Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Mighty Soul Night at Uncorked Wine Bar

The Mighty Soul Night at Uncorked Wine Bar
by Brit Charek

This Mighty Soul Night, a coalition made up of DJs Ben Crazy, Robert El Prezidente and Forrest GetemGump, is taking over Uncorked Wine Bar one Saturday every month starting this weekend through the rest of the summer.

"We aren't flashy DJs trying to shove garbage down your throat," says Ben Fulkman, aka DJ Ben Crazy. "We really love the music that we spin, and would be doing it in our bedrooms if we couldn't play out anywhere else."

DJ Ben Crazy

You might know Ben from the all-vinyl funk night at the Matinee he's been running since 2006, or as the man behind the music at the bi-annual Crafty Mart at Musica, or from "Bring Your Own Vinyl Night" at Uncorked, which was the catalyst for the Mighty Soul Night.

Robert El Prezidente

Robert El Prezidente has been DJ'ing and record collecting for more than twenty years. He hosts the all vinyl radio show Soul Elixir on 88.7 WJCU, which has been Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm for two years now. 

Forrest GetemGump, internationally known and respected, has been DJ'ing and record collecting for almost thirty years now. After his recent move back from NYC, he opened his own record shop, Calhoun Records, in Firestone Park (356 Reed Ave 44301), the only shop in town that exclusively sells vinyl. The shop specializes in funk, soul, jazz, and hip hop and attracts collectors from around the nation. 

Forrest Getem Gump

"I had known Forrest from back in the days when he used to host an all vinyl funk night on the Lime Spider rooftop," says Ben. "I had known Robert through the vinyl collectors circle but never really knew him." 

That is, until he started showing up to Bring Your Own Vinyl Night. Robert suggested that they combine forces, along with their mutual Forrest, and start doing an all vinyl night that featured Funk, Soul, Jazz, Disco, Boogie, Samba, and Latin. 

Just then, a trifecta of soul-spinning harmony was formed. The Mighty Soul Night has now been in operation for almost a year. Ben says they have "big plans for 2014 and hope to have a variety of guest DJ's and musicians." 

You can catch the Mighty Soul Night this Saturday May 31st starting at 9pm at Uncorked Wine Bar, located at 22 N. High Street in downtown Akron. 

They will be returning June 28th, July 19th and August 23rd. For more information and to keep up, make sure to "like" their Facebook page.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

NOTO Summer Fashion Show

NOTO Presents: Vintage Americana (2014)
by Joanna Wilson

One of the most anticipated events of the summer is NOTO's fashion show, Saturday June 7th.  NOTO,  the downtown boutique, each year hosts this exciting event with runway fashions, cool sparkly drinks, music, vendors, and more.  Last year, I attended this fabulous event--read my review of last year's NOTO fashion show again.

Akron Art Walk and Fashion Show Highlights from Ted Sikora on Vimeo.

Check out this video of last year's fashion show and the other Art Walk events that same night.  This year's show theme is Vintage Americana--imagine a balmy summer night with picnic blankets, fireflies, and fashion!  At the show, you'll be able to enjoy the signature drink, a Notini, and a surprise musical guest.  The event takes place at the Trolley Barn (behind Austen BioInnovation) on Main Street downtown--a stop on the monthly scheduled events with the June Art Walk which is also downtown that same evening.  Tickets for the NOTO summer fashion show are $30 each--you don't want to miss out on this kick-off summer event.  Tickets available at  Spread the word, invite your girlfriends, and join Akron Empire at the fashion event of the season.

Have you ever been to a runway fashion show before?  Here's your chance to experience a bit of style and sophistication right here in Akron.  Photo from last year's NOTO fashion show.

For more information, check out the NOTO Presents: Vintage Americana event page on Facebook.

NOTO Fashion Show
Saturday, June 7th, 2014 8PM

The Trolley Barn (behind Austen BioInnovation)
47 North Main Street
Akron, OH 44308

Tickets are $30 each and include fashion show admission, 2 drink tokens, seating, and a rocking good time!

