Anyone know when either of these place are set to open? I remember back in march Cock n Bull said they would be opened by the Mud Hens opening day. I was just at the Hens game and the place didn't look much different from when I was downtown for opening day. Also what's up with the new Italian restaurant(owned by the marco's family) next to the Blarney and across from Table44? That place looks like nothings been touched in months! On a positive note I'm glad to see Registry Bistro is finally ready to open it's doors. I'm very excited to check this place out, I know it will be a hit!
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Cock n Bull was supposed to open today. I was nearby around 4pm and people were inside and a Budweiser van was parked in front.
If the Marcos family has any sense, they'll scrap their idea of opening a restaurant at that location.
yeah, cock & bull opened today. one of my servers works there as well.
6thFloor, why do you think the Marcos place will fail? I can't believe this town has supported the Spaghetti Warehouse all these years ... any new Italian place downtown will have to be an improvement over that.
Or do you think proximity to the Pizza Papalis is a problem?
Viola, I don't really know whether or not Marco's itself will fail or succeed. However, I do believe if they do succeed, most of the business they receive after the first few months, will cannibalize other restaurants in the area.
Also, the economy still is in trouble. What we've seen the past couple years has been more of a dead cat bounce, and the "next leg down" is starting now and next year will be much worse. Do you believe the employment data we're told by the gov't? I don't.
On the bright side, when I was downtown this afternoon @4pm, I did see a lot more people walking around than usual.
I'm sure that family has plenty of $$$, so don't you agree that if they knew they were going to make a mint, they long ago would have opened? I'm sure they are having doubts whether or not to scrap open what they have planned. Their names and photos will be in the papers & tv for a while before and after they open.
Many people (especially who already have plenty of money) that's as important as actually making a profit. However, if the place flops, their names and photos also will be mentioned...think Tom Cousino type humiliation.
I don't know their thought processes. I know there are usually multiple reasons why businesses open late (judging by The Spouse's construction-industry horror stories). I would hope they are not timid about the possibility of public failure ... all the entrepreneurial advice I see emphasizes that to be in business for yourself requires courage and perseverance.
Is Patrick Gianmarco, the social media promoter, part of the Marco's chain or family? If so, he would be easy to reach via FB or LinkedIn and he might answer some questions.
Checked out the Cock n' Bull last night. It is a nice new addition to the warehouse district. I would describe it as a very similar feel to table 44(which I expected based on ownership), but it just feels more like a real bar than 44. 44 gives me the feel of a restaurant that turns into a bar at night place.
Another plus is the beer selection. If you like draft beer, I think I counted 32 beers on tap. One of the bartenders told me that they will have a mainstay of about 25 beers, with 4 or 5 taps that they will use to bring in some new and different stuff.
It had a nice basic bar menu with sandwiches and pizzas. Most expensive item was about $9. I didn't try any of the food, but look forward to giving it a try.
Great to hear about CnB! And as for Pat Giammarco, it's just been a very long process. Renovating a three-story building is no easy task. The place I renovated was two, and it took us over twice as long as our original projection. Old buildings + city permit process = need for patience.
viola, Pat Giammarco is the "Marco" of Marco's Pizza. Now, I'm not 100% on the arrangement, but as I understand it, he no longer handles the franchises. He just handles the Toledo area stores these days.
The city permit process for building in the WHD should be expedited. No reason for bureaucracy to get in the way of such an important place.
What three story building was renovation? I walked by CnB yesterday after the Farmers' Market and it was one story....unless I walked past the wrong building?
3 story is the Marcos spot to the right of the blarney
Architectural problems and the elevator requirements really slowed them down. Hopefully they turn the corner and add to our downtown options
@upso, thanks for the info.
We ate at Table Forty 4 and I couldn't help but stare at that building and ask "that's new, isn't it?" to my friends. Of course, they didn't know because they're suburban dwellers who are afraid of the downtown and look down on Toledo like it's leprosyville. But now I know, thanks!
Johio - you are correct about Pat Giammarco's current status with the chain. He sold the corporation a while back but owns most of the Toledo franchises.
This was according to a vendor we do business with who owns two Marco's franchises in Indiana.
6th and I disagree (as we have in other threads on similar topics) about what an increase in food/drink options in downtown will mean. Not that there's a right or wrong, more like speculation about how a market will react to a particular change. But I think that, rather than cannibalizing a stagnant customer base, additional options will only share in an increased customer base. I have no idea what actual numbers are, so I'm going to make some up for the sake of the discussion. If there are currently 100 people a night choosing between 10 options, I think 15 options would only serve to boost that number of visitors to 150.
