Is it a coincidence that SRQ now has a non-stop from Nashville, and Joyland has reopened? I think not!
The iconic country music venue of Sarasota – Bradenton is on course to join the world- class performance venues in our area (and Nashville knows it!). The recent performance by two- time Grammy nominated country music star, Eric Paslay, is a testament to the reputation that Joyland has built under the control and ownership of Scott Serbin.
For five decades, the stage of Joyland hosted the country stars of the time, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Montgomery Gentry and Trace Adkins, to name a few. But when local owner, Rick Lambert retired, the stage went dark and a void was created in the performances of country music in our area. Enter local talent and entrepreneur, Scott Serbin, to bring Joyland into the future. As part of the Serbin Printing family, that has been part of the Sarasota- Bradenton community since the seventies, Scott became interested in music when he attended Cardinal Mooney High School. It was as a member of the local band, Daisy Dukes, that he first played Joyland and started a friendship with the Lambert family.
As Serbin tells the story, he had been searching for a spot to open a country music destination when timing and opportunity met each other and he was able to acquire and re-open Joyland. But Serbin didn’t just re-open Joyland, he has enhanced both the acoustics and the ambiance. Already benefiting from the location in relation to an international airport, hotels, nearby dining and ample parking, the new and upgraded sound system optimizes the acoustics of the space.
But you just can’t get the feeling of Joyland until you get the back story, and that doesn’t come from Nashville, the heart of Joyland is hometown Sarasota- Bradenton. The ambiance that Scott Serbin has at the new Joyland comes in great part from the old. Generations of employees make-up the staff. From the moment a patron enters the doors, Country ( as he tells me is his name) greets you and places a friendly wristband on you. At the bar, Kari will be happy to pour you a cold one. Long time patron, turned employee, Matt is ready to change out a keg.
When news spread throughout the community that the stage lights of Joyland were going back on, the people that had given their heart over the decades came back, as did their family. To hear Serbin tell it, it’s a family and his sincerity is evident in watching and listening to him interact with every member of his staff. Once upon a time someone asked Hank Williams what makes country music successful, he responded,” You ask me what makes our music successful? I’ll tell you in one word, ‘sincerity’.” By the accounting of Hank Williams, Scott Serbin has a success in Joyland (and Nashville knows it!).
You can see more pictures on The Sarasota Post FB page!
Photos from Laura Bell Adams /The Sarasota Post