Photo by Shane Wynn
Guests in costume at The Masque of the Red Death Halloween event at The Akron Civic Theatre on October 25, 2014.
Whether you enjoy cool jazz in a New York City-style club, sipping a smooth Cabernet surrounded by eclectic works of art, or rockin’ out to your favorite bands under an outdoor (or indoor!) starry-night sky, here are some of the best live-music venues Downtown Akron has to offer.
Jilly’s Music Room: Located in Downtown Akron’s historic Northside District, Jilly’s Music Room invites you to come down and listen to live music Wednesday through Saturday nights. Stay a while and enjoy an eclectic assortment of tapas and craft cocktails, or choose from one (or two or three) of their 100 beers. All of Jilly’s menu items are gluten-free, and Jilly’s Music Room offers live music of every genre, including Rock, Pop, Blues, Indie and more. Jilly’s Music Room, 111 North Main St., Akron. www.jillysmusicroom.com.
BLU Jazz+: Reminiscent of a retro New York City jazz club, BLU Jazz+ has a metropolitan feel that’s situated right in the heart of the historic Downtown Akron arts district. Enjoy something tasty from the “Black and BLU”-inspired menu while sipping one of the many signature cocktails made from premium liquors. Peruse the jazz memorabilia and photography gallery or kick back and relax to the dulcet tones of some of the best live jazz Akron has to offer. BLU Jazz+ houses a cool vibe within a cozy, nostalgic venue. BLU Jazz+, 47 East Market St., Akron. blujazzakron.com
Musica: This refurbished warehouse concert venue hosts live acts and events, including alternative music, tribute bands, local craft shows and karaoke Thursdays. You can even rent Musica’s space for private events, but make sure all the catering is provided by Urban Eats, Musica’s hidden gem of a cafe. They offer food made by a professional Akron-born chef as well as a full coffee and espresso menu. The cafe also serves Mary Coyle ice cream, as well as some varieties of gelatos and sorbets. The monthly menu for Urban Eats can be found at www.urbaneatsmusica.com and daily specials are posted on Facebook and Instagram. Musica 51 East Market St., Akron. www.liveatmusica.com.
Gone Country: Downtown Akron’s country bar offers a variety of entertainment. Put your boots and your cowboy hat on and join the fun while line dancing to your favorite live band or DJ, laugh at your favorite comedian, or join the Gone Country billiard team. If you are brave enough, you can even try your hand at mechanical bull-riding, but we recommend you take advantage of their drink specials after your bovine adventure. Gone Country, 370 Paul Williams St., Akron. www.facebook.com/akrongonecountrybar.
Akron Civic Theatre: Formerly the famous Loew’s Theatre, and one of the last remaining theaters opened by Marcus Loew, the Civic is an excellent example of the great movie palaces of the 1920s. Walk through the grand lobby, designed to resemble a Moorish castle. Sit in one of 5,000 seats and watch the domed ceiling’s “sky” come to life with twinkling stars and drifting clouds. Whether you have come to enjoy your favorite band, comedian, ballet, musical or even catch a glimpse of the Mighty Wurlitzer organ, Akron Civic Theatre has something for everyone and has been entertaining audiences for about 85 years. Akron Civic Theatre, 182 South Main St., Akron. www.akroncivic.com
The University of Akron’s E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall: E.J. was named in honor of the late Edwin J. Thomas, the former Chairman and CEO of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. This University of Akron-owned facility is home to the Akron Symphony Orchestra, and hosts a variety of programs, including the University Forum Speaker Series, the Broadway Series, Tuesday Musical, Akron Youth Symphony and the Children’s Concert Society. One of the highlights of E.J. Thomas Hall is the movable 44-ton ceiling, which closes off the Flying and Grand balconies, creating a multi-level auditorium. E.J. Thomas Hall, 198 Hill St., Akron. www.uaevents.com.
Lock 3: The name, “Lock 3 Park,” comes from the designation of the third of 24 locks of the Ohio-Erie Canal system. Removal in the 1990s of the parking deck of the famous department store, O’Neil’s, exposed the remains of the American Marble & Toy Manufacturing Company, which has since become the Marble Museum. Lock 3, Downtown Akron’s hub for outdoor entertainment, is located between the museum and the Akron Civic Theatre and has become the host to some of Akron’s biggest events. From live concerts and ceremonies to winter ice-skating and sledding, Lock 3 has become a year-round, favorite downtown venue to about 65,000 visitors per year. The Ohio-Erie canal can still be seen on the north side of the amphitheater. Lock 3, 200 South Main St., Akron. www.lock3live.com.
Uncorked Wine Bar: Housed in the Curtiss Press Building, where long ago, seamstresses made sports, fireman and police uniforms, as well as tents, is Uncorked Wine Bar. Located in the Akron historic arts district, Uncorked is a uniquely intimate space used for art receptions, live music events, public wine tastings and private parties. Choose something delicious from the tapas menu while you sip a glass of wine. Enjoy works of art, get cozy with your friends and chat, or dance the night away to lively music by local and national musicians. Uncorked also hosts painting classes, as well as trivia and Salsa nights, and is a must for any wine lover looking for a worldwide wine selection poured by a knowledgeable staff. Uncorked Wine Bar, 22 North High St., Akron. www.uncorkedakron.com.