And to that point, I think a lot of that would be helped by marketing/branding. Giving downtown a shared identity as a place to go, a place to be. One thing that I think worked incredibly well in Orlando was a place called Wall Street. It was one alley basically that had about 8 restaurants/bars. They worked like the Oliver House, where all of their advertising was done as a group. Everything was a joint effort, and it made it a very persuasive argument. Rather than "let's go all the way downtown and hit that one bar," it was "het, let's hit up Wall St tonight." A much easier sell.
Nice concept think it would help if they aren't in direct competition with each other as much between 8 different restaurant/bars I can see having different venues and meal choice would really compliment each other, steak house, italian, greek, chinese, japanese, greek, french, mexican.
One positive I see from all these new places is I'll have reasons to either bump the bites the dust thread or create a part 2. The dose of reality certainly is necessary for truth purposes among this downtown homer crowd.
What Mettler's place has done is push some of buzz in the direction of Washington Street. Which imo = good news for Bronze Boar and Quimbys, and bad news for Table 44...which lately hasn't exactly knocking the cover off the ball anyway. I've also noticed Durty Bird is staying open late with people on the patio.
Of course, let's remember this is summer. The real test is how these places fare during the "off-season."
Toledo has potential to create some sort of small downtown entertainment district. However, I think comparisons and trying to mimic metro areas much larger than Toledo, such as Orlando, with millions of annual tourists will produce disappointment.
Oh don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say "it works in Orlando, so we should do it too!" I'm just saying it's a way of packaging their product that we don't see much of here.
I'd like to add that with all the mention of the Oliver House here, that the property does run at a loss every single year. It's more of a prideful toy for the owners. Toledo doesn't have an abundance of residents with that type of luxury and wealth.
I'm sure currently Mettler wishes he would have heeded the advice Appold gave him about opening a place downtown. Which was don't do it if your goal is to make money.
BBluth posted: The city permit process for building in the WHD should be expedited. No reason for bureaucracy to get in the way of such an important place.
No, the WHD shouldn't be expedited. Permits there should have a place in line equally with properties in every other part of the city.
The Orlando thing can work in Toledo. It's really just about how clustered the attractions are.
In Columbus we have the Arena District, or more specifically Park Street which is bar after bar after bar. There is also the South Campus Gateway, a collection of bars and restaurants on campus.
It's really a matter of filling in the surface parking in select areas and making it feel like one destination. The WHD has some clusters going for it, but Toledo certainly needs to GET MORE PEOPLE LIVING IN THE WHD FIRST. Berdan Building/Xerox Building...I'm looking at you.
Look at it this way: if you looked at a map of downtown Toledo, and considered all of the surface parking void space and looked at the map as if it were a Tetris board....and magically had the power of God were able to squish all of the buildings down together into one perfectly-fitting place, it would be absolutely hoppin'. It would be lively and successful and attractive to people and residents.
But that's not the case, so the question is...how does development cluster residential and retail/restaurant/bars and develop a neighborhood to snowball? It's a tough question.
Until Toledo sees an overall population uptick, any growth in the WHD merely creates new dead zones elsewhere in the city. I realize some of you guys mostly seem to care about what happens in the WHD. However, transferring dead zones in the WHD and elsewhere downtown to other areas throughout the city, imo wastes money and shouldn't be a priority.
I disagree, for a number of reasons.
1) A downtown is a city's best representation, its success/failure leads to success/failure for the entire city and ultimately region. That is a fact (with uncommon exceptions, of course). Toledo's best opportunity to revive its downtown is in the WHD. It is the closest thing to a neighborhood; the Downtown "proper," bounded by Monroe/Summit/Cherry/Michigan is an economic headquarters, but not a neighborhood.
2) An increase in the desire to live a more urban lifestyle is a national trend, and doesn't show signs of stopping (quite the opposite). Young people and "empty nesters" are seeking great urban neighborhoods to settle into [b]and invest[/b]. Toledo has a terrific opportunity to be a leader in this regard. Instead of us saying "oh look at Cleveland's revival," or "oh signs of life in Detroit," people should be saying "Wow check out what Toledo has done in spite of all of its setbacks and limited resources!" One could look at it as a race and they wouldn't be too incorrect. We can be a paragon of rustbelt revival in a medium-sized city.
3) Dead zones of the peripheral of the city are much, much better than in the center, for reasons stated in #1. Plenty of economic and demographic projections show that very thing, as transportation budgets tighten (i.e. fewer freeway expansions) and gasoline costs rise (i.e. higher travel costs).
