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Jazz, Internet are what’s hot at coffee shop

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

by Karl Horeis

The Mile High Jazz Band will play its third annual “Cool Jazz in January” at Comma Coffee on Tuesday. Vocalist Sheryl Adams will join them.

“Maybe she’ll do some steamy-hot numbers to contrast with the cool jazz,” said Elinor Bugli, the band’s secretary-treasurer.

The 17-member band plays songs by greats such as Count Basie and Duke Ellington as well as more contemporary jazz, said Bugli, who is also the wife of bandleader and keyboardist David Bugli.

Swing-dance lessons will be offered before the show from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

“If they do that then they can get up and dance when we play,” said the band leader. “There’s not a lot of room there so it’s crowded, but that makes it more fun.”

The performance will start at 8 p.m. and run until about 10.

The dance lessons cost $5. General admission to the band’s performance is $5 at the door; $4 for members of the Mile High Jazz Band Association and free for 18 and under.

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Comma Coffee is a hot spot for more than just jazz. It’s the first coffee house in Carson to offer free wireless Internet access – called a “hot spot” by computer enthusiasts.

“You can either use the wireless hookup on your computer or one of the four plug-ins at the bar,” said Comma Coffee barista Laura Haugen.

The service started Friday. There is no charge to customers.

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Brian Lester’s new band The Sidewinders will begin a week of performances at the Carson Nugget on Tuesday.

Lester, who played for 15 years in Hawaii before coming to Carson, said he’s excited to play the band’s country and rock blend for an audience.

Other members of The Sidewinders include Tina Dayton, who has toured in Japan, Singapore and Australia. Guitarist Dean Brownell brings more than 20 years of Nevada stage experience to the band.

Drummer David Herzer has performed professionally since age 12, sharing the stage with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Moby Grape.

The Sidewinders will play from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, 7 to 1 during the week.

Their last night will be the Jan. 18. There is no charge.

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If you’ve never been into Lefty’s Burgers ‘N Such in the shopping center across from Smith’s on William Street, it’s worth a visit. I stopped in for lunch last weekend.

“I need a big cheeseburger and a Coke,” I said.

Owner Cheryl McConnell pointed to a special offer on the wall: Lefty’s Hefty. It’s a half-pound sirloin burger with homemade potato chips and small drink for $5.50. There are several cheese choices including smoky gouda.

“I’ll refill that drink as many times as you want, just bring it back up,” Cheryl said, handing over a ticket which read, “Don Adams, actor.”

Cheryl and her husband, Tim, who mans the grill in a “Famous Left Handers” T-shirt, use order forms with the names of more famous left-handers – politicians, rock stars, even conquerors.

When the order’s ready, they call out the name. The couple after me got Darryl Strawberry.

Burgers ‘N Such also offers subs and hot sandwiches. Try the Philly steak, portobello mushroom or the spicy chicken. Direct from the fryer you can choose chili-cheese fries, jalapeno poppers or those delicious homemade potato chips. Wash them down with a frosty malt or shake.

If you can’t decide, consult Tim and Cheryl’s “Frequently Requested Items” list: Tuna melts for $4.75; grilled cheese for $3.95; barbecue pulled pork or teriyaki chicken for $5.25.

I was taking notes when Cheryl hollered over the sizzle of meat and chatter of diners, “Actor Don Adams, you’re up!”

For more details, go to 444 Highway 50 East No. 4 or call 883-0323.

Contact Karl Horeis at khoreis@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.