Walk past the new bar World of Beer on Wednesday through Saturday nights, and that corridor on the top floor of Destiny USA resembles an open air corner bar.
The setup is inviting, brick openings allowing the happy sounds of partying WOB patrons travel out and longing eyes of passersby to wander in.
And you can hear music. Sweet, sweet music.
At this year's Syracuse Area Music Awards, World of Beer joined the list of sponsors. A manager, Will Mingo, took the stage as a presenter, and told of how this Syracuse franchise is excited to be part of a vibrant community music scene.
Those three nights of local music weekly goes a long way to proving World of Beer means it.
On Saturday night, my dear wife Karen and I entered through the brick opening to take a good look and listen to Syracuse roots trio The Shakedown. The sign out front listed another band, Pennyshine, but the backdrop and familiar sound revealed that it was indeed The Shakedown, with Sean Patrick Taylor and Matt Zych up front entertaining and Sue Royal in the back keeping the beat.
The bar was full, tables crowded with weekend worshipers. The beer list went on forever, delivered in a book many pages thick. Imposing, as was the extensive list above the bar.
Just outside the boundaries, it felt like standing comfortably close to a source of good times on an easy evening, hanging around a really cool place, no strings attached.
We looked, listened, and ventured onward ...
... and just around the corner to Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill.
The franchise owned by the big country music star has a special stage for music set aside in one corner, too.
On Saturday night, the country sound was being delivered by JB Aaron. Aaron is a native of Niagara Falls. HIs web site says he moved to Nashville to try out his country talents. The schedule on it shows that he and his band are playing steadily in upstate New York the next few months, including June 27 at Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Verona.
The front man has a pleasant country music way about him, and he and the band got more than a handful of music fans up and dancing, including a serious bout of group line dancing.
Aaron graciously led his band through several of host Keith's hit songs.
Folks around the back tables were paying attention to the stage as they ate and drank.
Country music taking root in a mall in Syracuse, N.Y.
Who would have thought that would happen just a couple of years ago.
Now, though, before taking the bridge to the parking lot, it's impossible not to notice that live music has cranked up the energy in the new wing of Destiny USA.
The more venues the merrier.
Los Blancos kicks off what the Syracuse roots band is calling a series of "endless Wednesday nights" tonight at World of Beer. Colin Aberdeen, singer and guitarist from Los Blancos, plays there Thursday night.
National star Rodney Atkins performs in a paid-ticket concert Friday night at Toby Keith's. Syracuse country outfit The Custom Taylor Band plays the big club with no cover charge on Saturday night.
Have you gone in to watch live music yet at Destiny USA? What's your favorite live music spot? Do you like the idea of adding live local music to clubs in a mall?