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Acclaimed downtown eatery closes



Published: Fri, August 27, 2010 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Grace Wyler

By GRACE WYLER

gwyler@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The Rosetta Stone Cafe & Wine Bar closed its doors Thursday night, less than two years after its opening seemed to herald the revival of downtown dining and nightlife.

photo

Chuck Sop, one of the owners of the Rosetta Stone Cafe & Wine Bar, announced Thursday that the business would be closed indefinitely. The restaurant, which opened in 2008, was viewed by many as a forerunner to the revival of nightlife in downtown Youngstown.

The property was put up for sale for $2.9 million in May, sparking suspicion that the owners were looking to get out of the downtown restaurant business.

The economic downturn, coupled with the difficult task of luring suburban diners to downtown Youngstown, has taken its toll on the business, said co-owner Chuck Sop.

“I think we have done a pretty admirable job of bringing the suburbs downtown, but that is a challenging job,” Sop said. “We’ve had to change people’s habits.”

Sop and his partners — his son Greg and local IT specialist George Lenahan — are closing the business “indefinitely” in order to “stop and see what the options are,” Sop said.

“We will be looking at our operations,” he said. “There’s a lot of concern about the economy; people are pulling back.”

He would not provide further details, but said the partners have been looking at “other options outside of the food industry.” The Rosetta Stone was the first restaurant venture for all of the partners.

The restaurant’s 20 employees were informed of the decision to close Thursday morning. Sop said most of the employees were aware that the closure was imminent.

The building, located at 110 W. Federal St., has garnered some interest from potential buyers, Sop said. He added that the owners may decide to reopen the Rosetta Stone if the economy improves.

The property, the former home of Woolworth’s variety store, underwent a $600,000 remodeling before the restaurant opened in 2008. The city of Youngstown contributed $100,000 to the renovation, which was to be forgiven if the restaurant stayed in business for three years. Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams said the city’s economic development agency will be looking into the terms of the agreement and assess the appropriate course of action.

The closing of the Rosetta Stone is unfortunate, Williams said, but does not appear to be part of a larger trend.

“There doesn’t seem to be a domino effect,” Williams said. “The hope is that someone else will step in and see its value and potential.”

The closing is a “temporary setback” in downtown development, said Tony Paglia, vice president for the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber.

“It was a bright spot when it opened, and it certainly improved choices for people,” Paglia said. “But I think downtown is moving forward and improving, so hopefully we’ll see other new eateries opening.”

The number of new restaurants and bars downtown may have outpaced employment, said Jim Cossler, chief executive for the Youngstown Business Incubator. He added that new restaurants will likely start to come in as the economy picks up and the downtown workforce grows.

“This is just a bump in the road,” Cossler said.


Comments

1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years ago

Only a fool would locate any business in Y-town with highest taxes and highest crime rates in the area. A fool and his money are soon parted. The owners of Roseta Stone once again prove the old saying they were FOOLS!!!

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2severthis(42 comments)posted 4 years ago

Whoa. Downtown is not a dangerous holdup-mugging hot spot! Lemon Grove - right next door - continues to attract young and old alike for meals, meetings, entertainment. Maybe just maybe Rosetta Stone became more known for it's poor service and $7 for one inch of wine. Basics in marketing: Know your audience and be competitive.

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3author50(1121 comments)posted 4 years ago

$100,000 from the taxpayers was the only way Mr. Sop opened his doors. Once that money was gone... so was he. When did government get into the food service business?

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4Erplane(482 comments)posted 4 years ago

Before we make more of this, lets call it like it is: The food was bad. I had luke-warm soup served to me twice over the winter, so I stopped going there. Downtown is slowly coming back. Given a national recession, I would say the current resiliency is quite good.

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5denny60(1 comment)posted 4 years ago

What about people sill holding unused gift certificate's? Thats like theft!!

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6justonevoice(94 comments)posted 4 years ago

I have worked downtown for nearly ten years and I have to disagree that it's a slum and it's dangerous. I, too, had misgivings about going to work down there but i'm there every day during the week and I think the change over the last ten years has been uplifting and quite remarkable. I honestly believe that it's the people who don't go down there that think badly of it-I wish more people would give it a chance. Having said that, our office staff of 80 people used to order lunch from Rosetta Stone several times a week but stopped because the prices were too high for such a small quantity of food for the high price and then the quality of the food became terrible.

