Up next: Water Street Tavern (Kent, OH)
Featuring a rooftop patio, a private party room, 20 HDTV’s and great food, Water Street Tavern has something for everyone. Water Street Tavern is the official post-game party headquarters and away-game watch party venue of Kent State University Athletics.
Dave, if you read this, ask Julian Edelman about Water Street Tavern. He's an alum and comes back to Water Street for events. He'll vouch for our importance in the Kent landscape and to the community and environment.
Water Street Tavern opened in Kent, OH in 2001 and January 15th of 2021 will celebrate it's 20th anniversary. I (Mike Beder, owner) was 23 when we opened and the former student body president at Kent State. Water Street has grown exponentially alongside the Kent, OH downtown and is considered one of the catalysts in the downtown's renaissance. Over the years Water Street prided itself on being the epicenter of the local community- hosting meetings for the Kent Area Chamber Of Commerce, fundraiser's for Main Street Kent, Kent Social Services, Relay For Life and a donor or sponsor for countless other causes that were important to our customers, the official post-game party headquarters of Kent State Athletics, Coach's Corner radio shows, downtown home of the Kent Browns Backers, Selection Sunday parties for Kent State Basketball, tournament selection parties for KSU Baseball, etc. in addition to being a popular bar for students almost every night of the week- celebrating birthdays, breakups, graduations and everything in between. In fact, there's a huge mural on the side of the building of Joe Walsh (he went to school at Kent and has become a friend of the bar) proclaiming "WELCOME TO KENT".
Ohio's regulations have been devastating to my business. I have not taken a paycheck for myself since March 15th, 2020. Payroll, mortgage, utilities, taxes, insurance, etc. don't stop despite not being allowed to sell alcohol in Ohio after 10pm. Kent State had about 30% of students on campus for in-person classes until Thanksgiving and for the time being there is no time-table for their in person return. I've been committed to staying open and paying my employees a livable wage for the hours I can give them considering I cannot expect them to survive off tips with the current restrictions. I simply can't hold on much longer and continue to pay this overhead with the worst still ahead of us. Assistance from the Barstool Fund would ensure Water Street remains in tact for generations to come.