Show time at the Island Merchant in Hyannis

Dinner and a Song with Sarah Swain & Jerry Smith

The Island Merchant and Sarah Swain
Island Merchant is at the corner of Main and Ocean Streets in Hyannis.

A gem & a jewel for your Winter Blues

Text and Photos by Peter Robbins

Cape Cod in winter time, what to do? One sure cure for the cold-weather blahs is staking out Saturday night to see some music, enjoy some comfort food and swing a little in the company of Sarah Swain and Jerry Smith, a folksy, bluesy, country duo now on stage at the Island Merchant on Main Street in Hyannis.
islandmerchantmap_223If you haven't had dinner with Sarah Swain & Jerry Smith you're really missing a wonderful time.  I can't remember when it was difficult to find a parking space at the east end of Main Street Hyannis, in the middle of January! Last night you couldn't! The Island Merchant, located at 302 Main Street in Hyannis is a real gem of a restaurant. It's no wonder they were 2007 Boston Magazine "Best of Boston Winner". Your greeted at the door by co-owner Beverly Dunn, with a smile and this wonderful look on her face that without words, assures you you are going to love the people, food and entertainment. I wasn't disappointed in any of the three.
The patrons and the employees were all a delight, it was like everyone in the place were all friends. The cuisine had something for everyone, influenced by a touch of island flavor, they use as much local product available on Cape Cod. They boast an extensive entertainment schedule, and never charge a cover. A visit to The Island Merchant website shows the menu and entertainment schedule.
Here's what the Globe said

The Island Merchant, 302 Main St., Hyannis, (508) 771-1337
   Locally based seasonal cooking is the strong suit. Good casual fare includes pulled pork sandwich with a side of macaroni salad. Dinner only, closed Tuesday. Sandwiches and entrees $12-$25.
Above, entertainer Sarah Swain
Arriving a little early for dinner and the show, only to find out that every table in the restaurant was already reserved, I was somewhat concerned.  Bev Dunn commented, " Everyone loves Sarah". The intimate bar was an equally enjoyable spot for dinner as well as the show. There really isn't a bad seat in the place. The was a casual elegance about The Island Merchant that added to the comfort, and cleanliness was also remarkable.
At 7:00 Sarah Swain and Jerry Smith went on, and the Merchant quickly filled to its 65 seat capacity. What a great experience! If Sarah's smile didn't melt you heart, her music and singing sure will, she is a real Jewel. Her bluesy, country rock style singing is just a delight and very well complemented by Jerry Smith backing her up. Young and old alike were moving to the upbeat performer.

$2 Burgers from 10pm until 1am every night
It's no wonder she and her band opened for Richie Havens and Arlo Guthrie at the Melody Tent this past summer. Sarah released her own CD this past year, you can visit her website to learn more. If you missed last Saturday's you can still have Dinner with Sarah Swain and Jerry Smith on February 9th, and March 22nd from 7:00 to 10:00 PM at  The Island Merchant, 302 Main Street in Hyannis, a wonderful dining experience, PLUS $2 Burgers from 10pm until 1am every night!!

Entertainment schedule;

MONDAY –  $2 Burgers all night! Sara & Erica on bar
WEDNESDAY – Wicked Wine Night! Special Menu & Wine Pairings with dinner!
THURSDAY – 7:30 - Mike Brooke on the Baby Grand Piano!
SUNDAY – Jeff Conley’s Tin Can Tele (shown above) - 9:30
See the rest here.
Just for starters how about, full order/half order;
Griddled Brie $12/7
Jerk Chicken Skewers $12/7
"Jamaica Me Crazy" Peel & Eat Shrimp $16/9
Smoke Kielbasa & Linqua Plate ( a Portugiese-Polish delight)  $14/8
Conch Fritters  $14/8

This can be followed by;
West Indian Pumpkin Bisque $5
Smoked Conch & Corn Chowder  $7
Cape Cod Beer Chili $9
Cuban Sandwich (outstanding) $12
Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich (side of mac & cheese) $12

And the entrees (we only list the unique one) are as wild and low-priced;
Homemade Macaroni & Cheese with Hot Dogs $13
Red Stripe (Jamaican( Beer-battered Fish & Chips $14
Guava Glazed Smoked BBQ Ribs $ 19
Merchant Fish Tacos $19
Cape Cod Potato Chip Encrusted Tuna Steak $26
Mojo Steak Tenderloin $25 welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on