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Mayor takes exception to renaming bar ‘Xclusive’



Published: Wed, June 8, 2011 @ 12:08 a.m.

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The Love Lounge’s manager wants to rename the downtown bar Xclusive. Mayor Jay Williams is concerned about the new name, saying the “X” would be inappropriate next to the children’s center.

By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The Love Lounge’s manager wants to rename the downtown bar to get rid of the “stigma” attached to the current name and “change its image.”

But the proposed new name, Xclusive, isn’t sitting too well with Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams.

The mayor said starting the new name with an “X” sounds “suggestive,” particularly for a bar next to a children’s museum, the Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology.

Saying he wasn’t being critical of the business, Williams said Xclusive “conjures up images that isn’t consistent with that establishment. It isn’t a gentlemen’s club or an adult- entertainment business. They should consider a less-suggestive name.”

The mayor’s reaction surprises Charles “Lucky” Penny, who manages the bar.

“It wasn’t meant to be sexually explicit,” he said. “... Why would I have a name that’s sexual? We already know we’ve got the light on us because we’re black-managed. Why would I add to that?”

Like any downtown bar, Penny said the Love Lounge has had issues, but his business gets more negative attention because it’s managed by a black man and is considered an “urban bar.”

Penny says he is a major booster of the city, particularly downtown, and wants to play a positive role in its revitalization.

The new name — which would use “X” as the business’ symbol — is part of an overall effort to change the bar’s image, Penny said.

It’s called the Love Lounge, Penny said, in tribute to the Love family, which includes his mother, and provided the money to open the establishment.

The bar, at 15 W. Federal St., has made interior improvements, has instituted a dress code and no longer allows anyone under age 21 inside, he said. Those under 21 were never permitted to drink there, he added.

The name change to Xclusive was to appeal to “the exclusive people of Youngstown,” Penny said.

“We’re changing to attract a more mature crowd,” he said. “I love downtown. It’s the only place I want to put a business.”

Penny went to Tuesday’s city Design Review Committee meeting seeking approval for a new front awning over the doorway of the bar with the new name.

John DeFrance, a committee member, said more information about the awning, particularly the height above the street, was needed before a decision could be made on approving the exterior improvement.

After Penny left at the advice of DeFrance, Williams arrived at the meeting.

Committee members told him about the name change, and Williams then raised concerns about it sounding suggestive.

The Vindicator spoke to Penny after the meeting about the mayor’s statements. Penny said he’s willing to listen to the mayor’s advice on a new name.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the committee approved an exterior sign for the Downtown Circle Convenience & Deli store at 116 W. Federal St. The Mediterranean food and convenience store will open no later than July 1.

The committee also approved exterior signs for a Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches at 131 Lincoln Ave., currently a vacant building. It isn’t known when that restaurant will open.


Comments

1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Another wonderful bar business in downtown Youngstown. Why not name it "Hoodrat Hangout After Dark". Makes one want to go down there to get shot - NOT!

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2ytownsteelman(628 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Penny is trying to play the race card here, but how many people knew he was black before reading this story? Not me.

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

"We already know we’ve got the light on us because we’re black-managed."

Who cares about your color ! You have the light on you because your clientele is constantly out of control .

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4author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I think the Mayor should ask Probate Court Judge Mark Belinky to loan his crack chief investigator Don Gaudio Jr. to take a poll of people downtown to see what they think of the name.

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Jay has a plan . . ..

http://i33.tinypic.com/2m6vdhz.jpg

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6penguinnick(28 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

"We already know we’ve got the light on us because we’re black-managed. Why would I add to that?"

What an idiot this guy is. His place has no dress code, it's a problem bar that needs to close.

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7Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Hot new styles at the love lounge . . ..

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm...

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8FormerYtownTeacher(2 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Who knew this place was owned by minorities?? Not me! The spotlight shines because of your patrons' behavior, not an owner's race. Frankly "Love Lounge" sounds more like a swingers club than a family-tribute business. I take no offense to the name Xclusive...just keep the clientelle under control!

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9wineywoman(78 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

When that bar was Skeeter's, I went there one evening with some friends. There was a jazz band, and the music was fantastic! The problem I have is not that it's black managed, I really would like to know who owns the establishment. When I was there the crowd was pretty much mixed, so I didn't see it as a"black" club. I'd really like to see another jazz club downtown. We boomers are the ones with disposable income, somebody should know that hip-hop is not something we want to spend it on.

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10Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Hey adandrews :

"Boredom kills - need any more evidence of that?"

It seems to me that all the killing I hear about has excitement associated with it . When the kid from YSU was gunned down at the frat house there was nothing boring going down . I predict that before the summer is over the Love Lounge will be in the news for a homicide .

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11ElPolloRetrasado(202 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I love it, the posts above are racist but no one brought race into the matter until the manager of the establishment decided to. Black bar manager, black police chief, black mayor. Why is it that he thinks they are in the light for being black. I'm going to open a bar called Whitey's Caucasian Club! Let's see how well that goes over. It is not the 1800's, LET IT GO!!!

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12Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

elpollo

"I love it, the posts above are racist but no one brought race into the matter until the manager of the establishment decided to."

How in the world are the above posts "racist"? smh

"We already know we’ve got the light on us because we’re black-managed. Why would I add to that?”"

Now that IS "racist".

"Like any downtown bar, Penny said the Love Lounge has had issues, but his business gets more negative attention because it’s managed by a black man and is considered an “urban bar.”

Also "racist".

"The name change to Xclusive was to appeal to “the exclusive people of Youngstown,” Penny said."

And what cliente is "the exclusive people of Youngstown."

"The bar, at 15 W. Federal St., has made interior improvements, has instituted a dress code and no longer allows anyone under age 21 inside, he said. Those under 21 were never permitted to drink there, he added."

Is he serious? lmao

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13reader1(19 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

@Lifes2short...of course there are racists comments posted.Just look at Stan's and UnionForever's comments. A blind man can see through that.

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