Year in Review: 2009

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I know this is so, like, yesterday but I feel like 2009 truly zoomed by. I'm excited for 2010 and all it may hold, but last year noted some important changes – both personally for me and for the area in terms of nightlife.

My world changed significantly when my boyfriend and I bought a house, moved, rescued a badass dog and got engaged. I also wrote my first book, a Hershey travel guide, and hosted nearly half a dozen book signings throughout the area.

As for the bar, restaurant and lifestyle scene, we saw quite a few changes. These 20 come in no particular order.

  1. Tara Station closed; Pints opened a few months later in its place.
  2. Scott's Grille, the legendary politico hangout and see-and-be-seen hot spot, closed its doors for good.
  3. Lola's Day Spa moved from Third to Second Street and recently was closed. It's slated to reopen this month.
  4. Pesce became Juliana's, and Juliana's on the Pike closed – and subsequently reopened under the trained tutelage of Donnie Brown as Black N Bleu.
  5. Cafe Atlantis revamped itself as Brew 22. Look for a review from me later this month.
  6. Hummelstown favorite, Al Mediterraneano closed. The "Gas Station," an alleged gastropub, is slated to open in the early part of '10.
  7. Mercado's opened a bar/restaurant location on Second St., where Perks & Bribes once operated, hosting open mic nights and karaoke.
  8. The Soup Spot opened in Midtown, much to the joys state workers.
  9. Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center finally opened its doors.
  10. Midtown Scholar completed its move and renovation and experienced immediate success.
  11. Cafe di Luna moved to Midtown, creating a "coffeehouse row" effect in Midtown.
  12. The Hershey Story, the revised version of the former Hershey Museum, opened, including Cafe Zooka and the Chocolate Lab, where you can sign up for chocolate making classes and more.
  13. Tweet-ups took off throughout the area. A meet'n greet for Tweeters.
  14. My column, Out with Sara, moved to Fridays as part of The Patriot-News' redesign.
  15. The Woodside Cottages at The Hotel Hershey opened. My sister and I spent a weekend there, and we can testify to its fabulousness.
  16. Doc Holliday's revamped its New Cumberland location, splitting into three restaurants: Old Naples, Doc's Saloon & Grill and Carve, which is set to open in the spring.
  17. The City of Harrisburg got its first gentleman's club when Savannah's on Hanna opened. Read my review here.
  18. The Grotto Pub opened in West Fairview (Enola-ish). The place for all things Notre Dame, wings and Jell-O shots.
  19. Hollywood Casino amped up their dining options with Final Cut Steakhouse, a truly upscale (and delicious) steakhouse inside the casino.
  20. Blackman MMA hosted its first Pennsylvania Fighting Championship, the first MMA event in the area at the Zembo Shrine. Look for the next one on Feb. 6.
Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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