Toledo Talk

Bars-the right moment in time

Thanks to one of the recent threads about restaurants that are closed. I started thinking about bars, and realized that the bar may not have to be closed for me to miss it. It's more about the time AND the place. So, with that, I submit some golden era bars from my past in hopes of suss out some of your old faves (the years are important). Nostalgia is the emotion here, so nothing terribly recent. Now that my kids aren't babies anymore, we do have opinions of current places, but that's a different thread.

Charlie's Blind Pig (my first bar, underage)-1990
Frankie's-rivermen Wednesdays-1993
Whit's end-1994
dale's, Maumee-1995

created by ahmahler on Feb 09, 2014 at 12:43:47 pm     Entertainment     Comments: 50

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Comments ... #

My first "legal" drink was at the Safari Club on Detroit Ave. on August 12 1969. After that my favorite hang outs were the Beaver Club on Broadway and Renee's. But if it existed in Toledo before 1993, I probably hit it at least once.

posted by Wydowmaker on Feb 09, 2014 at 01:10:59 pm     #  

The Ship n Shore on Front Street.
The Spigot on Western (Many Taps)
The Beer Stube
The Normandy

posted by rch101 on Feb 09, 2014 at 01:11:08 pm     #  

I'll second Charlies Blind Pig except mine was the mid 80's. A waitress was a friend and she'd sell us liquor drinks when we were only 19.(It was beer and wine only if you were 19-20 back then)

Also, Kip's West listening to Shyster or Ebenzer

posted by bucknut on Feb 09, 2014 at 01:14:46 pm     #  

Kelsey's and the Country Palace

posted by daddyg on Feb 09, 2014 at 01:29:45 pm     #  

I remember Abe and his brother sometimes charged a cover at The Pig when it was really busy in the early 90's. The door man Jeff used to let people through he knew and liked. Last time I saw him a few years ago, he was working security at the 7-11 on Bancroft. He told me the other bouncer, Leroy, was now a heroin addict, homeless, and sleeping in Ottawa Park. He's probably dead now.

There are too many small bars to list that have closed the past decade.

Jim & Lou's was a timeless classic until it was torched.

posted by 6th_Floor on Feb 09, 2014 at 01:50:36 pm     #  

Being a child of the 60's:
The Agora
Beir Stube on Tedrow
Benny's East - listening to The Raisin Band and EastRiver Drive
The old Roman Gardens @ Dorr and Secor - the name escapes me now.
Mom and Dads @ airport and Westwood

posted by marving on Feb 09, 2014 at 01:59:43 pm     #  

Met Mrs Hoops @ Kelsey's, so that's on my list

posted by Hoops on Feb 09, 2014 at 02:20:44 pm     #  

Frankies through the entirety of the 90s, really - it was amazing how often I could show up on random nights and find bands I could fall in love with. The quality of the Toledo scene really was insane around then, and there were a lot of great bands from detroit and Cleveland that would stop through as well.

Hell, goober and the peas played pretty much every other month, bringing their bales of hay and fight-starting-drummer every show (a guy you might know better as mr Jack White).

Also of benefit was the insane scene in the basement, with great DJing, no air conditioning, and bartenders who seemed to revel in making things no human should ever have to drink (the car crash).

posted by endcycle on Feb 09, 2014 at 02:21:26 pm     #  

Charlie's Blind Pig... 1990s...I still have the guitar pick the bartender gave me. By the way, was The Blind Pig sign salvaged? I hope it stands proudly in someone's mancave!!

posted by dino on Feb 09, 2014 at 03:34:57 pm     #  

The Pub was a great place to hang to start the night. Also, when i took summer classes at UT it was a great noon destination.

Renee's was awesome.

posted by Molsonator on Feb 09, 2014 at 03:42:06 pm     #  

Does anyone know what the oldest bar is in Toledo that is still a bar yet today?

posted by SherryET on Feb 09, 2014 at 04:31:31 pm     #  

If I had to make a wild guess I would have to say the Oliver House.

posted by Wydowmaker on Feb 09, 2014 at 05:43:04 pm     #  

Molsonator posted at 02:42:06 PM on Feb 09, 2014:

The Pub was a great place to hang to start the night. Also, when i took summer classes at UT it was a great noon destination.

