Goodbye to Rosemont Country Club, Thursday's Lounge, Tangier and more. These Greater Akron businesses closed in 2020
Some we’ve known forever and some we barely got to know. Either way, they’re gone and will be missed. Here are some of the places that closed permanently in 2020 in Summit County.
Rosemont Country Club
It should have been a centennial celebration for Rosemont Country Club. Instead, it closed. Rosemont announced Jan. 4 it was shutting down. The Fairlawn club was founded in 1920 for Jewish men because no Greater Akron club would allow them to join in the early 20th century. A private developer plans to build homes and condos on the property off Cleveland-Massillon Road.
Macy’s revealed Jan. 6 it was closing its Stow-Kent Plaza location after 55 years. The Stow department store opened in 1965 as O’Neil’s, renamed as the May Co. in 1989 and switched to Kaufmann’s in 1992 before Macy’s acquired it in 2006. The U.S. retailer had closed more than 100 stores in the previous year.
Rm. 727 Gastropub
The year had barely gotten started when Rm. 727 Gastropub shut down in January at 231 Darrow Road in Ellet. Ethan and Aileen Moore opened the Akron pub in May 2018 in the former Duffy’s Restaurant & Grill.
Natural and organic grocery Earth Fare closed all 40 of its locations in January, including its store in the Shops of Fairlawn in Montrose. Founded in 1975, the North Carolina chain entered the Ohio market in 2011 with the Fairlawn store.
The Kmart era came to an end Feb. 2 when the Tallmadge store closed at 555 South Ave. The retail chain, which peaked with 2,323 stores in 1994, imploded over the past two decades. Kmart opened its first store in Summit County on Kent Road in 1969.
Pots & Pans
Pots & Pans, a Jamaican restaurant at 325 S. Main St., closed in February after losing business during the downtown Akron reconstruction project. Simone Caldwell had opened the restaurant in 2017. After its entrance was blocked by construction, the business tried to go delivery only, but it was evicted weeks later.
Western Fruit Basket
The Western Fruit Basket, famous for its Greek pastries and gift baskets, wrapped up business in February at East Market and North Summit streets in downtown Akron. Trifon Zaharopoulos opened the store around 1914 and his family operated it until the early 1960s. Later owners included the Kipper, Detorakis and Megois families.
Struggling Chapel Hill Mall lost its last retail anchor when J.C. Penney closed April 24. The retailer confirmed Jan. 17 that it would shut down its Chapel Hill location. The store had opened in August 1967 as one of the mall’s original department stores.
Levin Furniture (Montrose)
Levin Furniture closed during the pandemic when its parent company, Art Van Furniture, filed for bankruptcy. The store had opened in December 2005 in a former Super K store in Copley. Robert Levin, who had sold the company in 2017, reacquired its assets in 2020, but the Montrose site was liqui.
Brubaker’s Pub suffered a double whammy in Akron. The 22-year-old restaurant at 357 S. Main St. shut down in March and never reopened. Operator Carol Magazzeni cited downtown construction, COVID-19 restrictions and an expiring lease as factors. On Oct. 18, the Chapel Hill location closed, too. Magazzeni cited Chapel Hill’s decline and COVID-19 for that closing.
On Tap Grille & Bar
On Tap Grille & Bar shut down its Stow location at 4396 Kent Road, leaving the Cuyahoga Falls and Medina restaurants as the last in the chain. Brothers John and Art Michaels opened the first location in 1982 in Northampton Township, now Cuyahoga Falls. The Stow location opened in 2005.
Our Daily Bread
Our Daily Bread has folded at 270 West Ave. in Tallmadge. It began as a cottage industry in 2009, baking bread for farmers markets. Susan Littell and Ron Hart opened the Christian-inspired bakery in 2011.
Twisted Grill & Grind
Twisted Grill & Grind lasted five months on Copley Circle. Owner Julianna Trunko celebrated the grand opening Dec. 22, 2019, at 1442 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road. The family restaurant closed May 26 amid occupancy restrictions over COVID-19. It vowed to return as a food truck.
Kathy’s Preschool Center
Dated back to the mid-1970s, Kathy’s Preschool Center in Cuyahoga Falls closed in June at 261 S. Main St. in Munroe Falls, where it has been located since 1991. The 45-year-old business cited the pandemic. A Stow day care, Small Steps - Big Strides, purchased the building and plans to move into it.
Golden Corral (Macedonia)
All-you-can-eat buffets weren’t made for pandemics. Golden Corral announced in mid-June that it would not reopen its location at 8261 Golden Link Blvd. in Macedonia following a COVID-19 shutdown. The family-dining restaurant had been open since about 2000.
