The beer and whiskey has been flowing, bologna frying, guitars twanging at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill at Destiny USA in Syracuse since spring.
The official opening was at 4 p.m. today, Aug. 23.
The big man himself strode from the wings, accompanying guitarist in tow, to perform three songs at His Bar.
Hundreds of people held phones aloft to capture the moment. Teens stood with little kids, parents, various adults, all thrilled to be on the upper level of the gigantic shopping mall on this special Friday afternoon. Call it a Very Happy Hour.
“Hello, Syracuse,” the country music star thundered into his microphone as a welcome. He explained that now there about 20 TKILTBs sprinkled throughout the country.
Then Toby played a loving acoustic version of, what else, “I Love This Bar.”
Fans cheered louder.
Next came “Whiskey for My Men (And Beer for My Horses).”
Keith finished the short but joyful song set with “Red Solo Cup.” It was indeed his TKILB set list. (My sole disappointment was that my one beer was handed to me in a clear Solo Cup. The red was reserved for the whiskey, the bartender said, nodding her head in agreement that it might have been a marketing opportunity missed. “I just serve it,” she said.)
Fans waved as Toby Keith departed, off to the New York State Fair Grandstand, where he headlines before a larger crowd this evening.