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7One_Who_Stayed(236 comments)posted 4 years ago

This is nothing. Unfortunately, their service and food were mediocre at best and everyone caught on to this eventually. Plain and simple. Their product wasn't that great.

@JackD, I know Jacob personally and the Lemon Grove is not struggling at all. Lets stick to facts rather than hearsay - shall we?

@lombardo and UnionForever.- you know-nothings always bring up the tax rate in town, but never mention that fact that the property tax is 1 tenth that of the burbs. You morons are paying the same (or probably more) than I am in the burbs, but the income tax rate makes a better sound bite. You guys should stay out in the burbs - we don't need ever-negative a$$ho1es like you in town.

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8OhioAtty666(19 comments)posted 4 years ago

The collapse of the downtown restaurant business is inevitable, another domino chip in the ongoing saga of corruption and mismanagement at the county level. I still am flabbergasted at why Mahoning County relocated its Welfare offices from a decaying shopping center in an intimidating neighborhood to a decaying hospital in an intimidating neighborhood, instead of putting the offices in downtown Youngstown. With the additional business of the 200 or so people who work for the DJFS, and the hundreds who pass through its doors on a daily basis, a significant amount of money would have been returned to the downtown area. Since the alleged corruption suborned by the Cafaros appears to have been to keep the DJFS at the McGuffey center, one wonders who paid whom to get the so-called "renaissance" location approved. But, you can't blame this on the city government, just business as usual with the Mahoning County commissioners, et al.

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9southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 4 years ago

The bottom line is that Downtown Youngstown is not a destination spot for fine dining & drinking. The restaurants & bars in that area should concentrate on seving breakfast and lunch and close by 4 pm each day.

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10JME(801 comments)posted 4 years ago

southsidedave makes a good point. When you visit large cities, the majority of the businesses are closed in the evenings and weekends. They make their money from the people who work downtown.
The exception to that rule is places like Chicago and NYC, which are magnets for tourist.

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11mrblue(975 comments)posted 4 years ago

Bad management+bad service+so-so food+high prices=CLOSED.

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12ronslove(1 comment)posted 4 years ago

QUIT BLAMEING THE ECONOMY ALREADY!!! SERVICE WAS TERRIBLE,I WALKED OUT TWICE WHILE WAITING OVER 20 MINUTES TO BE GREETED BY A SERVER AND THE OWNER NEVER BUDGED FROM HIS BARSTOOL TO SEE WHY I WAS WALKING OUT! THE BAR NEVER SEEMS TO CHARGE THE SAME PRICE FOR A DRINK, MANY FRIENDS OF MINE HAVE HAD THE SAME PROBLEM AT THE BAR AS I DID!IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME THOUGH,VERNONS WOULD HAVE BLOWNED YOU OUT OF THE WATER!!!!

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13maxi(72 comments)posted 4 years ago

The news of Rosetta Stone closing came as no surprise to me.

I support the downtown business district when I can (and yes, I do come from the suburbs). I feel safe going there.

However, I have tried Rosetta Stone 4 times and have never felt like I received the service or quality for the money I paid.

The last straw was a luncheon we hosted for our daughter's college graduation. They stuffed 14 people into a tiny room, it was a hot/humid day, the a/c was not making it's way into that room. Not only were our guests hot, they were also cramped.

They charged $25/bottle for Twisted River Riesling. I realize there has to be a mark up but this seemed unreasonable to me.

Our guests said their meals were so-so.

The bathrooms were dirty. The middle toilet was clogged.

If you enter the restaurant from the back, it leaves you with a poor impression of the facility. At least Lemon Grove has a little patio in the back with plants.

The server didn't have knowledge of our $100 deposit from months ago...thank goodness I brought our receipt for that. Honestly, we didn't need reservations. The place was practically empty.

The gentleman who greeted me when I entered gave me a luke warm greeting. It was almost as if you could feel the impending closure then.

I was so disappointed as I always want to take care of my guests either at home or when we go out. They were not taken care of that day. I was upset, wrote to their website, and again, not surprising, no response from management.

The table server Ally was a hard working pleasant young woman. So many things were beyond her control though. Where was management?

I knew that day that I would never return. I gave them enough chances and enough money for so-so service and quality.

