Bar, restaurant, nightclub owners toast to success in downtown Youngstown

By Katelyn Carusso



Along with your coffee and gourmet sandwiches, the Lemon Grove Caf serves up live music, local artwork, poetry readings, lecturers and even discussion groups.

“I wouldn’t want to do this anywhere else but downtown Youngstown,” said Jacob Harver, the owner of the new West Federal Street caf.

At 27, Harver is the youngest restaurant/bar owner on the block.

He joins a handful of other business owners here who also envision prosperous economic growth through entertainment. From the Love Lounge to Cedar’s to the Draught House, each locally owned establishment is unique.

Many of these owners were reared in the suburbs, and all of them agree on one thing for sure: starting a business downtown was a good investment.

Next to the Lemon Grove is the Imbibe Martini Bar. Co-owner Jeff Kurz said Youngstown had the best incentive program for small businesses.

“If you invest in downtown now, this could be something you could eventually retire off of,” said Kurz.

Kurz said he chose downtown as the ideal location because it is between Cleveland and Pittsburgh and he has never noticed safety problems. He’s also an attorney with a law office located downtown.

Imbibe opened in June 2005 and is known for its selection of 121 types of martinis and 60 different beers. It created clubs for patrons who consumer the many different types of beverages they offer – over a period of months, of course.

“Anyone who tries all of our martini flavors in one year and six months will be granted access to our private lounge whenever they please,” said Kurz.

Rosetta Stone Caf is also on West Federal Street and is marking two years in business. “Downtown Youngstown is going to become a very hot spot,” said owner Charles Sop.

Rosetta Stone opened in 2008 and besides a restaurant and caf, it also offers catering services and becomes more of a night lub on Friday and Saturday nights.

Read the full story and a related story on downtown workers Monday in The Vindicator and on

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