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Watch party at Highland Square Mustard Seed for Akron Honey's turn on Cleveland Hustle

By Katie Byard Published: August 30, 2016
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Brent Wesley of Akron Honey Co. will be featured in Wednesday night’s episode of Cleveland Hustles on CNBC.
A watch party will run from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Wednesday -- tomorrow -- at the Mustard Seed Market & Cafe in Akron’s Highland Square.
The cafe, at 867 W. Market St., is staying open 90 minutes late, closing at 11:30 p.m., as the show does not air until 10:00 p.m.
There are no tickets for the event. An event website indicates the event is sold out. It is not; the cafe will be open to anyone, according to Mustard Seed folks.
The cafe will have its regular menu, with some specials made with Akron Honey being offered. The cafe’s late night menu, along with the specials will be offered from 9 until 11:30 p.m.
Cleveland Hustles is a new show from LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s production company that showcases Northeast Ohio ventures, including Akron Honey, looking for an investment from Cleveland business leaders to launch their own stores.
The 3-year-old Akron Honey is a small-batch venture created by Brent Wesley, also an R&B singer, whose stage name is Wesley Bright. Go to www.akronhoney.com.
Mustard Seed Market is not far from Ian’s vacant lot turned apiary in the Highland Square area of Akron.
See the story on Wednesday's episode by the Beacon's Rich Heldenfels at http://bit.ly/2bTTS9t or in tomorrow's Beacon Journal.

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Perk up: Nervous Dog in Akron and Stow celebrating 10 years with freebies

By Katie Byard Published: August 29, 2016
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Hard to believe... Nervous Dog Coffee Bar is celebrating 10  years.
The locally owned West Akron coffee shop and its spinoff shop in Stow are celebrating in September.
Free freshly brewed coffee (hot or iced) will be available from Sept. 1-7.
All month long, customers can get a free 20-ounce logo glass — while supplies last — with any purchase made from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Also in September, baristas will hand out one buy-one-get-one card per hour every day through Sept. 15.

Customers who redeem the cars can enter in the “Swag Bucket” raffle.
Nervous Dog is at 1530 W. Market St., Akron, and 4161 Steels Pointe in Stow, near Stow Municipal Court.

Michael Litt, a former management consultant, struck out on his own in 2006, opening the West Akron Nervous Dog on West Market Street in the space that previously housed the  former Coco's Coffee Bar.

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Taste of Pro Football Hall of Fame kicks off Tuesday

By Katie Byard Published: August 29, 2016
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The annual Taste of Pro Football Hall of Fame kicks off at 5 p.m. Tuesday -- tomorrow.
The event, now in its ninth year, is pricey — $150 for general admission — but you get to mingle with Football Hall of Fame enshrinees and graze on a bevy of local eats at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. And you also get to support the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, which receives proceeds.
Hall of Fame Enshrinees such as Andre Reed and Dermontti Dawson, dressed in their gold jackets, will signing autographs.
Purveyors at this year’s event include Canton Brewing Company, Chocolates by Erin, Cilantro Thai & Sushi Restaurant, Dunkin’ Donuts, Main Street Gourmet, Meeker Wines distributed by Esber Beverage, The Rail, SHY Cellars and the Winery at Wolf Creek.
Auctions and raffles at the event will feature items including a weekend at the Meeker Vineyard in Sonoma County, Calif., featuring a tour followed by dinner on the property.
Bid before the event by going to http://ACRFHOF16.gesture.com. The winery visit is a live auction item and is not part of online bidding.
Tickets $250 for VIP admission, which includes VIP lounge access, early admittance, priority valet parking and a VIP ticket holder gift. Young professionals can attend the event at the discounted rate of $100. Tickets can be purchased at akroncantonfoodbank.org/taste or by calling 330-535-6900.
Taste of the Pro Football Hall of Fame sponsors are radio stations WQMX (94.9-FM);  WONE (97.5-FM); WAKR (1590-AM) and WNWV (107.3-FM).
 

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Falls Better Block today and tomorrow features preview of Crave Cantina and other local eats

By Katie Byard Published: August 26, 2016
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You can get a preview of the not-yet-open Crave Cantina — offering “global tacos” — at the Falls Better Block on the Front Street mall in Cuyahoga Falls today and tomorrow.

