Cleveland's 'Piano Man' Boasts 5,000th Performance
Johnny's Downtown is the sister restaurant of Johnny's Bar on Fulton Avenue, established by the Santosuosso family in 1929 and run by Joe's brother, Beau Santosuousso. "Did I ever expect Mike Petrone to be at my restaurant for 5,000 nights?" says Joe. "Are you kidding me? Hell no! I've wanted to fire him tons of times. But he's like a bad penny."
'Bad penny' or not, Mike continues to entertain Cleveland's elite, high-rollers, and tourists visiting the Rock Hall City five nights a week. Movie stars, rock stars, sports figures, politicians; the famous and the infamous have all shared a song at Mike's piano over the years and continue to come back.<
Speaking about his historic run, Mike says, "Im more than lucky. Johnnys is a restaurant like no other. We have always had regulars, tourists, and celebrities. No two nights are the same. My career may be quite a bit different than the musicians you see at the Grammy's, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have an amazingly fun job and will be forever grateful to Johnny's Downtown and the people of Cleveland for their support and loyalty. 5,000 performances in one place is pretty rare. Very few musicians have ever said that!
Johnnys and Mike will celebrate with an invitation-only VIP reception (performance 4,999) before the huge blowout Friday, November 17th. Mike will begin at 5:30 p.m. and his 5,000th performance will be open to the public till 11:30 p.m. . Visitors are welcome to celebrate a piece of Cleveland music history with Clevelands piano man whether youre coming to Johnnys for the first time or for your 1,000th. Adds the irascible Santosuosso "We'll see if he makes it to 5,001."