Hopefully another eatery will open that is appealing, unique, and fun (like Lemon Grove). People don't want fancy, they want casual and somewhat whimsical atmosphere. It's that simple.

My daughter tells me the Draught House rocks. Again, not fancy but the food and service meets customer expectations.

I'm sorry to hear the city of Youngstown gave this establishment $100,000. Rosetta Stone took the city's money and mine.

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14ytownredux(117 comments)posted 4 years ago

Like most have posted, the downfall of Rosetta Stone was 2 things, inconsistent food and service, and management of people who knew nothing about the restaurant industry. They did not hire or consult well. They brought in a Country Club Conscierge instead of someone who knew how to get good food and service out. They were all very nice people, but good people skills do not make a restaurant succesful. Good ideas and poor execution don't mix. The sad part is their misguided attempt to sell the building backfired on them hard core. It was even publicized in this article that there was only 700k spent on renovations and we know you can buy a building in downtown for under 100k, so their 300% markup selling price was a joke and made them a laughingstock and lost all of their credibility.

As for Lemon Grove, great ambiance, consistently good food, but it suffers from bad service and the "too many chiefs, not enough indians" problem. You can be there with only 7 other people in the place and it looks like there are 5 managers a cook, and 2 servers on the clock. I think Jacob needs to look at his staffing and schedule according to business trends. The staff usually can't keep up when it's crowded, and has too many on when it's slow. I also think their new menu is a mistake, they have too small a kitchen that cant keep up if they had more food. We mistakenly brought a party of 10 in for lunch and it took 45 minutes of getting food in shifts before we all had something to eat in front of us.

Those things being said, downtown Youngstown is very safe compared to the subarbs surrounding the downtown, and is truly in a rennaisance. I think there are some great things coming if the economy ever turns around, unfortunately they are in some ways ahead of their time with the type of things opening in this place in history. The downtown apartments pricing is too high and not the right mix of liveable businesses there yet.

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15justonevoice(94 comments)posted 4 years ago

@lombardo - I have to respectfully disagree with your point of downtown being too dangerous and stay in the suburbs. I live in Boardman and work downtown and granted, I am not downtown in the evenings but rather during the weekdays and I can honestly tell you I feel very safe downtown Youngstown during the day. As I said, I cannot speak to what the nightlife atmosphere is like. But again, as I said, I live in Boardman..do I feel "safe" in Boardman either day or night? Ummm....not so much...

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16Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years ago

What are Youngstown's drawbacks ? High taxes and out of control crime . When Bob Hagan was attacked at the Lemon Grove the publicity was not endearing to anyone considering coming to the downtown . Crime on the outside is bad enough but on the inside of a business it is intolerable .

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17JME(801 comments)posted 4 years ago

Sounds like Rosetta would have failed no matter where the location would have been.

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18SouthsideY(4 comments)posted 4 years ago

To be honest, they started with a great promise and idea... Then I went there to eat, and after waiting close to an hour and a half for lunch I really didn't frequent the place that often.
I came back a few times and the quality of food had severely dropped... And until recently I started going back and actually enjoyed it again! I ate lunch, paid and was out of there within an hour and the food was great!

Yes, I'm saddened to see it go, but bad business is bad business. The owner does not owe anyone much of an explanation (other than one to the employees if that's true) but it would be nice to put all of the questioning aside and garner a better picture of where they went wrong, in hopes of not repeating the same mistake.
They also opened another food-stand in the food court inside the old Phar Mor building- does anyone know what will become of JRs?

As for the various "Youngstown is the devil" comments (that's what i see when i read the blah blah blah comments of how bad it is).
I work and live in Youngstown. No it's not that great, and YES i've traveled outside of this state, hell all across the country. and guess what I didn't grow up here, I actually chose to live here!!
(I don't like suburbs, sorry, strip malls are not my bag)

But I like it here. That's my belief, my opinion. I keep my side of the sidewalk clean, take care of my own and talk to my neighbors. I'm happy here.
So why beat something that's already down? What point are we making on here? I know I'm a complete hypocrite, but maybe we all get off of the computers, off our asses and attend council meetings? Stop voting corrupt politicians into office and do something... even just pick up the damn trash or visit the businesses downtown...
You don't have to live downtown, ok? But you can help.
There are still good points to downtown, but i do hope we find more to add in those vacant buildings other than bars. People who can't leave and are struggling need a damn job to support themselves and their families. Bars will not make a living for them.