Falls Better Block -- featuring pop-up businesses, food vendors and live music —  will run from 5 to 11 p.m. today ( Friday) and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 27).

The Better Block includes pop-ups, such as Crave Cantina, along with brick-and-mortar joints on the mall, including Cashmere Cricket, Flury’s Cafe and Metropolis Popcorn.

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Friday food events in downtown Akron; Food Truck Friday and Farmers Market

By Katie Byard Published: August 25, 2016
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Here are two downtown Akron foodcentric activities for Friday, Aug. 26:
-- The next to the last Food Truck Friday runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the parking of the nonprofit Child Guidance & Family Solutions at North Forge and East Market streets at downtown's edge.

The season’s finale of the weekly lunchtime rally, benefitting the nonprofit Child Guidance & Family Solutions, will be Sept. 2.

-- The farmers market at Cascade place will run from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Cascade Plaza off Main Street, near the intersection of Main and Bowery streets.
This market, featuring produce, cheeses, baked goods, home-crafted gifts and more,  is managed by the nonprofit Downtown Akron Partnership.

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Akron-area Howard Johnson history pondered

By Katie Byard Published: August 25, 2016
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The closing of one of the last two Howard Johnson restaurants in a couple of weeks got me to wondering about HoJo history in the Akron area.


The shutdown of the Bangor, Maine, Howard Johnson Sept. 6 will leave only the Howard Johnson in Lake George, New York.

Where were the HoJos in this area, I wondered.

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Where's Summit Croissants of Akron? Why, here...

By Katie Byard Published: August 24, 2016
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Here's a morsel from today's Akron Dish roundup in the Beacon Journal and on Ohio.com. Read today's complete Akron Dish at http://bit.ly/2bBQrX7

Finding croissants

Fans of the flaky butter bombs known as Summit Croissants: You can still find ’em at the Countryside Conservancy farmers market in Akron’s Highland Square, as well as some other area spots.

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Vitamix CEO, speaking in Hudson, will put her spin on company's success

By Katie Byard Published: August 24, 2016
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Jodi Berg, fourth generation head of Vitamix, the iconic Ohio company that makes high-performance blenders, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Hudson Library & Historical Society.

 

Vitamix, maker of pricey blenders that have loyal fans among chefs, as well as home cooks, has seen explosive growth in recent years.

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Get your cabbage rolls and sausage; Hungarian Vasar fest coming to Akron on Sunday

By Katie Byard Published: August 23, 2016

The Akron chapter of the Hungarian American Club will host its annual Hungarian Vasar fest from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at its club at 694 E. Waterloo Road in Akron.
Admission is $3. Parking is free.
Traditional eats that will be sold include chicken paprikash with nokedli dumplings, stuffed cabbage and sausage sandwiches
Homemade pastries will include favorites such as kalacs (nutroll), kifli, and langos.
Enter through the back to avoid steps.

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Gervasi Vineyard lauded by USA Today

By Katie Byard Published: August 22, 2016
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The folks with USA Today's www.10best.com and the website's readers are at it again, giving some love to area favorites.

This time, Gervasi Vineyard in Canton got two shoutouts via the website's 10 Best Reader Choice Awards.

The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyard was ranked No. 7 as "Best Winery Restaurant in the Nation" and The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard was voted No. 1 in the category of "Best Wine Country Hotel."

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Tallmadge Circle will host food vendors, beer and wine garden and more Saturday

By Katie Byard Published: August 19, 2016
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Food vendors -- we are all about the food here after all -- a wine and beer garden, music, fireworks and an illuminated evening parade are all part of Tallmadge's Circle Festival and Light Parade from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday.

The busy Circle will shut down for the event. Activities will be on the road and the Circle green.

The Light Parade will begin at dusk, around 9 p.m. The evening includes children's activities, face painting and balloon artists.

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One tomato, two.. and more to taste at Howe Meadow farmers market

By Katie Byard Published: August 19, 2016
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This Saturday, the Countryside Conservancy farmers market at Howe Market off Riverview Road will host its annual tomato tasting.

The market runs from 9 a.m. to noon.

