Night or day, teens can find fun in the Valley
Young people are warding off summer boredom at local hot spots like Pogo's, The Mill, Quaker Steak and Sportsworld.
By VERONICA GORLEY
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' ... well, you know how the rhyme goes.
Now that school is out, young people across the area flock to their favorite summertime hangouts.
"I like to find where people are," said April Roscoe, 20, of West Middlesex. "Crowds attract me."
Clubs and restaurants are just a few of the preferred hot spots for students this summer.
In Austintown's Wedgewood Plaza, the Mill is a new hangout that is quickly rising in popularity. It is a bar, restaurant and dance club that becomes a strictly over-21 club at night, except for college night Thursdays. It has ladies night Tuesdays and also features a light and sound show, including cannons and spotlights.
Across from the Wedgewood Plaza, Sammy's Pub and Grill also provides a dance club atmosphere. Sammy's brings in a DJ and turns into a 21-and-over club after 10 p.m.
Pogo's Pub, on West Rayen Avenue near YSU, is a favorite for the over-18 group that appreciates the dance club scene. Chestnut Street Cafe in Sharon usually features DJs or bands on weekends and has four floors -- a restaurant, a bar and game room floor, a floor for bands and a patio bar.
Varsity Club Bar and Grill in Youngstown attracts a crowd of mixed ages. It provides bands Saturday nights, and Friday nights provides a dance club, which is broadcast live through Kiss FM 95.9.
"The Varsity Club is like the ideal club," Roscoe said. "You don't get served if you're under 21, but you can get in if you're over 18."
Fun and games: Kahunaville in Eastwood Mall is a restaurant with an arcade, a waterfall show every 20 minutes, a DJ every night, karaoke nights and a summer concert series with live bands on selected Saturday nights.
Jillian's in Southern Park Mall offers bowling, billiards, 125 video games, shuffleboard and pingpong, as well as karaoke every Friday night.
Restaurants such as T.G.I. Friday's in Boardman, Damon's in Niles and BW-3 in Boardman, Youngstown, Niles and Austintown supply games of trivia.
"T.G.I. Friday's is my favorite hangout because it has so much to offer," said James Chufo, 23, of Hubbard. "There's good food, trivia and a fun atmosphere."
Quaker Steak and Lube and the Lube's Hot Rod Cafe in Sharon draw a crowd from surrounding areas and from various age groups. Quaker Steak has live bands, bike nights, cruise-ins, blues nights and Jimmy Buffett Nights featuring a DJ, karaoke and games and competitions for concert ticket giveaways.
"Going to Quaker Steak is the only thing for people under 21 to do around here besides going to the clubs in Youngstown," said Rebekah Budd, 20, of West Middlesex.
Concert-lovers check out local and rising bands at Nyabinghi Dance Hall on Salt Springs Road in Youngstown. Live bands play Thursday through Saturday nights and sometimes throughout the week as well. Nyabinghi also has open mike night Tuesdays.
Catch a flick: Cramped nightclubs and restaurants are not the only summertime activities for area young people. For those who prefer a calmer, more relaxing atmosphere, movies, miniature golf, bowling and coffeeshops have not lost their appeal.
"We go out to eat, and then we go to a movie," said Nanci Billock, 20, of Poland.
Theaters attract many high school and college-age kids during the summer, but moviegoers need not restrict themselves to stuffy indoor theaters. Drive-in movies are still popular among young people.
According to Manager Stephen Georgiades, Elm Road Twin Drive-In Movie Theatre in Warren attracts young crowds during the summer. Elm Road is one of the few drive-ins with speakers and FM stereo capabilities, plus it offers a playground and extensive concession stand with weekly food specials.
Get active: Miniature golf is always a popular summertime activity. According to employee Jim Corroto, Sportsworld in Boardman provides entertainment for young and old alike. Sportsworld offers miniature golf, batting cages, go-carts and an arcade.
The Recreation Station in Hermitage has miniature golf, Bank Shot basketball, bumper boats, batting cages, an arcade and go-carts.
Bowling has not lost its appeal to the younger generations. Camelot Lanes in Boardman draws a large crowd of high school and college-age kids during the summer, according to employee Noah Kenreigh. It provides bowling, billiards, an arcade and a weekly teen night featuring live music.
"Usually on weekends, this is a huge hangout," Kenreigh said.
Just relax: For a more relaxing atmosphere, many area young people spend hours appreciating good conversation among friends in restaurants such as Eat'N Park, Perkins or Denny's.
Coffee shops like Panera Bread in Youngstown, Warren and Hermitage and the Mocha House in Boardman and Warren provide laid-back atmospheres for low-key entertainment. Copper Salmon Coffee Inc. in Hermitage not only offers hot drinks but hot music, bringing in local bands throughout the summer.
When it comes to popular area hangouts, anything goes.
"You don't want to go there because of what's there," Roscoe said. "You want to go there because of who's there."