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19ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 4 years ago

I always wondered who was in that restaurant at night. Looked dressed up, fancy, etc. Probly from Poland, I guess.

Most important thing about downtown Youngstown is keep it cheap. This isn't Cranberry Twp. That is why Lemon Grove has a chance. And BW3 is fun to go sometimes, though the wait for food is a joke. It's tough to draw people. Living in Canfield Twp., driving downtown on a Friday or Saturday night never crosses my mind. I know many are the same.

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201970mach1(1005 comments)posted 4 years ago

"They also opened another food-stand in the food court inside the old Phar Mor building- does anyone know what will become of JRs?"

News on the radio today said it is also closed.

As far as downtown goes, it is a hassle to park close to whatever it is you are going to, you have to pay to park, and though I feel bad for them, I do not want to mingle with vagrants or crazy people. There are not many of them, but it gets old being around that real fast.

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21YtownArtist(50 comments)posted 4 years ago

Oh, bow down to allll the mighty prophets who speak the TRUTH about the Downtown! FLEE to your safe and secret suburban nests where the bad men won't get you! But BEWARE! Your children are being educated downtown by DAY! and are Drinking down here ALL NITE LONG!

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22YtownArtist(50 comments)posted 4 years ago

GO YSU BUSINESS SCHOOL!

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23YtownArtist(50 comments)posted 4 years ago

YOU HATERS LOSE!

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241970mach1(1005 comments)posted 4 years ago

BELOW IS AN ARTICLE FROM CHANNEL 27 ABOUT EMPLOYEES GETTING SCREWED. OWNER SEEMS LIKE A REAL JERK AND KNEW THIS WAS COMING.

A group of Rosetta Stone Café employees stood outside the downtown Youngstown establishment Friday morning waiting to see any sign of their bosses.

"We kind of figured, we ain't getting paid," said employee Richard Weidner. "That's why we're all showing up here this morning. Today is pay day. We all have a three week check coming."

On Thursday night, the restaurant and bar shut its doors indefinitely. Employees say they weren't informed of its closing until then.

"I started calling the chef and everything and Chef Keith informed us it's going to be shut down from now on," said employee Rob Kendall.

Employees say they noticed the operation running differently over the past couple weeks.

"When we were coming in and watching everything disappear," Weidner said. "No food orders are getting bought. Everything's going, stock's running low."

Repeated attempts to contact owners were unsuccessful. The owners of Rosetta Stone also own an eatery inside the food court at 20 Federal Plaza. Weidner said it shut down in the same way.

"Last week, he closed Juniors next door and never informed those employees until the next day after we unloaded everything in that building," Weidner said.

The owners also operate Rosetta Stone Chapters inside of the Poland library. A meeting is scheduled Friday afternoon with Public Library of Youngstown officials to discuss its future.

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25maxi(72 comments)posted 4 years ago

Employees should never be treated that way!

The employees not getting paid are just one part of the fall out. What about the gift cards people have? Deposits on future events? The money paid to the city of Youngstown? The money their vendors are waiting for? Did the RS owners claim bankruptcy? Are they not required to fulfill their financial responsibilities?

To think these employees, who have bills to pay like the rest of us, are not getting 3 weeks worth of wages?! It just should not be.

Who is going to hold the Rosetta Stone owners accountable?

And by the way...this lifelong suburbanite has always enjoyed going to downtown Y-town. I have fond memories of it from my childhood and college days.I cannot remember a time when I felt unsafe downtown...no more than if I would go to the mall where I think there is more danger walking to your car.

I'm still holding out for the downtown district's return...I do think they are on the way to a come back...in baby steps. Just scrutinize the incoming business owners. To the city of Y-town...stop giving away that much money to start a business. Look where it got them, you, and these poor employees without paychecks!

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26candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years ago

In this economy even Burger Kings are being closed down ...expect more.

OT check Time Magazine online today for pictures of what Cleveland looks like due to foreclosures...

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27Ypsi(57 comments)posted 4 years ago

What was the restaurant "acclaimed" for? I never heard anything about it except that the food and service ranged from barely-adequate to downright bad. It *looked* nice enough, but the word-of-mouth about the overall mediocrity is what kept me away.

