A cool-blue nightclub and some hot rock ’n’ roll

Anticipation has been building for Liquid Blu, the lavish downtown nightclub that opens Friday.

But management is pointing out that the club on West Federal Street, in the heart of the entertainment district, is also a full-service restaurant and will be open daily for lunch.

Liquid Blu will specialize in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Rows of seating have been added for diners, and carry-out orders also will be available.

It’s signature will be sushi, which will be sold for lunch, dinner and afterward, until the club closes.

Work began early this year to transform the space into a high-end nightclub with a unique atmosphere, similar to those in Miami and Las Vegas.

The interior has a cool, aquatic blue luminescence, with a wavy bar along one side. Raised booths, a two-tiered lighted dance floor, DJ space and VIP areas comprise the rest of the room. The bar will specialize in high-end cocktails.

There will be a DJ on opening night, and assistant manager Dennis Paige said the state-of-the-art sound system must be heard to be fully appreciated.

Paige also said the club will have a focus on service and will cater to its guests to create a nightclub experience that will rival those in much larger cities.


The pinnacle of last weekend’s Bunbury Music Fest in Cincinnati might have come at the midway point, during Twenty One Pilots’ set Saturday evening.

Tyler Joseph, singer for the rock/hip-hop duo from Columbus, had a massive main-stage throng in a frenzy, so he took matters to a new level — literally.

Wearing a full-head mask, Joseph scaled the scaffolding at one side of the stage — a good 50 feet high. When he got to the top, he stood up on a makeshift platform that was the size of a garbage can lid.

The sea of festival-goers, in the tens of thousands, gasped. A fall from that height would have been horrifying. When Joseph finished the song and climbed back down to safety, the sun-baked crowd collectively exhaled — and then roared its approval. As for Joseph, he got what looked like an immediate tongue-lashing from a stage manager.

Bunbury is only in its second year but was smoothly run. It occupies Sawyer’s Point/Yeatman’s Cove, a manicured riverfront park downtown. The park is long and narrow, with a backdrop of skyscrapers on one side and paddlewheel riverboats cruising by on the other.

The setting makes it more like a trip to Cedar Point than Woodstock, but that was just fine, and the selection of bands was impeccable.

The best part of any rock festival is catching bands that are on the verge. On that list I would put, among others, Walk the Moon, Delta Rae, Youngblood Hawke, the Mowglis and Atlas Genius.

Cincy act Walk the Moon may have gotten extra love from its hometown fans but was undeniably a Bunbury highlight.


While watching the old Paramount Theater get torn down this week, I kept thinking of a painting by Clyde Singer (1908-1999), the beloved artist from Malvern who spent most of his adult life in Youngstown. Singer, in fact, was an art columnist for The Vindicator and an assistant director of the Butler Institute of American Art.

His painting “The Defeated Theater” depicts a rotund man walking down an empty sidewalk past a once-grand theater that has a new —and out-of-place — marquee slapped over the original. It’s a forlorn sight, but with any imagination, one can envision the gilded decor and lively stage shows that might have once lit up the interior.

As for the exterior, it doesn’t take much of a closer look to see that the white marble columns and marquee supports of the old facade are exactly like those of the Paramount Theater on West Federal Street, downtown.

“The Defeated Theater” is part of the collection of the Butler. Louis A. Zona, director of the museum, does not know whether Singer used the Paramount as a model for his painting, but he suspects that he did.

If that is the case, then the defeated theater also has been destroyed.


After 10 years, this is the final weekend for The Fifth Season in its present location in Austintown. The upscale restaurant‘s last day at 7098 Mahoning Ave. will be Saturday. It will reopen the second week of August in a new site at 1402 N. Canfield-Niles Road (state Route 46) near Mineral Ridge.

To mark the milestone, the restaurant will thank its customers with dinner and drink specials today through Saturday. For reservations, call 330-799-3483.

Ashley James, one of the owners, said the new site will take advantage of the casino-racetrack that is being built about a half-mile up the road.

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