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Lemon Grove celebrates arts, food at new site

Published: Wed, August 8, 2012 @ 12:08 a.m.


Jacob Harver, the owner of The Lemon Grove, stands in front of the restaurant’s new location at 110 W. Federal St., where a grand-opening event will be Thursday starting at 7 p.m., featuring local music and food.


Lemon Grove is holding its grand opening on Thursday. They moved to a new location at 110 W. Federal St., Youngstown.

By Jamison Cocklin



Lemon Grove owner Jacob Harver remembers, as a boy attending preschool at First Presbyterian Church in Youngstown, taking trips downtown with his class.

Later, when Harver was in high school, he had more freedom to wander into such city mainstays as Cedar’s Lounge.

Today, Harver’s restaurant and bar is just as much about the city’s past as it is about its present and its future.

So, on Thursday, when The Lemon Grove marks both its third year in business and the grand opening of its new location at 110 W. Federal St., where the Rosetta Stone Cafe and Lounge was once located, it will celebrate the community and some of the people who have fought to renew the city’s downtown.

“The motivation from the beginning was really just to be a part of the downtown,” Harver said as he sat sipping coffee at a table that overlooked a sweeping new dining room featuring artwork and a sculpture rising from the bar out over the main floor. “It hasn’t been a life dream to own a bar or cafe or something, but it’s always been a desire to be involved with the culture and the people.”

Grand-opening events begin at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Lemon Grove will feature a special menu put together by local chef Rasul Welch, who has achieved international success as a food photographer working closely with some of the world’s leading chefs.

“I have a lot of respect for Jacob and the way he’s tried to build a business socially,” Welch said. “I’m really excited about the pot-sticker appetizers. It’s one of my favorite things to make; they sort of melt in your mouth with this crispy, deep-fried flavor, but they’re still sophisticated.”

Pan-roasted pork loin and Gaucho steak will be among several other menu options. The event will be emceed by Richard Elmsworth, also known as Ultimate Donny of the Youngstown band Gil Mantera’s Party Dream.

After dinner service, The Tribe of Eos Bellidancers, local indie-rock band The Zou and DJ Dennis Thomas also will be on hand.

Renovating the space at 110 W. Federal St., which first opened last week, was a community effort with local artists Jason Van Hoose and Paris Kreich contributing work.

Khaled Tabbara of The Zou said his band “didn’t even think twice” about playing the grand opening.

“We love the Lemon Grove — it’s a great venue, and it’s a great asset for downtown Youngstown,” he said. “Beyond the beauty of the new venue, [Harver’s] mission is a social one, and I really do feel like it’s a culture over there.”

But Harver said that culture doesn’t exclude anyone. He expects hundreds to be on hand throughout the evening Thursday. As the restaurant moves forward, the expanded space will allow the Lemon Grove to move forward with its vision of more concerts and more art, something Harver said will continue to draw an eclectic clientele.

“We’re trying to provide food as art; the culinary experience is an art form,” Harver said. “We want to do things that are interesting for everyone. So at 7 p.m., bring the family down for a dinner that you can’t get anywhere else.”


1author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

When The Rosetta Stone opened its doors it was only because of taxpayers dollars at work. The Rosetta Stone was a partnership oif George Lenahan and Chuck Sop. They received $100,000 from the City of Youngstown (while roads are falling apart and the murder rate going up) and over $600,000 in guaranteed funds from The Small Buisness Administration administered via Huntingon Bank. If they kept their doors open for three years the city would FORGIVE that $100k. The Rosetta Stone closed after 2 years and never paid back the $100k.

Furthermore Rosetta Stone and others who open bars and taverns downtown get breaks in licenses, fees, etc.

Jacob Harver received $25,000 from President Obama + money from the city to keep his Lemon Grove afloat.

Jacob Harver is now the head honcho of a company called 110 West LLC. They received $340,000 from The Small Business Administration to move the Lemon Grove to the Rosetta Stone.

George Lenahan is a member of the 110 West LLC.

Amazing what those tax dollars will do for the people who can't earn it the old fashioned way.

In six months it will be out of business and the taxpayers will be stuck with a tab well over $1,000,000.00 to keep the allusion going that downtown is back!

Don't worry about Oakhill SPINDIcator, look under your very noses at the abuse ofthe taxpayers money going into the downtown.

Government should not be in the business of funding bars, taverns, etc.

The B&O cost us millions. Anthony's on The River. The Rosetta Stone...

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2republicanRick(1578 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Great post author50. Why doesn't the Vindicator uncover these facts? Are they not our "watchdog"?

Why doesn't the Vindicator cover the fact that Mill Creek Park has been offered and turned down 60 million dollars for mineral rights? But they pay their golf course workers a pension and will seek a levy in two years?

Or why hasn't the Vindicator covered the recent story that Obama and Tim Geithner explicitly excluded Delphi retirees from receiving their pensions, while making only the unions' pensions whole?

The Vindicator is not the people's watchdog, they are only the liberal advocate.

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3georgejeanie(1275 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

More illusions of grandeur for downtown Youngstown. These guys are nothing more than con artist that find it easier to rip off the government than private citizens. Im sure if you had a newspaper that had some investigative reporters they would find out which of the politicians are getting their palms greased to get these loans (haha) for these con artists.

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4southsidedave(5174 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

A positive note for downtown...stop being so negative all the time people.

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5author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

@RK330. Go to the Mahoning County Recorders office and ask them to show you the loan documents that were filed in regards to 110 West LLC. There was a $200,000 first mortgage that went to pay George Lenahan and about $15,000 in back owed property taxes. There is a second mortgage for $200,000 for opening up the business, renovations, advertising,etc. The $400,000 is from the Small Business Administration via Huntington Bank.

Mr. Harver had no colleteral other than his signature and ahome on Midland Ave in Youngstown that is mortgaged to the hilt and property tax arreage bought by American Tax Funding.

Nice loans, too bad everyone can't get them...

Im waiting for the slogan of The Lemon Grove to be "Hail Marx! Hail Lenin!"

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6peggygurney(408 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I thought the SBA doesn't loan money to start up a business. At least that's what they told me when I approached them about starting a coffee shop in an area of town that doesn't have one.

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7author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

@peggygurney You didn't have the right 'backing'. They have given close to $1,000,000.00 to first The Rosetta Stone and second; the Lemon Grove at 110West Federal Street..

@RK330 You are welcome.

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