Tickets available at


Friday, May 23, 2014

Sarah's Vineyard and Winery in Cuyahoga Falls

Akron Empire is excited to introduce guest blogger Jackee Janoco Clark!

Jackee grew up in Bedford and attended Kent State University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design. She has been employed at Virginia Tile Company for the last 13 years. She creates "Artables" in her free time, where she uses discontinued tiles, wine corks and other found objects. She sells her one-of-a-kind pieces in several local shops, and at various art & craft shows. If she's not making something, you can find her camping or gardening.

Sarah's Vineyard & Winery
by Jackee Janoco Clark

I spent a recent Sunday afternoon with a friend at Sarah's Vineyard & Winery and we had a wonderful experience. We arrived around 2 pm on a sunny day. We walked into a cheerful and bustling environment. They had two private events going on that day so people were coming and going.

As soon as we walked into the main bar area the staff was very accommodating. They answered our questions about some of the wines we were interested in. You can purchase by the taste, glass, 1/2 carafe, full carafe or bottles to go. It is a seat yourself kind of place and we chose a table outside on the back deck to take in the beautiful scenery. It was the perfect spot to soak up some sun. There was not an empty seat in the house and everyone was very upbeat enjoying the fresh air. 

Ok now for the important part: the wine! Our first choice was the white Golden Solstice. I am a fan of sweet things so this was a perfect choice for me, very tasty. It was made with Niagara grapes grown near Lake Erie. Then we just had to try the red sangria with fresh fruit. It was very refreshing and went down way to easy. We were wishing we would have requested the full carafe! Our final choice of the day was the red Sweet Elisa. The subtle flavor of Concord grapes confirmed that it was another wise decision. 

We also enjoyed a fruit, cheese & cracker plate which was perfect along with our wine tastings. I definitely want to go back to try the wood fired pizzas which are offered on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. I was here once before to attend a wedding shower and I must say both of my visits were really enjoyable.

Another fun thing is you can check out the artwork inside while you sip. It is a mix of glass, pottery, and other unique pieces. I would recommended to visit for a date night or a girls day out!

Sarah's Vineyard & Winery
1204 W Steels Corners Rd, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
(330) 929-8057

For more info, check out Sarah's Vineyard's Website or like them on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Allie M. Designs

Allie M. Designs: Jewelry, Clothing, and More
by Joanna Wilson

Now that Spring has finally sprung, it is such a treat to walk around and see what's going on.  One change I've noticed is Allie M. Designs has moved!  Her shop is still downtown but now it is located right next to Urban Eats on Maiden Lane.  (It used to be around the corner on High Street).  This new location gives Allie M. Designs a boost in foot traffic and an opportunity for more people to discover the special treasures available inside.  She has been in her new location since January this year.

Do you know where Musica is located?  Next to that is Urban Eats--and the shop next door is Allie M. Designs.

Allie M. Designs centers around her custom, personalized jewelry line that she makes in-store.  The jewelry is bracelets, necklaces, and accents that incorporate a wide variety of charms.  The charms feature a wide variety of styles including maps, text and slogans, cute animals, colored glass, spices--her imagination is unlimited.  Select whichever charms you like for a one-of-kind expression for your wrist or for around your neck.

The jewelry is literally the center of the store, and displayed from a hanging table.

Easily customize each piece of jewelry with various charms--or select what you like as a gift for someone else!

The store includes more goodies than just the unique line of jewelry.  There are also women's clothes,
specially brought in from Los Angeles.  If you're looking for a simple, vintage style in comfortable, casual clothes, you'll want to check out her line.

Now that warmer weather has arrived, I'm ready to slip into these soft, comfortable fashions.

