Weaving a web

Lime Spider’s fourth anniversary celebration ‘covers all the bases’

Hammer Damage reunites after 20 years to celebrate the Lime Spiders’ anniversary.

Credit: Beth Rankin

There’s no other bar around with a beer list this long.

There’s no other venue around with a line-up this long.

And you would be hard pressed to find a room with as much culture.

But with far more than beer under its belt, The Lime Spider in Akron celebrated its 4-year anniversary last weekend.

Reaching for the record sitting next to a bottle of Jägermeister, Danny Basone explained how he got the name for his bar — off of the album cover.

“I wanted to use a band name as the name of the bar and The Electric Frankenstein was already taken,” said Basone, owner of The Lime Spider.

Since opening four years ago, it has quickly gained a reputation as the major venue in the Akron area.

“It’s becoming a landmark in Akron already,” said Leon Markham, 32, an Akron resident and regular Spider patron. Markham, like some, was skeptical when the Spider took the place of its predecessor, Mr. Bilbo’s.

“I was a fan of Bilbo’s,” said Markham. “But then I came to a few shows here, and met Danny. Now I love the place.”

When Basone started the bar, he had a clear goal in mind: “Non-mainstream.”

That goal was reinforced by the unique festivities surrounding the bar’s four-year anniversary celebration.

No Ordinary Cheese


Chef Rick Rhodes, joined on stage by DJ Tom Skosige, kicked off the celebration with the return of the Grilled Cheese Festival.

The festival not only honored the classic sandwich, but offered more surprising twists on the mild-mannered classic. Rhodes, in a denim jumpsuit and black beret, offered an array of non-traditional toppings for the sandwiches including hot mango, artichoke and palm bruschetta and strawberries.

“When they said ‘hot mango,’ they weren’t playing around,” said Akron resident Kevin Rapp in between gulps from his beer.

Meanwhile, Skosige matched the quirky mood of the event with an eclectic musical mix of rare imports and smooth beats collected on his world travels.

“This is obviously the best venue in Akron,” said Rhodes, a regular patron of the bar when he’s not cooking grilled cheese on stage. “Where else can you go and find this kind of subculture?”

The festival is the type of unconventional entertainment that has helped the bar develop its name. In addition to movie nights and regular board game nights, The Lime Spider also hosts the Big Art Show, a showcase dedicated to artists in the ever-expanding local art scene.

Hammer Damage


Friday night was a night of remembrance.

In the late ’70s, Akron was known as a breeding ground for post-punk music era, Basone said.

At the head of this musical phenomenon was a band that many feel embodied the spirit of the movement – Hammer Damage.

“They were lighting up like a storm,” said Denny Trogdon, recalling the band’s early days. “They had a following and a half.”

The band, much like The Lime Spider today, helped to revive a struggling music scene. The members were not only known for their commitment to music, but for their commitment to Akron as well. In the midst of a mass exodus of musical talent from the area, Hammer Damage stood by its city.

“This is our home town, there’s no reason not to be proud of it,” Hammer said.

“I have been all over the world and there isn’t a venue that covers the bases like this one.”

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