Renee's was awesome.

Pub at noon? Couple of games of pool. Some chicken schwarma from the joint next door, and Kay keeping the beer flowing. Happy times.

posted by justread on Feb 09, 2014 at 05:53:50 pm     #  

endcycle posted at 01:21:26 PM on Feb 09, 2014:

Frankies through the entirety of the 90s, really - it was amazing how often I could show up on random nights and find bands I could fall in love with. The quality of the Toledo scene really was insane around then, and there were a lot of great bands from detroit and Cleveland that would stop through as well.

Hell, goober and the peas played pretty much every other month, bringing their bales of hay and fight-starting-drummer every show (a guy you might know better as mr Jack White).

Also of benefit was the insane scene in the basement, with great DJing, no air conditioning, and bartenders who seemed to revel in making things no human should ever have to drink (the car crash).

Loved TopKat.

posted by justread on Feb 09, 2014 at 05:54:49 pm     #  

SherryET posted at 03:31:31 PM on Feb 09, 2014:

Does anyone know what the oldest bar is in Toledo that is still a bar yet today?

This is actually a really interesting question. There was a place next to Lou's Diner by the train station that might have counted for a while.

Michael's on Monroe street might qualify right now. I know it's been there and mostly unchanged for a really, really long time.

posted by endcycle on Feb 09, 2014 at 06:20:11 pm     #  

Pier 12 just north of the point.

posted by MIJeff on Feb 09, 2014 at 07:00:18 pm     #  

ahmahler, we must have crossed paths in those times. I completely forgot about whitts end. I don't know how many wednesday night rivemen at frankies i had attended. More than I can remember.

posted by nick44 on Feb 09, 2014 at 07:26:13 pm     #  

I remember Pier 12. The same owner had an almost identical place out on Alexis but I can't remember the name. While were on those types of places, Club Riviera on Madison across from the library. I managed that place for a brief time.

posted by Wydowmaker on Feb 09, 2014 at 07:34:15 pm     #  

Thought of a few more from my past.
Carousel on Central ave.
Mr.Entertainer on Sylvania.
Stony Ridge INN. Great house band called the Dixie River Band.
Kip's
Not in Toledo but we were willing to travel for good bands were the Sycamore Grove and Mr. Bojangles. The Grove was near Fostoria and Bojangles was in BG.

posted by Wydowmaker on Feb 09, 2014 at 07:49:54 pm     #  

Nick44-yeah, that was a medium sized group of mostly restaurant peeps. I recall a promotion Frankie's tried once-all you can drink for $10-the end of the night is a blur, but for some reason, it didn't continue.

posted by ahmahler on Feb 09, 2014 at 08:06:58 pm     #  

Does anyone know what the oldest bar is in Toledo that is still a bar yet today?

I would guess the oldest bar is in East Toledo because it was the last part of the older parts of the city to fall apart. Dozens of long-standing bars have closed in East Toledo but below are a few survivors that wouldn't surprise me if one was Toledo's oldest bar.

1. Sportsman Bar - Starr Avenue near E.B.
2. Mad Dog (formerly known as Craig's Beer Barrel)
3. Jordans at Euclid and First St.
4. Rumpus Room on Consaul near Packos.
5. Papa's at White and Liberty St.

Papa's still is one of those real neighborhood bars because it's tucked into an actual neighborhood well off the beaten path. It was called the Bee Gay Inn for many years until about 1990 and the owners lived upstairs for decades. I don't remember if they sold before dying or lived upstairs until their deaths.

posted by 6th_Floor on Feb 09, 2014 at 08:09:07 pm     #  

The Blind Pig!

I went there quite a bit as a senior in high school. Came down from Michigan and stayed with a friend who had moved here. I'll be 40 this year, and to this day I'm pretty sure my parents have no clue I was going to a bar all those weekends. Fun times!

posted by mom2 on Feb 09, 2014 at 08:25:23 pm     #  

Wydowmaker: But if it existed in Toledo before 1993, I probably hit it at least once.

Awesome!

posted by 6th_Floor on Feb 09, 2014 at 08:55:40 pm     #  

6th_Floor posted at 07:09:07 PM on Feb 09, 2014:

Does anyone know what the oldest bar is in Toledo that is still a bar yet today?