It's quite a sight to see. Each year, market organizers gather up 'maters  of various shapes and colors side-by-side for the tasting.

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Three more Food Truck Fridays left; furry friends to join rally

By Katie Byard Published: August 18, 2016
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There are only three more Food Truck Fridays left to the season.
The weekly lunchtime rally will continue from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. this Friday, Aug. 26 and Sept. 2 in the parking of the nonprofit Child Guidance & Family Solutions at the edge of downtown Akron.
Here are trucks (and some menu items) scheduled to roll in Friday:
-- Hunger Squad: BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and pot roast Philly sandwiches.
-- Manna Food Truck: beef brisket, Asian chicken and Caprese grilled cheese sandwiches.
-- Orange Trük: menu varies; favorites include Angus burger, and alligator po’ boy.
-- Native Hill Coffee
The One of a Kind Pets pet adoption nonprofit in Akron also will be on hand with some furry friends.
 

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Oktoberfest on tap in Brimfield; set for Sept. 9-11

By Katie Byard Published: August 17, 2016
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News about Oktoberfests is rolling in.

The grand-daddy Oktoberfest in this area will run Sept. 9-11 on the grounds of the  German American Family Society in Brimfield Township, not far from Interstate 76.
Food, beer, dancing by the organization’s various troupes, and polka bands are stars of this event.

Hours are 6 p.m. to midnight Sept. 9, a Friday; 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 10, and noon to 7 p.m. Sept. 11, when there will be attractions and games for children. Admission is $5, children 12 and younger free. Call 330-678-8229 or go to www.germanfamilysociety.com.

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New First Watch in Falls set to open

By Katie Byard Published: August 17, 2016
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First Watch, the breakfast-and-lunch chain that is in a bit growth spurt, will open its latest area location at 7 a.m. Monday — Aug. 22 — in Cuyahoga Falls.

The Falls First Watch, next to the Starbucks in the new Portage Crossing development in the Falls, is the third Summit County location for the University Park, Fla., chain.

Hours will be 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. seven days a week. First Watches are closed only on Christmas and Thanksgiving. The chain, founded in the early 1980s, has more than 180 locations. Its two other Summit County sites are at Summit Mall in Fairlawn and in Macedonia.

Spokeswoman Eleni Kouvatsos didn’t have an employee count for the new location, but she said the plan was to hire about 25 workers.

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Akron tomato sandwich-maker gets star turn

By Katie Byard Published: August 17, 2016
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Video of Dan Julian — owner of Julian’s restaurant in Akron’s Goodyear Heights — making his “drippy-licious” tomato sandwich is now up.

See today’s Akron Dish column in the Beacon Journal and see the story and video online at http://bit.ly/2bntoOE.

Stay tuned to the Akron Dish blog for food news items, including two upcoming Oktoberfests and a morsel about a local croissant maker. Yes, we’re talking about Oktoberfests already and it isn’t even September.

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Akron Honey Co. hosts Market Day before premier of "Cleveland Hustles"

By Katie Byard Published: August 15, 2016

The Akron Honey Co. on Saturday will host a second Market Day near Every Blooming Thing florist at 1079 W. Exchange St. in West Akron.


Akron Honey’s Market Days are a mashup of locally produced food and other items, as well as local shops hawking their goods.


This Saturday’s market -- which will run from noon to 4 p.m. -- will feature areas for folks to lounge, thanks to a new West Akron shop called Birchwood Supply Co. that sells vintage home decor and upcycled items — pieces made from recycled items. You can snap pics at a selfie station.


The Market Day is happening on the eve of the Aug. 24 premier of Cleveland Hustles on CNBC. That’s a new show from LeBron James’ company, which will include Akron Honey Co. among the companies it showcases.

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Get out your recipes; Square Fair returning to Square Fest in Akron

By Katie Byard Published: August 15, 2016
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The Square Fair -- a county fair-style baking, canning and gardening competition --  is returning to Square Fest in Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood, set for Sept. 10,

The fair — complete with blue ribbons — is back by popular demand, said organizers, members of the Highland Square Garden Club. They noted the food and gardening competitions were a big hit last year — with more than 60 entries.

The city-sponsored Square Fest, along a stretch of West Market Street in Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood, showcases the area often described as funky and arty. It will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 10.  The Mustard Seed Cafe on West Market Street will host after-hours activities.

