Kent Says Goodbye to “The Prince of Thieves”

Allison Smith

The news of the possible demolition of the Robin Hood has disappointed two former employees of the former restaurant and bar.

Kim Brown, account clerk for the City of Kent’s building department said Christine Coven, the owner of the building, was issued a demolition permit on April 21.

“They do have permission from the city of Kent to demolish the building,” Brown said. “Right now the contractor is checking it over, and they will try to remove some of the interior before it happens.”

Brown said she doesn’t know when the Robin Hood will be demolished, but the buildings department will have to go in and inspect it before it happens.

Matthew Roads and Helen Dix both worked at the Robin Hood during their college years but in different eras.

Matthew Roads lived in Kent for six years and worked at the Robin Hood for five years. His jobs varied from bartender to head of security to booking the shows before it closed in the summer of 2010.

“There wasn’t much warning,” he said. “It was kind of a lease thing between the landlord and the owner.”

Roads said he heard about the possibility that the Robin Hood will be demolished through the newspaper and on Facebook.

“It’s a bummer, the Robin Hood, being so close to campus,” he said, “it has so much potential still but it seems the pattern was it kind of came in and out over the years.”

He said he was a DJ on Thursday nights for the last two years and performed part of his band, Tropidelic.

“I still play in it up here in Cleveland,” he said, “but that was a big part of why I was always there and had so many good times there, too.”

Dix was a waitress at the Robin Hood in the 1930s when it was a restaurant.

“It’s breaking my heart,” she said. “I feel bad. Any place you have a pleasant time, you feel bad about it (being demolished).”

Dix said she had a lot of fun with her fellow workers.

“I just served and on Saturdays we had to scrub the furniture and clean the place. We had a good time,” she said. “It was companionship, really. The wrestling team worked in the kitchen, they washed the dishes.”

Dix said she came to Kent State because she got a job at the Robin Hood.

“I had a high school teacher that had gone to Kent and he took me down and they interviewed me at the Robin Hood and offered me a job, and so that’s why I went,” she said.

She said the Robin Hood was a high-class restaurant back when she worked there.

“It was a very respectable (restaurant),” she said. “People used to come from Cleveland for Sunday dinners. And it was a nice place.”

She can’t remember the last time she visited the Robin Hood, but it was before it turned into a bar.

“It’s a nice memory. It was a nice place,” she said.

Roads said he has good memories from working and playing at the Robin Hood.

“All I can say is, goodbye prince of thieves.”

Contact Allison Smith at [email protected].