4) The young educated yuppie-types that desire urban living most strongly are necessarily from Toledo. Of my four friends who live downtown and are in the twenties, one is from Ottawa Hills, two are from Oregon, and one is from Milbury. It's an attraction of an urban lifestyle for the entire region.
You will see the hipsters and artists from Toledo, but when it really starts to roll you'll see the money crowd from Perrysburg/Sylvania/Ottawa Hills/Monclova appear, and that's when you'll know you've been successful.
So I guess I could summarize that even if WHD development is in part cannibalizing economic success from other parts of the city (well, it's really regional)...that's okay, really.
If anything, this is how you promote a reversal of the population decrease and brain drain--you make the city a great place to live! You have to start turning a city's image around with its downtown. That's just how it is.
The few blocks of "urban revival" in the WHD is small in comparison to Toledo's new dead zones.
What exactly constitutes the city being a "great place to live?" Is it boutiques, lofts, bars and restaurants, located inside 125 year old buildings? I don't think that has much to do with reversing Toledo's decreasing population and/or brain drain. However, what will, is people being able to find employment here.
Of course I completely disagree the WHD should receive any preferential treatment, but thanks for your honesty posting that in your opinion it's ok to cannibalize larger parts (in area and population) for the sake of WHD development.
My 2 cents' worth: I never enjoyed bumbling around entertainment districts like Oak Street in Chicago or the Orlando district mentioned above. Heck, I've never even been to New Orleans, which friends have always told me is a great place to wander around from bar to bar (perhaps that day has passed).
I'd be far more likely to walk around a revitalized park downtown and to grab a meal nearby.
We had a meal at Table 44 and it was just ... meh. Nothing special. Not worth the drive as a destination, and not our first choice for dining before/after any downtown shows.
I throw this out and hope to not be ridiculed too much: one thing the downtown area could use (WHD, I suppose) is a funky thrift store run by an artistic person who can recognize vintage clothing, odd artwork, and retro furniture. That stuff is a big hit with hipsters and the college crowd. The old Rensch storefront would be a nice spot ... The junk shops I see on Monroe Street are some of the least welcoming retail establishments I've ever seen.
I agree with Viola. While I have not eaten at Table 44, I do want to try Fine Things Bistro. However, traffic and parking are considerations. On a weekday, I drive home from work which is on the east side to the Secor exit. When I see all the traffic, the last thing I want to do is drive Monroe St. or 475/75 half way back during rush hour for dinner and nothing more.
JnJ, that's a perfect example of what I was talking about with joint efforts for places - rather than it just being "dinner and nothing more," downtown places need to market themselves as an entertainment area, where you'd spend an evening doing a number of different things.
And viola, I think that's exactly what downtown is in need of. Omaha's Old Market is exactly like that: an artsy community in their warehouse district full of little boutique shops, thrift stores, quirky art shops, cafes... the kind of stuff you can easily spend an afternoon perusing.
Things are slowly starting to pop up on Adams Street as far as vintage/antiques... but it's still not skewing young enough yet. We have 3 new antique places on the same block as Manhattan's now.
When the Erie Street Market antiques vendors were moving, one of them mentioned they were banding together to fill up a store near Manhattan's. If they've just moved to a new spot and not changed their business approach, I probably wouldn't consider that a destination for me.
Not to step on any toes in T-Town, but the antiques scene is more about what individual collectors like to hoard and sell, and not so much about stocking a store full of cool things in all price ranges -- including clothing that hip youngsters would wear.
Most of the antiques stores I've been to in Toledo are full of lamps and vases and sets of formal china and really expensive ornate furniture. In other words, old people stuff.
It's not only my opinion. It's the opinion of any proper city planner. Yes, neighborhoods get prioritized--especially when you're dealing with limited resources. HEALTHY cities have successful downtowns and first-ring neighborhoods. In Toledo that is greater Downtown and the Old West End. (I only mention OWE because the north/east/south have poor housing quality and aren't prime targets for regeneration.)
I'm not by any means saying that we put all of our eggs in the WHD basket. It needs to stand on it's own. But WHD/Uptown/Downtown/OWE certainly deserve even the slightest priority over areas further away. Why? If nothing else, because it's sustainable. Economically, socially, environmentally, etc etc. It is sustainability in every sense of the word. The entire country is slowly but surely falling out of love with the suburbs, the close city neighborhoods are TREASURES and must be promoted.
I only mention the WHD as being MY priority because it is, in my opinion, the closest to becoming successful of all the urban areas in the city.
