Cleveland's 'Piano Man' Boasts 5,000th Performance

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Mike Petrone and Johnny's Downtown Celebrate Incredible Run

You would think a lot has changed since June 3rd, 1993 but at Cleveland's famed power-restaurant, Johnny's Downtown, - - not so much. That is the day owners, Joe Santosuosso and Paul Anthony opened the doors of their now famous Warehouse District eatery with Mike Petrone seated behind the piano. Remarkably, twenty-four years later, all three are still there, and on Friday, November 17th, 2017, Petrone (dubbed Cleveland's 'piano man') will celebrate his 5,000th performance at their well-known, fine-dining hot spot.

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, "I’m more than lucky. Johnny’s 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! ”

Johnny’s 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 Cleveland’s ‘piano man ’ whether you’re coming to Johnny’s for the first time or for your 1,000th. Adds the irascible Santosuosso "We'll see if he makes it to 5,001."

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Mike Petrone
@MikePetrone1
since: 01/2012
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Mike Petrone
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