500 throughout the steamy Syracuse summer.
With Oneida Lake for a backdrop, from 7 to 11 p.m. on Thursdays, Borio’s Restaurant, 8891 McDonnell’s Parkway, Cicero (just off Lakeshore Drive), featured danceable groups like Stroke, Grupo Pagan, The Billionaires, Atlas and other local party bands that helped make the hot spot cooler than wearing sunglasses at night.
While Wednesdays on the Water, which began and quickly ended in summer 2010, opted for hard rock bands, Borio’s stayed on the lighter, funky side and kept the mood lifted with the relaxed atmosphere. Sometimes the restaurant even offered the good ol’ American hamburger, hot dog and Central New York salt potato dinner as an option out back, letting patrons worry more about shakin’ their groove thangs than shellin’ out the dough.
Exclusive booking agent for the series, Suzi Harrington of Daniel F. Rubado Productions, has worked with Borio for 15 years, but notes the turnouts this summer were especially impressive. “Thursdays were absolutely fantastic. People are all over the place. It’s so crowded you can’t move. Now with the stage down the hill, bands say, ‘Oh God! There’s like a sea of people.’ It’s like Jazz Fest.”
The amphitheater style, good-time music, food, drinks, water, fresh air and backyard-bash feel helped make Borio’s Party on the Patio the new thirsty Thursday hangout for the summer. Although Borio plans to keep the music alive on weekends through the winter, patio patrons are probably counting down the days on their calendars, waiting for the next party to start. (Don’t worry. It’s only about 200 days away.) Until then, you’ll just have to get intimate inside Borio’s with smaller bands, beer and pizza. Suddenly winter doesn’t sound so bad.