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Opa! time in Canton; Grecian Festival begins Thursday at Civic Center

By Katie Byard Published: August 15, 2016
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The Grecian Festival, returns to Canton for the 40th year this Thursday -- Aug. 18 --  through Sunday -- Aug. 21.

The festival is so big it’s held at the Canton Memorial Civic Center, 1101 Market Ave. N., instead of its sponsoring church, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Canton.

The festival features loads of Greek eats, including pastries; beer and wine; raffles, dance and musical performances and more. Admission is free. You pay for the food. On Thursday and Friday, the outdoor terrace/drive-thru will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a lamb roast from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

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Learn to make your own liqueurs this Wednesday in Akron

By Katie Byard Published: August 15, 2016
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Learn how to use summer fruits and herbs to make your own liqueurs at the Summer Liqueur Seminar and Tasting class at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday -- Aug. 17 -- at Graf Growers in Copley Township.

Northeast Ohio cooking blogger Judi Strauss, who worked for the OSU Extension Service, will demonstrate how to create liqueurs — those typically sweet and strong boozy additions to various food dishes, as well as cocktails.

Recipes will be provided, along with samples and snacks.

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National Hamburger Festival winners; here are the best, judges say

By Katie Byard Published: August 14, 2016

The results are in.

Here are the beefy winners -- and one veggie -- of this year's National Hamburger Festival in downtown Akron:

Best Traditional Burger -- Legends Sports Pub & Grille

Best Cheeseburger - SWAT food truck

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Get inside the bun at the National Hamburger Festival Saturday and Sunday

By Katie Byard Published: August 12, 2016
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In case you missed it... from this past Wednesday's Akron Dish roundup:

A beef patty stuffed with shrimp, the Akron Burger that celebrates the area’s tastes, and a Korean BBQ hamburger.

Sure, you’ll be able to get a traditional burger at this weekend’s National Hamburger Festival in downtown Akron. This is the 11th year for the celebration of the all-American treat that some say was invented by the Menches brothers of Akron in the 1880s.

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Kingfish restaurant taking shape in Copley Township

By Katie Byard Published: August 12, 2016
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Here’s a shot of the new Kingfish seafood restaurant — a new concept from the Rosewood Grill folks — taking shape on “Restaurant Hill” off state Route 18 in Copley Township.

Chris Oppewall managing partner of Hospitality Restaurants Group, of Fairview Park told me several weeks back that the place would have an East Coast vibe.
Indeed, the exterior — with its dark gray clapboard and faux tower —is reminiscent of seafood places on Cape Cod.

The clapboard is actually cement siding, one of the construction workers told me.
Oppewall has said Hospitality Restaurants is aiming for an opening late this month. That’s a best-case scenario, he cautioned.

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Akron restaurateur turns Mickey Mouse-shaped tomato into food magic

By Katie Byard Published: August 12, 2016
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Learn what Dan Julian of Julian’s breakfast-and-lunch spot in Akron’s Goodyear Heights does with Mickey-Mouse-shaped tomatoes and other juicy red orbs in Akron Dish this Wednesday -- online at www.Ohio.com and in print.

Julian proves it doesn’t have to be complicated to be yummy.

Find Julian’s at 314 Pioneer St. Phone: 330-798-0043. Hours are 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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Sip and guess at Regency Wine Friday

By Lynne Sherwin Published: August 11, 2016
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Tastings are a great way to learn about wine without spending big bucks on a whole bottle.

Regency Wine Sellers at 115 Ghent Road in Fairlawn, across from Summit Mall, holds tastings on most Friday evenings, and this week’s has an additional twist.

You’ll get samples of six different white wines (great for a hot day) from both Old World and New World wineries, without knowing what the grapes are or where they’re from. Take a sip and make a guess.

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Food Truck Friday rolling!; only four Fridays left for event near downtown Akron

By Katie Byard Published: August 11, 2016

Hard to believe there are only four Fridays left to enjoy Food Truck Fridays, the weekly lunchtime rally featuring area food trucks who set up in the parking lot of the nonprofit Child Guidance & Family Solutions at the edge of downtown Akron.

