Lemon Grove Will Mark Milestone With Evening of Art and Music

YOUNGSTOWN – To mark its tenth anniversary at its current location, The Lemon Grove will present an evening of art and music on Friday, Aug. 5.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the venue, which is on the second floor of The Knox Building, 110 W. Federal St., downtown.

The Federal bar and grill is located on the first floor of the building. Lemon Grove guests can enter through the restaurant.

Jacob Harver founded the Lemon Grove in 2009 just a few doors down and moved it into its current location in 2012. He said Friday’s event is an opportunity to take stock of the Grove’s colorful past before pushing forward into the next decade.

A lineup of entertainers who have long been associated with the Lemon Grove has been assembled for Friday’s event.

It includes the bands The Van Allen Belt, Demos Papadimas and November Loop, and DJ Brandon Martin; and artists Lezlie Morris, Maple Turner III, Eric Alleman and JQuest Visuals.

Morris has created an art installation specifically for the event, while Alleman’s contribution will be a performance art piece. Both are one of a kind.

“Leslie [Morris] created a maze, an immersive piece with projection mapping and lighting,” Harver said.

Alleman’s installation will consist of three tables side by side, at which he will write a story and then his wife and daughters will print, bind and stamp it into a series of  books.

“He will write and produce books in real time,” Harver said, and give them away as souvenirs. “It’s a performance/literary work.”

The Van Allen Belt’s performance will also have an artsy touch.

“They use a projector to mesh visual elements,” Harver said.

Though the Lemon Grove was in its original location for just three years, it left a lasting impression.

The rebirth of downtown was in its earliest phase when The Lemon Grove opened. The bar/coffee shop/restaurant quickly became a mecca for art and quality entertainment, and a hangout for those who appreciated it.

O’Donold’s Irish Pub now occupies the space.

“People are still nostalgic for the original Lemon Grove,” Harver said. He was inspired by the success and atmosphere of the Cedars Café and The Beat coffeehouse – downtown-area spots that are long gone.

“I saw that there was room for something else down here,” Harver said. “I worked on it for three years just to get it open.”

In 2012, he moved The Lemon Grove into the building that formerly housed The Rosetta Stone restaurant-bar. A couple of years later, he partnered with the owners of Martini’s, a restaurant that had been operating in the former Golf Dome in Girard.

The restaurant-bar was renamed The Federal after its 2015 stint on the reality show “Bar Rescue.”

The Lemon Grove continued on in the spacious second floor as an art gallery and performance venue.

The Funny Farm comedy club occupies the third floor of the building.

Looking into the future, Harver said his goal is to open the basement of the building as a public venue.

Admission to Friday’s anniversary party is $25 ($5 for Youngstown residents, and Youngstown State University students and faculty) in advance on Eventbrite.com.

Tickets will also be sold at the door, and the pricing is flexible.

“We will not turn anyone away,” Harver said. “You can pay whatever amount you can.”

Pictured at top: Jacob Harver stands in front of The Federal restaurant, downtown. The Lemon Grove is on the second floor of the building.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.