Allie M. Designs also includes consigned items from local artists as well.  I recognized t-shirts by Sickle & Sullivan Printmakers, jewelry and key chains by Kool Platez, and more.  She also has a shelf full of essential oils.  The shop owner is a frequent vendor at local arts & crafts shows so she meets the best of the other professional local artists.  During the next Art Walk--June 7th (and the first Saturday of every month)--drop into Allie M. Designs and let her know how much you like her new location.

Allie M. Designs is located at 51 E. Market Street, Akron OH 44308
(330) 760-1240
She's usually open during the week 10am-3pm, and additional hours when there's a special event nearby.

Check out her facebook page Allie M. Designs for more information and additional links.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Countryside Farmers' Market in Peninsula Opens This Weekend!

Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow kicks off the 2014 market season on May 10 with
a lineup of 63 vendors for the year.  The market will continue every Saturday in its beautiful location in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park from 9am until noon through October 25.  Additionally, the Countryside Farmers’ Market at Highland Square will open on May 29 with 22 vendors for the season, and will continue every Thursday evening from 4‐7pm through October 2.

Photos courtesy of George Remington

Countryside Conservancy is also the organization being the monthly Food Swaps we blogged about last year. Click here to check that post out again!

In addition to many familiar vendors, Countryside Farmers’ Markets welcomes eleven new vendors for the 2014 season.  These new faces will be bringing a range of products from kombucha, breed‐specific fibers and yarns, gluten‐free breads and baked goods, salsa (crafted by the winner of last year’s Howe Meadow Salsa Smackdown!), simple syrups, and two food trucks to add to the rotation.

The 10th anniversary season will be celebrated with several special events: a Preserving Party to share inspiration and knowledge to get the most from the coming season supported by a grant from Jarden Home Brands, the makers of Ball products; Picnic in the Park food truck round‐up; the annual Tomato Tasting and Salsa Smackdown; our popular Pie Contest, this year paired with a tasting of winter squash varieties!

Countryside Conservancy envisions Northeast Ohio filled with thriving farming and food entrepreneurs: where farms are viable businesses, farmland is a treasured resource, and local food is commonplace.  They support up‐and‐coming farmers, share innovative land‐use and business models, facilitate networking opportunities and advocate community‐based agriculture.

For more information about the Farmer's Market and their vendors, visit Countryside Conservancy's website, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @coutnrysidechix.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Giant Donut at North Hill Donuts

The promise of a fourteen inch donut on a poster in the window of North Hill Donuts

Giant Donut at North Hill Donuts
by Joanna Wilson

Special occasions in my house are always celebrated with a cake--birthdays, anniversaries, noteworthy achievements--you get the idea, we love sugar!  But this also means we're always looking for something a little different to make our special occasions feel fresh.  This past year, I've seen on social networking sites how friends have been enjoying a cake-sized donut they've been able to order from a local donut shop.  So this past weekend for my birthday, I too got my very first giant donut from North Hill Donuts.  My only regret:  I now wish I had more than one birthday per year!

Yes, this giant donut comes in a large pizza-style box!

The familiar architecture reveals that this building was once, several decades ago, a Dunkin Donuts.  Now, North Hill Donuts is a locally-owned and operated, independent donut shop that specializes in making their donuts fresh--and from scratch.  You can taste the difference!

North Hill Donuts, located at 662 E. Tallmadge Ave. in Akron, is a locally-owned, old-school donut shop that has the special giant donut on the menu.  They ask that you phone in your order at least 24 hours in advance, and choose from three flavors of icing.  (My giant donut in the photo above features strawberry icing!)  You gotta love these donut shops surviving our ever-changing Akron neighborhoods for decades--they know their business!

The interior is a cozy, diner-style donut shop owned by Louis and Linda Tsakalis.  Next time you're looking for something different to celebrate your birthday or any special occasion, consider supporting a local small business and get yourself a giant donut!  Then invite me over--I'm lovin' these donuts!!

North Hill Donuts
662 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron OH 44310
North Hill Donuts on facebook