Best place to take your family to eat

Mariah Alanskas, Reporter

FIRST: Mike’s Place

Mike’s Place, located at 1700 S. Water Street, is known for its extravagant decor.

Walking into Mike’s Place can be slightly overwhelming, but that’s part of the charm of the place. The restaurant’s elaborate decor, wacky nature and extensive menu is what made Mike’s Place a Kent signature.

Matt Morgan, a Mike’s Place supervisor, explained these three things contribute to the “family-like” feeling Mike’s provides.

“Our reasonable prices with the amount of food we give out is very fair,” Morgan said. “All our stuff is country-style, homemade kind of country kitchen feel, and there are also a lot of unique things here, including the atmosphere.”

Mike’s Place promotes themselves as a family-started and family-based restaurant where both staff members and customers are treated like family.

“You can always pick out a fresh Kent State student because they come in and they have this sense of awe because it’s just so different and unique here,” Morgan said.

SECOND: Ray’s Place

Bartender Chris Allen refills a drink for customers eating at the bar at Ray’s Place on March 20. Ray’s is located at 135 Franklin Ave. (Kaitlyn Finchler)

Ray’s Place isn’t exactly a surprise on this list, as it has been a beloved local Kent bar and restaurant since 1937.

“Ray’s has been around so long and has a lot of tradition over the years,” said Charlie Thomas, the owner of Ray’s Place. “A lot of families have come here, and their kids are going here, and their kids are going here.”

Tradition isn’t the only thing that keeps the community of Kent coming back to Ray’s through the generations.

“We have great food, obviously great drink and great people working with us,” Thomas said. “A lot of that goes together.”

THIRD: Bellaria’s

Belleria has deep historical roots. Originally opened in 1953 in Youngstown, Belleria has expanded all over Northeast Ohio, including Kent.

The owner of Bellerias, Tom, makes a pizza in the kitchen of his restaurant. (Sophia Lucente )

“We’re very family oriented, it’s run by a family,” said Haley Scarberry, a manager and server. “It’s quiet, smaller, it’s not loud and crazy. There’s not a full bar here. It’s kind of hidden.”

Belleria’s customer base consists largely of families in addition to the Kent campus crowd, Scarberry said. She also mentioned many families take advantage of their larger party deals.

“We sell a lot of the pasta tubs, it serves four to six people,” Scarberry said. “We have a special for that on Wednesday.”

Belleria has remained in the Bella family since the 1950s and now offers franchising opportunities.

Mariah Alanskas is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].