Tricia Trusty

Tricia Trusty checks out the new digs at Unplugged. She’ll take over ownership of the building starting this weekend.

The popular “Cheers” theme song says, “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.

For musician Tricia Trusty, that place is Unplugged, 2605 Frederick Ave.

“I’ve been frequenting Unplugged for about a year and a half, and it felt like a second home,” she said.

The bar and music venue holds such a special place in her heart that she decided to take over operations when it went up for sale.

“When I found out that the previous owners would like to do different things with their lives, I was ready to do something different with mine, and this is kind of what I wanted to do,” she said.

The bar will celebrate with a grand reopening concert starting at 4 p.m Friday with bands like Monday’s Child and Porchlight Mamas.

Trusty will take over from the bar’s previous owners, the Johnson family, who assumed operations and rebranded the space in 2014. During their ownership, they saw big successes, like an annual all-ages Christmas showcase and various fundraisers, as well low times, including a temporary shut down for almost three months in 2020.

A musician from Iowa, Trusty said she found the intimacy of the venue inviting and its variety of open mic nights and concerts inclusive.

“It’s like I found the place where I belong. For a lot of my life, I didn’t. I felt like a square peg in a round hole. I felt like I finally found a place where I fit,” she said.

Behind the bar, things will look similar to the way it’s been since 2014. Danielle Manning still will serve as the bar manager and, as Trusty said, the most integral person in the business.

“Dani is my other half. I wouldn’t be able to do it without her,” she said.

As for the vibe of the venue, Trusty said she plans on keeping everything that works while adding her own personality.

“I liked the bones of this place. I really like the open mics ... Because if you don’t have experience on stage, you have a place to get that experience,” she said.

The “Cheers”-like atmosphere also will be a must in keeping the old Unplugged faithful while welcoming new faces to the space.

“There’s fantastic, wonderful musicians that are really good that have been wonderful mentors to me. And they have given me nothing but encouragement, and anybody that gets up on that stage, they do the same. And I want to keep fostering that,” she said.

As a new face to the music venue ownership scene, Trusty said she looks forward to meeting other bar owners and building a relationship like she has with others in the area.

“I want to keep trying to bring great music into St. Joe. It has good energy here, and I want to have a good time for people whenever they come to hear live music,” she said.

The venue is open to everyone 21 and older.

Andrew Gaug can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter: @NPNOWGaug

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