by Cllint Burgess

Swanky doesn't even begin to describe it: Valentine's Day at downtown's famed Davenport Hotel, in the Peacock Room. The lavish restaurant sparkled like a gem and swayed to the soothing sounds of Sammy Eubanks. I don't know which was more elegant -- the lounge itself, or the people in it.

It was standing room only as hungry patrons, thirsty sweethearts and myself tried to secure an open seat, empty stool or anything else to park it on. The place was beyond packed. Fortunately, all it took was a little waiting and I was in. There are no reservations needed at the Peacock Room, making it the perfect destination for last-minute plans. Packed neatly into the Sprague and Monroe corner of the establishment, Sammy Eubanks and his band provided laid-back sounds perfect for consuming drinks. Whether it was one of hundreds of fine wines offered, a key lime martini or a 30-year-old scotch, the music stimulated the free flowing spirits and plenty of conversation.

The main focus of the entertainment centered around easy listening-type tunes. The band played standards of the classic lounge catalogue and exhibited solid skills on their respective instruments. Band leader Sammy Eubanks combined a smooth vocal approach and chops on the guitar to match for the full frontman package. The trio was complementary to their environment for the first part of their set. They kept things on a low-key approach and weren't an imposing nuisance. Kathy Cmose said, "I think they have been too quiet. I'd like to see them liven things up a bit." Cmose and her husband were out for a night on the town, and she got her wish. After a short break, Sammy and company got things moving on the dance floor with a stellar performance of my favorite cover song, Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville."

If you haven't been to the Peacock Room, you must go. Beautifully carved chairs, leather bar seats and a smashing wait staff were just the beginning of the lovely amenities. There was also an enormous stained glass peacock above the bar, gorgeous plate glass windows that offered comfortable street scenes and a smokers' lounge. This isn't just any smokers' lounge, though; overstuffed leather chairs, two leather sofas and a fireplace made this a popular spot for those with a hankering to puff and anyone else who could find a place to kick back for a while. The entire time I was at the Peacock Room, a steady stream of people was going out and coming in. Even with the wait for a seat, the music and the atmosphere were enough to pack them in.

Publication date: 02/26/04

Spo-Candy Crawl @ River Park Square

Through Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
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