The Lemon Grove keeps growing

The Lemon Grove’s short-but-storied history entered a new chapter this week when it cleared out of its original space at 122 W. Federal St., downtown, and reopened about 50 feet down the sidewalk at 110 West Federal. The soft opening took place Monday night, but a grand opening will be Aug. 9 with a rock show featuring The Zou.

From day one, the Lemon Grove has been a mecca for art, politics, music and partying with a funky-eclectic-artsy vibe.

The new location carries on the tradition. Artist Jason Van Hoose is in the process of painting a lemonlike ceiling mural in the new space, which once was the home of Rosetta Stone restaurant and bar. You might just find him working on it if you stop in during a slow period.

The new location is easily twice as big as the old one — maybe more — and it’s sidewalk patio is about five times longer.

The old Lemon had a tiny kitchen, and a menu that reflected those limitations. The kitchen in the new location is literally 10 times bigger, said co-owner Eric Alleman, who said the new site will be able to attract a wider audience. It also has an on-site bakery that is cranking out fresh cookies and muffins every morning.

Alleman, a Youngstown native, and his wife recently moved back to the area from Lakewood because of his involvement with the Lemon Grove.

The new location also has several side rooms, which were used as a wine cellar and as private lounges when it was Rosetta Stone. Alleman said plans are in the works for those rooms, but he wouldn’t divulge any more than that.

The basement of the building had been restored into a concert venue by Rosetta Stone, but it was never used. Alleman said plans to use the room are on the back burner, maybe a year away.

Work also began this week to transform the old Lemon Grove site into a new bar-eatery by its new operator, O’Donold’s Irish Pub.


Why did promoter Jason Tibolla decide to put together Summer Throwdown, the daylong metal festival that will be Sunday at the B&O Station?

To meet demand.

There really isn’t a bar devoted to metal in the area right now, and existing rock ’n’ roll bars strictly limit their metal and hard-core menu. As a result, local bands and fans usually head to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Canton and Geneva on the Lake for shows.

About two dozen bands are scheduled to play on two stages at the spacious riverside B&O Complex, including the amphitheater at the far end of the grounds.

Food vendors, tattoo and piercing artists and others will set up for the day. Local artist Aaron Chine will be on hand creating a piece of art that will be raffled off.

Headlining the show will be Ventana, which also will be on the bill at Saturday’s Mayhem Festival stop at First Niagara Pavilion near Pittsburgh.


The Youngstown Jazz Festival will return to downtown Youngstown on Aug. 11, but with a different setup.

The stage will be on Market Street, near the Huntington Bank Building, facing north. For the first — and only — YJF in 2010, the stage was tucked away on East Federal Street.

Festival promoter Jerry Costa said the new arrangement creates a wider space for the crowd, because Central Square and its sidewalk plazas flare outward at that spot. The rows of seating will be much wider.

Najee and Alex Bugnon will headline the event, which also will include three regional acts. Doors open at 4 p.m., and music starts at 5.

The 2010 fest featured Spyro Gyra and David Benoit and was a raging success that attracted about 4,000 people. Costa said the presale for this year’s event is already 1,000 ahead of 2010. He’s expecting between 5,000 and 7,000 this year.

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.


Buffalo Hollow will host ’80s supergroup Asia in a concert that hasn’t exactly been well-publicized.

The outdoor concert venue/campground is out in the country at 51367 Dickson Road, off Route 170, south of Petersburg. It will host The Blitz next Thursday through Aug. 11, with Asia headlining the final night. Opening acts will be Mega Band, Chub Scouts, Abbey Road and Ben Flint. For information, go to

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