A simple introduction to the thriving local music scene

William L. Teckmyer III

Leaving behind the beach blankets and swimsuits of summer for the textbooks and lectures of the fall semester may seem a little dry and claustrophobic.

So, be sure to get plenty of rest, eat right, floss daily and overload your senses with as much live entertainment as you possibly can.

There are plenty of places to inundate yourself with live entertainment in Kent and the surrounding area. From the intimate settings of the Zephyr Pub in downtown Kent to the more large-scale venues around Cleveland, everything is within reach.

So here’s a starter’s guide to some of the places where you can slake your thirst for live entertainment.


Mugs Brew Pub

This venue has tastefully mingled the décor of an early-‘90s sports bar with the atmosphere of a harder edge, college hangout.

The typical sports bar usually has something like a female revue with women engaging in a slow strip tease on-stage. So does Mugs — once a year.

The typical college hangout bar might feature things like a patio (so the loud atmosphere can be enjoyed by the whole town) and a stage that readily features local bands. So does Mugs — regularly.

The upstairs has a full bar and is laid out to accommodate band performances. During nice weather, the patio features acoustic shows and DJs several times a month, said Kent State student and bartender Hardip “Dips” Tukhar, 26.

For more information on the bar’s shows and drink selections call (330) 673-7822.

Zephyr Pub

Located near the corner of Main and Water streets, the Zephyr serves as a regular showcase for local bands.

The bar has the feel of a coffee shop and bar hybrid, lending itself to a studious atmosphere during the day. Since it’s conversion from a coffee shop to a bar, a fish tank sitting over the downstairs bar has been added to the décor.

“This bar exists specifically to appeal to the college crowd,” said 26-year-old Kent resident and Zephyr bartender, Burke Podany.

The bar’s indie rock overtones are determined largely by its clientele, Podany said. But the bartenders and owners also have a large hand in creating the atmosphere. Several of them have played for, or are currently in, local bands.

The bar also contributes to the local art scene with occasional art openings and local art displayed throughout the bar.

The Zephyr offers full service bars on each of its two floors, complete with a number of draft beers. On nights when there’s no live music, each floor holds one of what Podany called “the two best jukeboxes in Kent.”

The bar’s most recent addition is an outdoor patio that stretches from Franklin Avenue to Water Street.

The upstairs bar opens to customers at 10 p.m., and happy hour runs from 5 to 9 p.m. daily.

For upcoming shows and drink specials, or to submit artwork, check the Zephyr’s Web site at www.zephyrpub.com.

Europe Gyro Pizza

While many of the bands that perform at Euro Gyro typically have a harder edge — whether that be punk or metal — the bar has what bartender Mo Pickering, 22, calls a melting-pot atmosphere.

Regular Euro Gyro customer Reo Fauser, 28, drummer for local band Bubblegun, said he’s seen everything from art-rock to rap at the bar. Fauser, whose ’70s-style heavy metal band has played at the bar several times, said that the venue is a comfortable place to see a show.

It’s not just about the beer and the music, though.

As the name might suggest, an ample menu is provided for in-house customers or for delivery into the early morning hours. Selections range from the traditional gyro to the “Guy on the Couch” steak sandwich to stromboli and burgers. Vegetarian-friendly pitas, pizza, gyros and subs are also offered.

For the full menu and a schedule of upcoming bands visit Europe Gyro’s Web site at www.europegyro.com.

Be sure to check out other venues such as the Electric Community Center and Club Khameleon on Water Street.


These venues will require a vehicle and the burning of fuel, but don’t let the distance stop you.

The Lime Spider

This downtown Akron bar is host to many local and national acts. Over the last four years it has grown to be a main venue around the Akron music scene.

There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to Spider events. Scheduled activities include frequent Board Nights (for those with an itching’ for board games) and regular Movie Nights (usually this means B-movies).

The bar boasts one of the area’s largest beer selections with an average roster of 170 different brews to choose from.

To check out the bar’s calendar of events or review menu and the list of beers, go to www.thelimespider.com.

Thursday’s Lounge

Started as a dance club in the early ’80s, the venue eventually made the move to a more alternative/indie scene.

The dance floor is still fully functional, but it’s certainly not a normal Top-40 atmosphere. Today, patrons crowd the floor and move to selections from artists such as Franz Ferdinand, Beck, Modest Mouse, David Bowie and occasionally Radiohead.

The venue has an overt local indie music draw, but it has also hosted acts such as Henry Rollins.

To view the events calendar and to get directions, go www.thursdayslounge.com.

Contact performing arts and entertainment reporter William L. Teckmyer III at [email protected].