Raise a glass to a livelier downtown Warren


The ongoing revitalization of downtown Warren into an arts and entertainment center will get a huge boost Saturday when Modern Methods Brewing Co. opens.

Festivities will begin at noon at the brewpub and will include live music starting at 2 p.m. Modern Methods is on Dave Grohl Alley, which will be blocked off for Saturday’s event.

Adam Keck is the founder and brewmaster of Modern Methods, which will become the city’s first brewery to open in more than a century.

Modern Methods is located in a 19th century building that was once a warehouse, with the original brick interior walls exposed. It takes its name from a sign that was put up on City Hall sign in 1909 that touted Warren as “The City of Modern Methods.”

The brewery incorporates the Packard Motor Company’s very recognizable logo in its insignia.

It will offer fresh beer in its taproom, including a rotating selection of IPAs, stouts, sours and more. Patrons can also take home 64- and 32-ounce glass Grohlers (see what they did there?) and 32-ounce canned crowlers to go.

A big piece of downtown Warren’s renaissance has been the amphitheater and the River Rock tribute band concerts, which create a festival atmosphere there every weekend in the summer.

On Monday, Sunrise Entertainment, which sponsors the concerts, will announce its schedule for this year. The announcement will be made at the long-closed Robins Theater, also downtown, which is being renovated and will reopen as a performing arts venue in the future.

ROBERTO’S RISTORANTE IS OPEN FOR LUNCH AGAIN

Roberto’s, the charming, old-school Italian restaurant on West Federal Street in downtown Youngstown, is open for lunch again.

As of this week, the restaurant will be open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Roberto’s used to maintain lunch hours but dropped them a couple years ago. It brought them back in response to requests from its customers, said Debbie Calcagni, one of the managers.

Roberto’s will open for dinner at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It’s also open Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

MELLENCAMP WILL RETURN TO THE BUTLER MUSEUM

Rock’n’roll Hall of Famer – and painter – John Mellencamp will return to the area in September to open a new exhibition of his art work at the Butler Institute of American Art’s main branch in Youngstown.

The exact date hasn’t been ironed out yet.

Mellencamp had an exhibition at the Butler’s Trumbull Branch in Howland in 2013, and he visited then. He also performed a concert at the Canfield Fair grandstand last summer.

Y-LIVE CONCERT UPDATE

Speaking of concerts, the headliner at this year’s Y-Live concert at Stambaugh Stadium will be announced in less than two weeks. I don’t know who it will be but I have some ideas.

The inaugural Y-Live was last August and featured the Zac Brown Band.

GOOD HUMOR RADIO HOUR

Did you catch the inaugural Good Humor Radio Hour shows this week at the Tyler Center in Youngstown? If you did, you saw the world premiere of “The Lone Stranger,” a zany radio play written by Brad Strickland. It was a hoot.

Guy D’Astolfo covers entertainment for The Vindicator.

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