I don't understand the knock on 125-year old buildings. They are uncommon treasures (because idiots knocked them down in the 50s/60s/70s) and Toledo has astounding building stock and should use its advantages here. But hey guess what, when the success starts to happen, new buildings pop up and they aren't 125-year old ones! e.g. Pizza Papalis.
And I don't think much of any of it would be cannibalization. Can you show me some government program that is forcing people to move into the WHD? No, you can't. You can only show me stories of people saying "I want to live in the WHD!" because it is, in their opinion and for their situation, a better experience.
Since demographics show that young/educated people prefer a setting like the WHD, I'm willing to be that a disproportionate amount of people who'd move into the area are from the suburbs and not a direct taking from another spot in Toledo.
A great urban neighborhood like the WHD will go a long way to solving the brain drain, and thus the tax income drain. Of course, that's only if the city fixes 100 other problems with itself too. :(
I cannot show you a govt program that is forcing people to move into the WHD. However, what we have seen, is resources being endlessly poured into the area and the results at best have been minimal. So, essentially govt programs aren't minimally involved.
How many of the current WHD residents would be living there if the arena and stadium weren't built? How many of the current WHD bars/restaurants would be in the area without the govt spending many millions building the arena and stadium?
I'm not a suburbanite BB. I live in a house that's 95 years old, so what you consider a knock, actually was me portraying living in an old building really isn't a big deal. I frequent the WHD...almost daily. The hoopla has worn off here I guess, hearing about all the benefits of a successful WHD & downtown.
I've watched (and still watching) you WHD folks jump around telling everyone else in Toledo how great it is, how the city cannot prosper unless it thrives, etc. Meanwhile another nearby area, Vistula, Toledo's oldest neighborhood has fallen apart.
WHD in my mind should be low on totem pole regarding what and where Toledo should focus. More than enough resources already have been spent. I really haven't paid much attention to the Huntington Center, but reading the thread here, it appears it's already sliding.
Does the Oliver House still serve lunch and dinner? They had closed the dining room a few years ago and only opened for special events.
I loved the pizza before it closed.
They are open downstairs for lunch and the upstairs is open for dinner. Also, the pizza is still on the menu. I think OH has really improved in the past year.
Anyone find a beer list or menu for this place online yet?
FWIW: Following my usual path home last night which takes me right past YEC&B, it appeared to be open or very near opening. The indoor/outdoor patio barrier was up, tables and chairs were set up "outside", lights (including the beer distributor suppled brand logo lights) were on, a gent (assuming he was the owner/manager) was pacing nervously around the patio, cell phone glued to his ear and a lady was inside scurrying around appearing to make things ready.
Perhaps a "VIP Grand Opening Preview" of sorts was in the works?
Walked by Ye Old Cock last night and there were plenty of people inside... good for a Tuesday night!
Anyone got a phone number or hours of operation for Ye Olde CNB ? Can't find a listing
How does Ye Olde CNB not have a website or a Facebook account?
They have a Facebook page
I had it the other day and i was pleased with my experience. I had the Hawaii Five-0 and it was MMMmmmm GOOD! Nothing on the menu was over $9.50 and they have a great beer selection. Looking forward to going back with some friends.
what was the food like? i'm looking forward to checking it out!
I completely agree with the gov't program spending certainly being a part of the equation.
But putting the arenas downtown has been a great success (Huntington Center is still very young, so we'll see...spare me the five-month lull speech). Governments realized about 15 years ago that since they almost always finance the huge stadiums, they have the leverage in deciding its location and they've put them downtown more and more. Staples Center, Ford Field, Quicken Loans Arena, Lucas Oil Stadium, etc etc etc....it's a national trend and there's a reason for it.
How many would be living there...probably not as many. I see your complaint and raise you one of my own: how many people would be living in Sylvania/Monclova/Holland if the government didn't spend BILLIONS on the expressways? Governments spend money, but reinvestments into downtowns are criticizes more vigorously, it's so strange and unfair.
And yet, I largely agree with you. There have been a myriad of failed ideas and plans by Toledo, mostly by an egotistical mayor trying to carve his piece of history, no? Still, Kaptur (right?) got the funding for the Farmers' Market and that is doing really well (no?). That doesn't mean that there isn't progress. A 100% full Standart Lofts shows that, as does the <5% vacancy rate for downtown.
