The Royal Oaks isn’t just any old dive.
The East Side watering hole has been accepted by the National Dive Bar T-Shirt Club, which — for such places — is a badge of honor.
While dives are not exactly a rarity in Youngstown, the Oaks revels in it role — and also rises above it. The bar stands apart for its hipness as much as its history; its wood-smoked ribs as much as its cheap beer; its modern music as much as its well-worn booths; and its people as much as its peeling paint.
It doesn’t just have characters; it has character.
The National Dive Bar T-Shirt club (divebarshirtclub.com) takes nominations from across the country but selects only one a month, after careful vetting.
Members of the club get a new T-shirt every month, along with a card that includes photos and information about the selected bar. The membership fee is $22 per month.
Jill Sutman of Youngstown gets the credit for telling the club about the Oaks. The judges checked it out and liked what they saw.
Oaks owner Louie Kennedy was surprised when he got the news, but also concerned that his bar was too much of a dive.
“I got a call out of the blue saying we were in,” said Kennedy, who up until that moment never heard of the club. “Before I called them back, I checked out their website. Then I called them and said I would like to be in [the club] but we aren’t quite at the level of the other bars. But they said ‘the dive-ier, the better’.”
The Oaks became the club’s July selection, and the club’s 6,400 members got a T-shirt that bears the bar’s logo — an acorn with a crown — on the front and a slogan on the back.
Katianne timko to unveil new video at Cedars show
Katianne Timko’s show at Cedars West End this Friday will include the unveiling of the video for her song “Resistance,” from the “What I Wanted” EP.
The 1950s-themed video was shot at the Steel Trolley Diner in Lisbon, the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, the Youngstown Playhouse and Trumbull New Theatre.
Khaled Tabbara directed it, and both he and Timko edited it.
Admission is $5 and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Opening the show will be sami.the.great from Brooklyn.
COMIC BOOK CONVENTION WILL RETURN TO WARREN
All-American Comics and Cards will hold its fourth annual convention — dubbed All-Americon — from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at SCOPE Center, 220 W. Market St., downtown Warren.
The site is not far from All-American’s Warren store. Admission is $3.
Josh Nativio, manager of the Warren location (they have another one on U.S. route 224 in Boardman), said the convention will feature a couple dozen tables with vendors selling comics, books, toys and other collectibles.
Customers who bring unique items to the family event might also find that there is some buying going on, said Nativio.
EXPECT AN OKTOBERFEST
Add another festival to the calendar.
The first Youngstown Oktoberfest will be Sept. 7 and 8 in the city’s downtown. Details are still sketchy, but the festival, sponsored by the Autism Society of Ohio and the Youngstown Symphony, will feature German food, music, beer and entertainment. For more information, go to oktoberfestyoungstown.com.
CHARLIE DANIELS ON WAY
Country music star Charlie Daniels and his band will perform at Sharon Speedway on Aug. 14.
More information on the concert, including ticket prices, will be released soon.