Food trucks will continue to offer their fare from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. each Friday through Sept. 2.

I did your home, er, food, work for you! I checked the Food Truck Friday Facebook page and here (click on "read more" below) who is expected to roll in Friday -- tomorro

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Food trucks to roll in for Sunday's Affair on the Square in Medina

By Katie Byard Published: August 11, 2016
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We’re about the food so I’m giving a shout out to the food trucks who will be on hand for Sunday’s Affair on the Square Craft Festival and Vintage Fair in Medina.

Joining the craft and vintage stuff vendors on the city’s historic square from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. will be these food trucks: 216 Bistro/Nosh Box (burgers, Philly steak sandwiches and more), Get Stuffed Solar Powered Mobile Eatery (items include  “Stuffed Corn,” meatball and BBQ sliders, wraps) , Barrio’s Tacos, Hatfield’s Goode Grub (pulled pork, hamburgers and chicken, among other eats) and Snowy Daze Shaved Ice.
More than 150 craft and vintage goods vendors are expected.

Live blues and jazz will be performed, with the gazebo serving as the stage.
Other food vendors expected are Pap’s Kettle Korn, Weber’s Ice Cream, and Main Squeeze Lemonade.

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Uptown Grille opens in Cuyahoga Falls

By Katie Byard Published: August 10, 2016
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Cuyahoga Falls has a new family restaurant/ice cream shop called Uptown Grille, at 3883 State Road.

The breakfast-lunch-and-dinner place, which opened this week, is a little south of Steels Corners Road, in the plaza space that formerly housed the Rock FRESH eatery.

Uptown’s breakfast menu boasts the old standbys: eggs, pancakes, omelettes and the like.

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Starbucks in West Akron won't serve wine; spokeswoman reveals opening date

By Katie Byard Published: August 10, 2016

The rumors aren’t true.

I heard back from Starbucks about rumors that the new, yet-to-open Starbucks in the old China Gourmet building in West Akron will be a Starbucks Evenings, offering beer and wine -- and coffee, too.

A Starbucks spokeswoman said in an email I received today -- Wednesday -- that the location at 1971 W. Market St. would not serve an Evenings menu. (The menu includes “small plates” -- spinach artichoke dip, truffle mac & cheese etc.)

The spokeswoman did provide an opening date for the new store: late September. She also said that the store would replace the one at 2279 W. Market St., near Sand Run Road.

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Will you be able to buy a glass of wine at new Starbucks in West Akron?

By Katie Byard Published: August 9, 2016

Rumors are percolating that the new, yet-to-open Starbucks in the old China Gourmet building in West Akron will be a Starbucks Evenings, offering beer and wine. Oh, yes, all those coffee drinks, too.
I’ve seen the rumor on social media, and I’ve also heard it..
I sent an email to the Starbucks news center. But I’m not holding my breath for an answer. The company isn’t known for being chatty about individual stores.
Matt Mullins, spokesman for the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, said today — Tuesday — that the Seattle-based coffee company has not applied for a transfer of the liquor permit held by China Gourmet’s operators.
The permit remains on file with the state — in “safekeeping,” Mullins said.
Summit County property tax records show that an entity associated with LRC Realty of Akron bought the site of the former China Gourmet last year for $500,000. An LRC official confirmed earlier this year that the building, at 1971 W. Market, across from Ken Stewart’s Grille, would become a Starbucks, with a drive-thru.
The building has been extensively renovated, though is has no Starbucks signs yet.

 

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Carolina slow-smoked barbecue in Green this Saturday

