By: Mary Fran Bontempo

Sparkly jewlery, skin care products, adorable clothes, sweet treats and a $10 dinner entree (grilled salmon with mango salsa served on a bed of rice-mmmm!), complimented by a Skinnygirl pina colada. Stir in women entrepreneurs and you have all the fixin’s for a great evening on an otherwise unremarkable Monday night.

Say the words “Ladies’ Night” and the picture that once sprang to mind might have been that of a group of frustrated housfraus sitting in a neighbor’s kitchen venting and noshing on a bag of chips.

But thanks to some well thought out tweaking on the part of business owners and women alike, a “Ladies’ Night” can now offer a plethora of options for outings, socializing and fun.

Fellow blogger, Chrysa Smith, and I found ourselves at the Sandbar in New Hope, PA Monday night for a Ladies’ Night that showcased not only the restaurant’s fresh and delicious menu with a flat $10 fixed price for women, but a number of local ventures run by women as well.

After cleaning our plates, we strolled through the restaurant meeting women business owners and perusing their products, which ranged from the aforementioned accessories to clothing to our personal favorite, a popcorn bar manned (or “womanned”) by the wife and husband owners of Clusters Caramel Corn. (Pumpkin popcorn–so yummy!)

There was no venting necessary and nary a stale chip in sight. Plus, these smart ladies were no hausfrau.

Bottom line–wherever you’re from, keep an eye out for local “Ladies’ Night” evenings sponsored by area businesses. What a great way to meet new people, explore new businesses and turn an ordinary night into something special.