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28ytowngal(1 comment)posted 4 years ago

I am so disappointed to hear the negative comments on the downtown area. When I moved here 8 years ago there was nothing downtown, now it's definitely the place to go on weekend evenings. Rosetta Stone failed, not because it was downtown, but because the food was bad and the service worse.

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29Silence_Dogood(1333 comments)posted 4 years ago

one who stayed
"you know-nothings always bring up the tax rate in town, but never mention that fact that the property tax is 1 tenth "
That statement if full of bull sh!t and you know it, compare the school tax rate of Youngstown compared to other area's then try to talk your crap.

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30marilyn99(20 comments)posted 4 years ago

Downtown Youngstown... you can't charge high prices at a place thats located in a low income area. People that live in the area can't afford to eat there. McDonalds and Taco Bell on Fifth Ave., seem to have no problem keeping customers because the prices there fit the surrounding community. Why do high prices have to mean class? People go where its safe, clean, reasonably priced, the foods good, the service pleasing. Thats what makes a business sucessful no matter where its located. Just ask Stapels. Ann Varmus

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31Silence_Dogood(1333 comments)posted 4 years ago

"ACCLAIMED downtown eatery closes"

acclaim (vb)
to shout out,APPLAUD,PRAISE, to declare by acclamation.

95% of those that posted about this place had BAD things to say about it, How can the Vindy use the word "ACCLAIMED"

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32city_resident(510 comments)posted 4 years ago

Silence,

The property taxes on my west side home are about $790/year. The property taxes for the house I'm trying to buy on the north side are only about $230/year. I randomly checked a few houses in Austintown, and they averaged about $1300/year. I did the same in Boardman, and they averaged about $2000/year. So, while saying that property taxes in the city are only 1/10th of those in the burbs is a bit of an exaggeration, they are significantly lower.

As far as Rosetta Stone being "acclaimed," well, I've never had a bad meal there. But, the service was always just OK. (never great, but never bad, for me)

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33Silence_Dogood(1333 comments)posted 4 years ago

city resident
If you compared apples to apples you would see things in a different light.
If you had a house in Ytown and one in Boardman both worth 100,000, and then compared thier taxes you might be shocked as to the results of the side by side overall tax rates.The big differance will be in your local school tax rate. Now compare the mil tax rate on Ytown to Boardman and you will see that they are very close.

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34city_resident(510 comments)posted 4 years ago

Silence,
I'm sure you're right. But, a $100k house in Youngstown is going to be very different from a $100k house in Austintown, Boardman, Poland, Canfield, etc.

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35yourfunny(1 comment)posted 4 years ago

lombardo

Your negative, irrelevant and incorrect comments indicate that you are a bigger loser than downtown ever was - you're the 1st comment on a restaurant closing and all you do is bash downtown, rant about the tax rate and spew mis-information about crime - try commenting on the article for a change. You and unionfoever together make a great pair of cheeks!

While downtown is not the beehive of activity it once was, it has made significant strides over the past 10 years. The closing of Roseta Stone is definitely not a positive at the moment; however, its renovated space may be just the opportunity a new and better establishment needs to get its start.

PS: I've worked downtown for 28 years and know that it is not the crime infested slum you believe it to be (when I have extra work that needs done, I think nothing of returning downtown in the evening and working till midnight). While I would like to pay a smaller city income tax rate (and federal and state just the same as everyone else), what downtown provides is great office space at an unbelievably low cost - oh yeah, there isn't any traffic congestion downtown like they have in Boardman.

It’s obvious that the redevelopment of downtown will occur without your assistance (emphasis on the 1st part) – so please butt out.

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36ccrascal(3 comments)posted 4 years ago

Is the owner, Chuck Sop, the same Chuck Sop that was a supervisor at Packard Electric?

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37Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years ago

lombardo :

"They don't care if any of the YSU students are successful in life. All they want them to do is get drunk in the downtown bars."

Let's not forget the drugs . Drug money doesn't get hit with the 2.75% local income tax or Federal income tax . Drug dealers know that the kids have money to spend and they are eager to get it . When was the last major drug bust in Youngstown ? It's not as if the problem has gone away .

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38Silence_Dogood(1333 comments)posted 4 years ago

city resident
I agree !