Innovative Fabrications, which opened in 2018 in the former Wrayco Industries factory at 858 Seasons Road in Stow, moved to Detroit over the summer. In Stow, the specialty contract manufacturer turned out welded and painted products for construction, agriculture and industrial customers.
Yankee Candle Co. (Stow)
The Yankee Candle Co. dimmed in July at 4248 Kent Road in Stow. The store, which specialized in scented candles and gifts, opened in February 2012 in the former Borders Books & Music location. It was the chain’s 611th location.
Thursday’s Lounge had its last call Aug. 29 at 306 E. Exchange St. in Akron. Fred and Barb Nemr had opened the bar in 1983 near the University of Akron. Their son Mario Nemr had contemplated closing the business as attendance declined among college students, but the pandemic hastened the decision.
Temos's Candy Co.
Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter won’t be the same without Temo’s Candy Co. in Akron. Christ L. Temo opened the Five Points chocolate shop at 495 W. Exchange St. in 1947. His sons Larry and Jim operated the business for decades. Jim died in 2018 at age 84 and his older brother Larry opted not to reopen the shop in September after the customary summer shutdown.
Raycade powered down Sept. 27 at 816 W. Market St. in Akron. The Highland Square bar with arcade games opened in 2017 at the former site of Ray’s Pub, which moved to a new building across the street. Owner Ray Nemer said coronavirus restrictions and an expiring lease prompted the decision to close.
Kirbie’s Meats & Catering
Kirbie’s Meats & Catering in Stow shut down in October after 38 years in business. Owner Kris Burns said the store had lost half of its business, namely catering, amid COVID-19 restrictions. He and his father, Kirbie, opened the store on Bailey Road in Cuyahoga Falls in 1982 before moving to 4062 Fishcreek Road in Stow in 1997. \
Louie’s Bar & Grille
Louie’s Bar & Grille, a North Hill landmark for 28 years at 739 E. Glenwood Ave., closed Oct. 18. Owner Dave “Louie” Khoury cited COVID-19 restrictions. Louie’s was famous for its award-winning burgers, which won several hamburger contests in Akron.
Retro Dog, a family-owned restaurant with car-hop service, closed Oct. 18 after eight years at 350 E. Steels Corners Road in Cuyahoga Falls. Known for its gourmet hot dogs, burgers and craft root beer, the eatery opened in June 2012. Co-owners Lisa Bruno said the remote location and seasonal weather had always been a challenge, but the pandemic was the last straw.
BARF’s Small Engine Repair
For the name alone, it will be missed. BARF’s Small Engine Repair has packed up its wrenches at 29 Gay Road in Munroe Falls. Rex A. Forshey opened the shop in 2008. It repaired and serviced small engine equipment, including mowers, lawn tractors and snowblowers. The unusual acronym appears to be a combination of Barb and Rex Forshey’s names.
Goodwill's Tallmadge store
Goodwill Industries closed its store Nov. 22 at Midway Plaza in Tallmadge. Vice President Dee Dee Collura said “eliminating the fixed cost of a store site will help offset expenses incurred during this challenging year due to COVID-19.” Goodwill had been at the plaza since 1987.
The Moonglow Lounge in Northfield closed before Thanksgiving. Kevin Moore and Hadley Conner had opened the Vegas-style cocktail bar in August 2019 at 85 W. Aurora Road. The retro lounge blamed its closing on COVID-19 restrictions.
Maxion Wheels announced that it would shut down its Akron plant at 428 Seiberling St. by December. The plant, which opened in 1927, made steel wheels for commercial vehicles. The company is headquartered in Brazil.
Scratch Kitchen & Catering
Scratch Kitchen & Catering, which opened in March 2019 at 137 East Ave. in Tallmadge Center Plaza, closed during the pandemic. The 26-seat restaurant served “handcrafted artisan food with a twist.” Missy Hatch and Hope Grubich were co-owners.
Circle City Carpet
Established in 1985, Circle City Carpet used to advertise: “Our low prices will floor you!” The Tallmadge business called it quits this year at 345 West Ave. According to an undated message on its website, “After 35 years we have decided to retire, it has been a pleasure working with you.”
Amcor Flexibles announced in December that it plans to close its plant on Akron-Peninsula Road in the Merriman Valley. The Australian-American company develops and produces packaging for food, pharmaceutical, medical and other products. Layoffs will begin in January and continue until May.
Capping off the year, Akron’s iconic Tangier restaurant revealed in December that it had been sold to the LeBron James Family Foundation, which plans to turn the complex at 532 W. Market St. into a retail, dining and event community space by 2022. Founder Edward A. George opened Tangier in 1954 at 663 E. Exchange St.
Beacon Journal reporter Krista S. Kano contributed to this report. Mark J. Price can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.