Updated: Jul 31
After a decade in downtown Canton, one of Northeast Ohio’s best-known live music venues aims to bring their business to Akron’s Music Row.
On Sept. 24, Buzzbin Music & Art Shop will hold “Benefit for the Bin,” a multi-venue concert event to raise funds for what Buzzbin owners Chris and Julia Bentley hope will be their future home on Kenmore Boulevard.
Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance Promoter and Experience Manager Corey Jenkins learned of Buzzbin’s impending closure in The Canton Repository. He immediately contacted Chris to see if he’d have an interest in relocating Buzzbin to Kenmore and connected him with The Rialto Theatre co-owner Seth Vaill in hopes of offering a booking solution to Buzzbin’s displaced shows in the interim.
“I was contacted by Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance to come visit and see what was happening there and I stopped in on the July 1 Kenmore First Friday,” Chris said. “I was blown away by the location and the awesome sense of artistic/music community!”
The following week, Chris took a walk down the Boulevard and was given a tour of 952 Kenmore Blvd.
“I thought it was absolutely perfect for Buzzbin,” Chris said of the former bar located between 13th and 14th Streets. “It has everything that Buzzbin would need to be successful.”
Chris immediately fell in love with Kenmore and the space, and brought Julia to see it later that same week. She agreed it was the ideal new home for Buzzbin and they began working with the building’s owner to make a deal.
The building, which opened in 1916 as Morris Wiener’s furnishing and shoes, is perhaps best remembered as the Ideal Nite Club, which lasted from 1950 through the 1990s. Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance has been hosting pop-up music events there since the Kenmore Better Block in 2017.
“It’s the Better Block way of economic development,” said Tina Boyes, KNA’s executive director. “First, allow people to experience a space as vibrant. Inspire imagination and hope. Then, make connections. Keep inviting people in. After a while, it sells itself: The guitar shops, the recording studios. The music venues. The supportive residents and business owners. Kenmore is a great place for a business, especially a music business.”
The Rialto Theatre co-owner Seth Vaill sees the addition of Buzzbin as enhancing the Boulevard’s musical offerings.
“We’re all here in the same area trying to do the same thing, so it’s important to help each other out when we can,” Seth said. “The addition of Buzzbin to the neighborhood is going to be huge for Kenmore Boulevard and will help to bring more musicians and music lovers here.”
The Bentleys plan to have their new home in Kenmore at least semi-operational by Halloween.
“In all reality Buzzbin could be up and running and having shows in a few weeks,” Chris said, adding that “everything hinges on how fast we can obtain our licenses and permits.”
In the meantime, you can catch upcoming “Buzzbin Presents” shows at the Rialto Theatre, including Twin Lizard and Night Goat on July 30, and punk/metal band First Jason on August 23. First Jason is led by Ari Lehman - the first actor to portray Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th horror film franchise.