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39ohdrama0901(53 comments)posted 4 years ago

LOL....Boardman my friend is quickly becoming the Hood too from what I hear. l don't live in Ohio and definitely not Youngstown but funny thing is, I have never been afraid to go in that area becasue I have never seen anything that would casue me to be. There are just some people who expect for things in Youngstown to fail because that is their way of thinking.

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40here(17 comments)posted 4 years ago

I'm downtown a few times a month and had always felt safe, but the Love Lounge is sincerely starting to worry me. The last few weekends I've been on Federal have included full blown brawls in the street amongst that crowd. I really feel like it's only matter of time before the wrong person gets involved.

That, coupled with the fact that I won't even step in the Lemon Grove because of how poorly Jacob treats his employees (although I have heard a potential remedy is in place), is turning me off downtown...I used to be there 3-4 times a week.

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41Pit_Bull_Marley_40(18 comments)posted 4 years ago

Personally, I lived in Cleveland when I went to school and loved the city and the day/nightlife. I attempted to enjoy that here, but the surounding areas need alot of work before you even begin to atttract enough money. It is nasty , dirty, and it does make you uncomfortable. It doesnt "attract" you to the area. Oh sure, you can get the kids in there, but at night, most people who are above the age of "invincibility" arent going. We stay close to home where "concerns for saftey" arent an issue. Clean up the surrounding areas Mayor and perhaps our city wont seem like the "hole" most feel it is.

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42here(17 comments)posted 4 years ago

Meh...I don't think there will be any true lawsuits soon, since his lack of anything comparable to HR leaves little room for informing his employees of their legal rights and no documentation to back anything up in court, and the compensation wouldn't be worth the battle, but I know for sure that he has been at the loosing end of one State ruling regarding job termination (I've read the official, certified documents).

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43here(17 comments)posted 4 years ago

btw...I'm not basing my comments on one specific case, they're based on the first hand experiences on 3 dear friends and multiple acquaintances. I just happened to be there when one of them got their mail.

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44WarrenRicheyKid(167 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

The location of the former Rosetta Stone is a good one, especially when you consider the growing number of office workers in downtown.

I liked the fact that the Rosetta Stone had live music several nights a week.

I always felt safe

Best of luck to those employees who got screwed out of their pay. They need to take the owner to court.

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45Valleys_Voice(149 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

I'd rather go to a local business as long as it was clean, had decent service and decent food, than go to chain store haven route 224. That's all you see out in glorious boardman is chain store after chain store. You people riding your high horses have trashy restaurants in exception of maybe 2 local places so just keep your negativety to yourself. WE, us YOUNGSTOWN people, don't want you in our city bad mouthing it. By the way don't bother sending your kids to YSU since downtown is such a "slum".

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46Valleys_Voice(149 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Listen, I'm not trying to rag doll Boardman, it has alot to offer and yes, we all can agree Youngstown streets are like driving through a mine field. But it's not right to generalize everyone into one category, "hoodrats, slum lords, trash, etc." The truth is, the east side, north side, south side are groud zero of drugs and violence, but as a West Sider, we have alot of tradition, close knit communities, and mostly everyone in my area have lived on the west side since they were children. I dont know what happened to Mahoning avenue but in the past 10 years its become somewhat of a dump, but the rest of the west side is a nice place to live.

The point of this rant is to protect what tradition is left in Youngstown and to let everyone know there are still some proud people who are well respected in our area and should be given credit for the good things they offer and provide our community. Don't put everyone in the same category, it's okay to be specific.

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47city_resident(510 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

"what was Rosetta's? A McCory's?"

Originally, it was a Woodworth's. Then, a Rite-Aid. (until the tax incentives ran out)

"Downtown Youngstown needs real restaurants"

Does serving liquor disqualify a restaurant from being a restaurant? Since I RARELY drink, Rosetta Stone was a restaurant, Lemon Grove is a restaurant/cafe, Cafe Cimmento is a restaurant, etc.

"It needs retail."

People have demonstrated over and over again, that they don't like retail downtown anymore. Tower City in Cleveland had some very high-end retailers when they first opened. Now, it's full of dollar stores.

I'll be interested to see what moves into the RS space. I don't think I'll be waiting long.

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48Valleys_Voice(149 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

The fact is shoppers buying habits have changed. That's why dollar stores and discount stores such as Walmart are thriving.