I would guess the oldest bar is in East Toledo because it was the last part of the older parts of the city to fall apart. Dozens of long-standing bars have closed in East Toledo but below are a few survivors that wouldn't surprise me if one was Toledo's oldest bar.

1. Sportsman Bar - Starr Avenue near E.B.
2. Mad Dog (formerly known as Craig's Beer Barrel)

3. Jordans at Euclid and First St.

4. Rumpus Room on Consaul near Packos.

5. Papa's at White and Liberty St.

Papa's still is one of those real neighborhood bars because it's tucked into an actual neighborhood well off the beaten path. It was called the Bee Gay Inn for many years until about 1990 and the owners lived upstairs for decades. I don't remember if they sold before dying or lived upstairs until their deaths.

The Sportsman has the date on the building 1933. I think it may be the oldest but I'm not sure how to prove it.

posted by SherryET on Feb 10, 2014 at 07:46:41 am     #  

papa jo's was the best underage drinking establishment... as a high school student friends and i would also go up to fat daryls, 3rd floor of the student union , shoot pool, play arcade games and order pitcher after pitcher. rustys would also serve us if we behaved ourselves... lorraine was our favorite waitress.

i never understood the allure of charlies... that was my brothers bar... i hung at the stein back when spider (joe leffler) and a whole cast of bartenders i knew by name at the time, worked there.

i went to the brass bell some but lived and the pub university during the golden age of the west shavers and loved by millions... at the time became pretty good friends with the owners and we would get invited to stay after hours and continue the party. andy the bouncer was a state arm wrestling champion and a great guy... but dont get on his bad side. would follow the haircuts into the OT whenever they played...

the coach house at cricket west was cool and got dave browning or pat lewandowski in as well as a very young don and joannie coats.

would run up to a bar in michigan by northtown regularly... the out of the way place and what is the biker bar on consaul very near packo's ...but otherwise, very west end centric

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Feb 10, 2014 at 10:06:08 am     #   1 person liked this

wish i had been in town in the 90s to hang at frankies

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Feb 10, 2014 at 10:08:53 am     #  

Haven't drank in 25 years, but I remember the first time I got really sloshed.
I was 19 years old, went to 21 West on Alexis with my boss and another employee.
Never try and match beer for beer with a couple of guys who out weigh you by 100, and 130 lbs respectively.
At least they drove me home. lol

posted by JeepMaker on Feb 10, 2014 at 10:38:23 am     #  

Still miss the old Consaul Tavern

posted by Hoops on Feb 10, 2014 at 10:49:44 am     #  

The OT
Charlie's Blind Pig
The Longhorn Saloon
Kip's on Secor & Monroe
Thunderthigh and Lightfoot

Several of the hotels had bars that were good.

posted by madjack on Feb 10, 2014 at 11:01:53 am     #  

My first legal drink was bought by my Grandmother at Dolly and Joe's.

I remember seeing a lot of bands at Frankie's/Main Event and the Asylum way back when.

posted by MikeyA on Feb 10, 2014 at 11:06:32 am     #  

1. Ottawa Tavern in the early 90s with The Homewreckers.

2. Jed's in the mid-90s, especially the one on Reynolds.

3. Harvey's, mid-90s, with Dan and Don playing.

4. PaPa Joe's on Monroe, 90s, Wednesday nights, 1/2 price pizza, dollar beers, with Rick and Mark bar-tending.

posted by JohnnyMac on Feb 11, 2014 at 12:14:45 am     #  

JonnyMac-Harveys-Post Softball, mid 90's... really good call

posted by ahmahler on Feb 11, 2014 at 01:11:00 am     #  

The original Jed's on Reynolds. (est 1998)
Harveys on Byrne (Est 1995)

Especially Harveys. Some of my best bar times were spent there on a Saturday night listening to Creamy Goodness.

posted by HickoryG on Feb 11, 2014 at 12:07:23 pm     #  

The Seaport !!!! As long as you stayed out of the "backroom" bar, you were okay ......... !!

posted by foodie88 on Feb 11, 2014 at 12:20:16 pm     #  

Now I didn't say it was one of my favorites, just wondered if anyone else remembered it ........ And if you do remember it, you'll know why I feel obligated to point out that it wasn't actually one of my "favorites" ...............

posted by foodie88 on Feb 11, 2014 at 12:21:28 pm     #  

We used to "live" at Buttons and then Glass City Boardwalk. Henry J's and VIP's too!

posted by llz on Feb 11, 2014 at 01:36:23 pm     #  

the coach house at cricket west was cool and got dave browning or pat lewandowski in as well as a very young don and joannie coats.