I may be going on a stretch here, but have you seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Well, if you haven't...I hate you. hahah But seriously, I can't help but think of this scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3YiPC91QUk
In the first minute, when the king talks about building a castle and it sinking into the swamp, and the second and the third all be absolute failures, and the fourth one finally "STAYED UP! And that's what you're gunna get lad!" hahah But that's how I tend to look at reinvestment into downtown...in a sense (not to say that there are not seriously obvious improvements), but many of those failed pet projects will one day be vindicated. The Erie Street Market, for example, will be a big resource in the future. One project may fail (e.g. financing on the Bartley Lofts), but the next will hit that critical mass and one day you'll turn around and realize success is here to stay.
You've watched and watched, but the process takes ~25 years and judging one year from the one before it is pretty silly. Look at the WHD from fifteen years ago, it is night and day! It's a process, and it takes a great plan (haven't quite seen that) and national economic trends (HAVE seen that) for that to happen.
And I'm not one of the "WHD people," at all. In fact--oh God--I've never even lived in Toledo. I'm from Genoa and merely go to Ohio State for City & Regional Planning--aka the proper way to build, rejuvenate, and manage successful cities and regions, with an emphasis in study on the Rust Belt states (Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Columbus leading the way).
As for Vistula, if is a first-ring neighborhood and thus certainly a priority. OWE, Vistula, the area between OWE and St. V's, and that stretch near Main Street on the east side are the clear priorities when it comes to single-family homes. For a city of (stated) limited resources, it's still much wiser to concentrate and grow a place like OWE and grow it over to Cherry or Central than it will be to turn around an entire place like Lagrange.
I'm not all in for WHD, I just look at the facts and realize that it's Toledo enormous opportunity to create a rare and wonderful attractive urban neighborhood. The building stock is excellent and its proximity to downtown attractions and commercial headquarters is terrific. It's just a good bet moving forward.
Sorry for the long rant. I'm pretty passionate about city planning haha
...annnnd by @upso I mean @6th floor.
Would it kill a ma o get an edit feature up in here? :)
I finally made it to the CnB on sat and I was pleased with my 1st experience. I had the club sandwich and it was very good. The chips were basic, not house made( more like Gordon Foods chips). Wish they had a cuban sandwich, the one at Table 44 is fantastic! They have a nice beer selection too.
I was downtown over the weekend for the GAS conference and I made another vist to the Cock n Bull for lunch. I had the Italian Beef and it was good. I saw the new Marco's italian restaurant had some more work done. There was a bunch of duct work all over the first floor and it looks like there will be a garage style door on the second floor. All three floors look like it had new windows installed. Does anyone know what the plans are for the Hannon's Block building? I know the 2nd and 3rd floor is suppose to be lofts and apartments but I wasn't sure if there is any plans for the 1st floor.
I too made it to the CnB over the weekend. I liked it, we stopped on Saturday afternoon and there seemed to be a decent crowd at the bar. Both me and the Mrs. enjoyed our food, it wasn't out of this world good, but it was good enough for me to go back. I did enjoy their beer selection, nice variety. I love good beer. Anyways, I hope this place makes it. I could definitely see myself bellying up to the bar for some brews any day of the week.
For Hannon's Block, the whole loft thing was more of a "we could do this" thing moreso than "we're going to do this." Haven't discussed it with them lately, but as of about two months ago, they were still looking to pursue retail/restaurant for the first floor and residences above.
I'm thinking the Libbey Glass Outlet would do well as the first floor in a rehabbed warehouse. Assuming that they don't/can't stay at the Erie Street Market, that is. Their presence could really jumpstart the retail scene in the newer parts of the WHD -- being something more than a tiny little specialty store, appealing to a broader customer base.
I don't think anything has changed at the Hannon's Block building in 3 years. It seems like now is as good as anytime to start working on that renovation to lofts. I know most of the residential downtown if full or very close to capacity. But it seems that the market is better for apt rather than condos at this time.
Virtual Tour of Ye Olde Cock N' Bull
The owners of Hannon's Block have their own business, so it's more of a side project. The combination of it being lower on the priority list than their business, and money lending being tight since late '07, it's just more feasible to sit on it and wait until conditions get better and borrowing gets easier.
And to give my personal account, I stopped by CnB on Tuesday for a few pints while I watched my Reds lose. Though I can't speak for the food, I have to say I like it there. It's basically like they just took the bar area from Table Forty 4 (which makes sense, given the connection) and dropped it into a smaller location. And I like that about it. It's nice to have options in the kind of bar you're going to, whether you're looking for a "restaurant with a bar" (Table Forty 4, Blarney, etc), or a "bar that also serves food" (CnB, Bronze Boar). The latter is always a nice option when you just want to relax with a beer and watch some baseball.