That aside, Downtown Youngstown needs to bring back something communal. A homemade bakery, deli, ice cream shop, tobacco/cigar shop, or a small diner that serves breakfast and lunch would be ideal. They don't take up much space, and can allow for the community to focus on building it's relationship again.

We need to tear down the wall people, this town is only getting smaller.

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49city_resident(510 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

"A homemade bakery, deli, ice cream shop, tobacco/cigar shop, or a small diner that serves breakfast and lunch would be ideal."

Just FYI, there are 3 locations where you can buy ice cream downtown: The Yogurt Corner in the food court at 20 Federal Place, (former Phar-Mor building) Touch the Moon Candy Saloon on S. Phelps, and McAllister's on Boardman St. near city hall. I believe you can buy breakfast at a couple of the eateries in the food court of 20 Federal Place. Also, you can get breakfast at Lemon Grove, and Cafe Cimmento. (there may be more, I don't know) I like the idea of a bakery, a deli, and even a tobacco/cigar shop.

"However, there are ample discount retailers that are not Walmart."

Call me elitist if you like, but a discount retailer does not belong downtown. There are other shopping plazas around the city for that sort of store.

"Rite-AId and similar DRUGSTORES are total blight. They are photocopying them all over the country with all sorts of concessions. No one will move into their spaces ever --- malformed for just about any other reuse."

Not that I disagree, but why did you bring this up?

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50FifthAve(168 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Sorry that the RS is closing. It was one of my favorite restaurants in Youngstown although the last dinner that I had there on the 4th of July left much to be desired.

As far as downtown being dangerous...?
These folks are too afraid, apparently, to go downtown. They speak without knowing what they are talking about.

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51city_resident(510 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

3 incidents in 18 months makes downtown dangerous??? What Kool-Aid?

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52Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

The economy is probably the most significant factor. If food is good people will come from all over , that is the other factor. Every city has crime so I don't think that is the major factor. If it were people wouldn't drive in for BBQ at Charlie Staples. It is about people having money and the product plain and simple.

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53Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Downtown aside from a few spots on the west side are probably the safest in the city.

Today if you aren't a criminal or insane and are 21 or older you can obtain a permit to carry concealed in Ohio. If you are a total wuss or are afraid of guns then live in fear because danger is ever present no matter where you are.

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54Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

YSU parking may still be needed. This may still be true by the YMCA as well. I haven't been to the downtown Y in years but parking used to be a pain.

Bars -I don't frequent them. If they aren't making money then it is probably the economy. If there are too many then nature will take its course. I don't think too many businesses are making a killing right now.

Business/offices -great just so taxes are collected.

Y.S.U. - A good thing as far as I know.

I would like to see the demo continue in the blighted areas. Parking, trees, grass, or just plain dirt is better then blight.

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55Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Guns and bars-can't carry them in but bars have bouncers.

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56igotsomethintosay(31 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

they can blame the area all they want, the truth is they are just horrible businessesmen. Poor money mangagement, not a clue. so blame youngstown and the city and the people for not going there, that place was never not busy. they were sitting on a gold mine and ruined it themselves!

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57Fattkidd(45 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

the city need to start talking to YSU and get them to start taking over, renovating, and using buildings in the downtown area and thus expanding the campus in a decent direction instead of trying to dump TONS more money trying to develop wastelands like sleepy hollow, etc. The university and the city would do better to have them renovating old and/or historic buildings downtown and turn downtown into a campus if nothing or no one else wants to use that space. the attraction to old/historic buildings is far greater than for those new, post-modern german-style, devoid-of-all-soul type buildings the university seems intent on constructing. they could also start expanding the curriculum and offering classes in historic preservation and planning and actual hands-on degrees in contracting and restoration. this has been done many, many times over across the country to great success. YSU, the State and City need to start looking into expanding downtown. It's a win-win, folks. Plus, the state could come in and clean out some of the corruption and corrupt individuals down there now.

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58JME(801 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

All it takes is money. Not a problem.

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59city_resident(510 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

What a stupid comment.

It's terrible that it happened, but the occasional bad thing happening hasn't stopped other downtown entertainment districts from being very successful.

Columbus is often seen as Ohio's "successful" city. Yet, statistically speaking, a woman is much more likely to be raped in Columbus than Youngstown.

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