And a very young Suzanne Harvey behind the bat.

(See: Harvey's.)

posted by justread on Feb 11, 2014 at 02:10:12 pm     #  

Is Suzanne still around?

posted by Molsonator on Feb 11, 2014 at 02:16:25 pm     #  

Bat? I thought I typed "bar."

posted by justread on Feb 11, 2014 at 03:32:33 pm     #  

Foodie88

The Seaport? Yikes even I treaded there lightly and only in a group. But here are some more. Hamdan's, Ship and Shore, The Bomb Shelter, Brendas, the Jackson, The Starlight, The Lincoln lounge and anyone remember Toledo's first openly gay bar? The Twighlight Zone and a friend of mine owned Girls Garters and Lace on Secor. They also owned a jazz club over on Laskey in the old MM shopping center. Can't remember the name.

posted by Wydowmaker on Feb 11, 2014 at 04:02:33 pm     #  

6th_Floor, It seems there was a bar on the east side called Graver's. Another one was farther out on Woodville Rd: The Chief Tecumseh Club (named after a brave Indian who fought in the War of 1812).

posted by flinty on Feb 11, 2014 at 05:04:54 pm     #  

I had heard from a friend about a bar called the woodchuck just on the Michigan side of the state line, heard it was a very dicey place.

posted by MIJeff on Feb 11, 2014 at 05:44:00 pm     #  

Wydowmaker... Maybe I misread you thread but The Ship N Shore on Front Street was never a Gay bar. It was across the street from American Shipbuilding and I assure was not gay. Hard working and hard drinking Hunkies yes, for sure...

The Blade ran a special article about the wonderful lady who owned and ran it. She helped out a lot of working guys down on there luck over the years... I just can't remember her name right now.

posted by rch101 on Feb 11, 2014 at 06:14:47 pm     #  

It was across the street from American Shipbuilding and I assure was not gay. Hard working and hard drinking Hunkies yes, for sure...

I trust anyone who uses the word "Hunkies" in a sentence to know what is and is not a gay bar. :D

posted by justread on Feb 11, 2014 at 06:35:37 pm     #   2 people liked this

Thanks justread... We used to cash our AMSHIP checks there on Fridays. Opening to pass the check in and cash back less the loose change. Then right to the bar. Drinks were already on the bar. You sat where the drink was you wanted like a double shot of Kesslers and Buckeye. Also had a great breakfast there we had before crossing the street and "punching in." I consider that the most enjoyable job I ever had. The best men to work with. I miss those days. We were proud and strong and did good work.

posted by rch101 on Feb 11, 2014 at 06:47:01 pm     #  

Gravers had live turtles crawling around the basement for soup.

posted by SherryET on Feb 11, 2014 at 07:00:47 pm     #  

Rch101

Not the ShipnShore. The Twilight Zone. Sorry I was in a hurry and bad sentence formation. I was drinking in another downtown bar one night when a couple of guys came in and we started talking because the place was mostly empty. They suggested we go over to another place. So I said ok and we walked over to the "zone". None of us were aware it was a gay bar. The looks on our faces must have been priceless. Anyway, we sat down and had a few drinks. The owner came over and talked to us. We met a few of the regulars and all was well. Later Ceasers opened and it became fashionable for straights to visit the gay bars but at one time that could get you "labeled" and cause a problem. But hell, I was never one to worry about labels. I have always had the attitude that I'm straight but not narrow,

posted by Wydowmaker on Feb 12, 2014 at 07:03:02 am     #  

The Pied Piper on Alexis.

posted by Mike21 on Feb 13, 2014 at 04:36:15 pm     #   1 person liked this

Ahmed's on Alexis .......

posted by foodie88 on Feb 18, 2014 at 04:16:12 pm     #  

I worked at VIP's. In retrospect, might have been the best job I ever had.

posted by Dappling2 on Feb 18, 2014 at 06:43:55 pm     #