Downtown entertainment district proposed

By Rob Wiercinski - bio | email

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - A new plan aims to boost bar and restaurant businesses around the new arena. The proposal calls for creating an entertainment district in a 9-block area of downtown Toledo.

The goal is to improve the business climate around the arena that's under construction. City leaders want to breath new life into currently vacant commercial space.

The proposal allows for 10 new liquor permits to be granted in the 9-block area. The sentiment at Sidelines at the arena is that more competition is needed. "There's 4 or 5 places right there next to Firth Third Field, and over here there's just us and a few lunch places. So definitely, we need some more to balance it out," said Eric Sitter

For the manager of Pizza Papalis, boosting the bar and restaurant business downtown would expand on the connection they have across the street at the Blarney. "Whether the people are coming in to simply get pizza, Chicago-style pizza, or they go over to the Blarney to finish out the evening, they're going back and forth. I think it's attracted more people to come to this corner. I'd say it's one of the hottest corners in the city right now," said Christopher Kline

However, one Holland dad we talked to says careful planning will determine long-term success or failure. "I wouldn't want to see bars that are just bars. If they're going to have a liquor license, that's fine if it's going to be something that is going to have a family restaurant -- somewhere I'd feel safe bringing my children and not being disrupted by a bunch of people who are drunk," said Scott Killy.

A council committee will examine this issue Tuesday, May 12 at 2 p.m.


Do you support an entertainment district in Toledo around the new arena? If so, what does downtown Toledo need? What types of bars, restaurants or night clubs would you like to see? What else would you like to see go in an entertainment district? Log in or register below to leave comments.

Copyright 2009 WTOL, a Raycom Media station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.