By Katie Byard Published: August 9, 2016

Now it’s Carolina slow-smoked barbecue  — folks are getting their aprons out again for another homemade dinner — this Saturday — at Queen of Heaven Catholic Church to benefit Boy Scout Troop 334.
The troop — known for having adventurous foodcentric fundraisers — will serve the pulled pork and other eats from 5 to 7;30 p.m. and popular area band La Flavor will perform from 7 to 10 p.m. at the church at 1800 Steese Road. The troop meets at the church.
One of the scout’s fathers will bring a large — commercial-size — smoker to the church in the wee hours of Saturday morning. He’ll use hardwoods, such as cherry and apple, slow-cooking the pork with indirect heat.
“It’s gonna be pretty authentic Carolina BBQ,” said Marty LaConte, whose husband, Vince, is the leader of the Boy Scout troop.
The pulled pork will be served with sauces on the side. Sauces offered will be: traditional or spicy red, mustard and vinegar.
Also on the menu: leg-thigh quarter of a chicken, smoked pork and beans, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw and corn bread. Sweet tea, lemonade and water will be served.
“We will be cooking for 600,” LaConte said. “When it’s gone, it’s gone.”
Also Saturday, teens involved in the Boy Scouts’ Venturing program that meets at the church will sell soda and ice cream throughout the evening. Also on the bill: free carnival games, and a raffle drawing for a Chevy Equinox.
For information, call the church at 330-896-2345.
LaConte cooked up the troop’s annual Cupcake Camp Akron, which ended a three-year run last year. That several-hour event brought cupcake bakers and lovers together. Last year, the troop had a dinner featuring homemade cabbage rolls and sauerkraut from Hermann’s Pickles of Portage County.
And this summer, LaConte has been busy being costume designer for the Ohio Shakespeare Festival at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. One creative lady, she is.

 

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Looking for Chill, the new ice cream shop downtown? Here's how to find it

By Katie Byard Published: August 8, 2016

The address of the new Chill Ice Cream Co. in downtown Akron is 30 N. High St., but you can’t get there from there — High Street that is.
In last week’s Food Notes column -- which we are now calling Akron Dish (to match this blog) -- I said that Chill was next to the Nighlight cinema and the new Akron Coffee Roasters on High Street. That’s what the nonprofit Downtown Akron Partnership said in a missive about Chill’s opening.
Well, it turns out Chill is in the same building as those two businesses, but you won’t find Chill on High Street. Rather, Chill fronts Maiden Lane, which runs parallel to High, off East Market Street. Stand facing the entrance to Musica off Maiden Lane and Chill is to your left.
I realized this last Saturday while looking for the ice cream shop — which touts an adventurous line up of ice cream. (Alas, the shop opens at 4 p.m. on Saturdays, and it was too early for the shop to be open; friends who formerly lived in Akron, my hubby and I were checking out various changes downtown.) 
Chill, owned by brothers Jeremy, Zachary and Patrick Jaworski, is the sixth venture to get a boost through the nonprofit Downtown Akron Partnership’s “pop-up” retail program. The effort involves using a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to subsidize rent for new storefront businesses downtown.
Chill’s menu includes flavors such as mint julep, candied bacon bourbon, sage pecan, blueberry sorbet, chocolate milk and cookies, and Philadelphia cheesecake.
The place will be easier to find when a local artist, working the area University of Akron and high school students, paints a mural on the side of the building. That project is to begin later this month.
Akron developer Tony Troppe and partners own the 30 N. High Street building as well as adjacent building that houses Musica, along with other properties that Troppe has dubbed downtown Akron’s “historic arts district.”
 

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Aldi spruces up Stow store amid increased competition; market will reopen Aug. 25

By Katie Byard Published: August 8, 2016
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Aldi, the growing discount, no-frills grocer, will reopen its Stow store — closed for an extensive remodeling — Aug. 25.

The remodeled store, at 3804 Fishcreek Road, will feature an easier-to-navigate selling area with high ceilings, natural lighting and new signage promoting “Dietitian’s Picks.”

Changes will allow the store to showcase its inventory of organic produce, USDA Choice-grade beef, as well as a fairly new gluten-free product line and the SimplyNature line of products that do not contain artificial ingredients and preservatives.

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Weekend eats: Lebanese Food Fair; Sweet Corn Festival

By Katie Byard Published: August 5, 2016

Weekend eats:

-- The Lebanese Food Fair at Our Lady of the Cedars in Fairlawn kicked off at 11 a.m. today - Friday.

This year’s event, running 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and tomorrow, features an expanded food lineup, overseen by Fares Jasser, a parishioner who owns The Boulevard in Cuyahoga Falls.

New menu items include roasted leg of lamb as well as mujadara — the wonderful Lebanese dish featuring lentils, rice and caramelized onions. You can also get hummus, shawarma, falafel and various pastries, including baklawa, similar to baklava.

