The year of Covid, 2020, wreaked havoc on small businesses/organizations. “Weathering the Storm” will profile local businesses in an attempt to celebrate survival and the promise of calmer seas on the horizon. We ask about the enormous challenges they faced, how businesses adapted, what the future holds, and ultimately how, as a community, we may help them rise above the tides.

Chef Edgar Alleyne (left) and Johnny Ray are the dynamic duo behind The Beacon Restaurant and Bar in Marblehead. 

In case you hadn’t heard, Johnny Ray, “wants to put the band back together.”

Ray and his longtime friend and confidante, Edgar Alleyne, are the dynamic duo behind

The Beacon Restaurant and Bar, 123 Pleasant St., Marblehead.

Their plan? To make The Beacon a quintessential food and entertainment destination.

Both Alleyne and Ray knew that to be successful, they had to think differently about post-pandemic. The idea of creating an “iconic dining experience” meant making live music the heart and soul of the restaurant. The combined experiences– Chef Alleyne’s more than 20 years (most recently at Red Rock), and Ray’s career as an entertainer from Las Vegas to Boston, laid the groundwork for success.

Chef Edgar Alleyne is waiting for you to come by and check out his menu at The Beacon on Pleasant Street, Marblehead.
“Music has been a huge part of my life,” said Ray, who is keenly aware of its transformative powers.

Chef Edgar Alleyne is waiting for you to come by and check out his menu at The Beacon on Pleasant Street, Marblehead. 

Johnny Ray is transforming evenings at the Beacon into a Manhattan-esque supper club. 

Ray, reflecting on the early days of performing at the Paradise, then headlining at Rio Grande in Marblehead, said “Marblehead always felt like home, more than any other place.”

“We aren’t trying to compete or be a rock club,” Ray said adding that the emphasis on live music is solely a catalyst for connection.

On any given weeknight, beginning around 6:30 p.m., the Beacon transforms into what Ray calls “a Manhattan-style supper club and piano bar” featuring pianist Mark Rasmussen’s soft background dinner music. If you stay long enough, you’ll see Johnny Ray light up the stage with a wide catalog of pop music and a vocal range from Frank Sinatra to the Monkees. Ray and Rasmussen fine-tuned their act for several years during a residency at a popular Wellfleet restaurant before bringing the show home to Marblehead.

Both Ray and Alleyne agree that timing is everything.

“We want to engage with the audience at the right time,” said Ray.

The decision to open at 3 p.m. daily was made to allow ample time for diners who prefer a quiet experience.

A variety of live bands are slated to rotate through the restaurant and the Warwick on weekends into the fall and winter months following packed houses for both The Guy Ford Band and Wilmot Redd. The first live event at the Warwick–a night of music performed by Peter Calo (Carly Simon’s guitarist and lifelong musical partner) and Anne Carpenter, was an instant sellout.

The good vibrations are reverberating. In less than two months, the Beacon has attracted musical talent from in and around the greater Boston area. The music lives on at the Warwick Theatre on September 15, with a special, one-night-only exclusive event–David Byrne’s American Utopia at 8 p.m.

It looks as though putting this band back together was an outstanding decision for all, said Ray.

Originally published on, republished with permission.

Getting the band back together in Marblehead at The Beacon
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