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Wingstop spreads wings in Akron

By Katie Byard Published: August 5, 2016

Wingstop is spreading its wings in Akron.
The franchisee for the Akron area has opened up a second location, at Arlington Plaza, on South Arlington Street, near Waterloo Road.
“We want to go in an area where we think we can develop it,” help revitalize it, said Gaurav Aggarwal, the franchisee, acknowledging that the plaza is in a struggling area of Akron.
Aggarwal, a mechanical engineer, opened a Wingstop last year, next to the United Parcel store in the Westgate Plaza, west of Hawkins Avenue, in Akron’s Wallhaven neighborhood. This was the first area location for the Texas chain of wing eateries founded in 1994.
On Aug. 27, the Wingstop in Arlington Plaza will give away five wings to each visitor to its grand-opening celebration. The free wings will be available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Customers will be asked to choose one of the restaurant’s 11 sauces for their free wings.
Aggarwal said the Arlington Plaza Wingstop employs 16 full- and part-time workers. Aggarwal also has a Wingstop in South Euclid that opened in 2014.
The chain, founded in 1994, has more than 900 spots. The new Akron Wingstop is the fourteenth in Ohio. It is open 11 a.m. to midnight daily. The phone is 330-724-9464.
 

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Brownie Points to return; will be offered at new West Point

By Katie Byard Published: August 4, 2016

Brownie Points will return.

West Point Market plans to offer a new version of it’s Brownie Points at its new store in Fairlawn.

But Brownie Points -- a shopper rewards program -- won’t be available until the second part of the project is completed. West Point officials haven’t yet disclosed a timetable for the second phase.

The venerable specialty Akron grocery -- as I said in a story in today’s Beacon Journal and online at  www.Ohio.com -- plans to open the store’s first phase at end of October at the vacant shopping center at 33 Shiawassee Ave., just off West Market Street.

The first phase will boast a wine department/wine bar and packaged cakes, cookies and other food items in time for the holidays.

As presumably every foodie in the area knows, the 80-year-old specialty market closed its store in Akron's Wallhaven neighbrood at the end of last year.

The Shiawassee site is where the iconic  specialty grocery plans to reinvent itself, after selling its old site to make way for a 365 by Whole Foods grocery. The Shiawassee location is about two miles west of the old store/

The plan is to open the Fairlawn store and then develop other locations as satellite stores, while using the kitchen/bakery at the Shiawassee store as a common commissary. The second phase will include fresh, as well as prepared foods — such as bakery items and oven-ready dishes.

The new West Points will be smaller versions of the original, featuring the “best of West Point,” store officials have said. The Shiawassee store will total about 12,000 square feet, about half the selling space of the original store at Wallhaven.

The Wallhaven West Point building was demolished earlier this year, and construction on the 365 by Whole Foods is underway. It is to open in spring 2017, anchoring the new West Market Street Station development.
 

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Welcome to Akron Dish

By Katie Byard Published: August 4, 2016

Welcome to Akron Dish, where you’ll find news about area restaurants, groceries, food festivals, local culinary trends and more.

For more than two years, I’ve been cooking up local food news for the weekly Food section and online at www.Ohio.com.

 I’ll continue to write the weekly column, which also will be called Akron Dish, but with this blog you’ll get local food news faster.

I encourage reader participation! I can’t be everywhere, much as I’d like to. Let me know about eateries -- new and old -- deserving of a mention; food and wine festivals, tastings and other foodcentric events; chef and menu changes; local culinary trends and more.

I’m at 330-996-3781 or kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com. You can follow me at  @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at www.facebook.com.

Enjoy, as a waitress at the long-gone beloved Akron restaurant Niam’s used to tell my husband and me whenever she served us our meals.
 

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Akron's Crave to expand to Cuyahoga Falls

By Katie Byard Published: August 5, 2016
cantinalogo

Crave, the 11-year-old downtown Akron restaurant known for its creative, moderately priced food, is planning a spinoff eatery in Cuyahoga Falls.

Crave Cantina will debut next spring and will be at 2097 Front St., on the Front Street pedestrian mall that city plans to reopen to two-way traffic by 2018.

The decades-old Front Street building most recently housed Firehouse Grille & Pub, which closed last year.

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