LORAIN, OHIO - New life is moving into downtown Lorain in the form of an upscale neighborhood bar that specializes in craft cocktails.
“Fresh squeezed juices, fresh syrups, fresh tonic water, we make our on grenadine,” says Speak of the Devil Owner Kurt Hernon.
“We’ve put the bar in we’re doing a lot of woodwork and finishing work, we’ve got to finish the back bar flooring but we’re on a pretty good pace.”
The city has seen its share of economic struggles over the years. While some new businesses have opened downtown there are still plenty of empty buildings and vacant storefronts.
“It’s not unlike Tremont was when it started to shift over and W. 25th street was when it started to shift over,” says Hernon.
“These are all examples of young people coming in and taking what people determined was a blighted area and turn it into something desirable”
Mayor Chase Ritenauer says progress in the downtown district is incremental and is typically a building at a time but city leaders and members of the Port Authority are working to market the entire city to new businesses
“We are seeing most of our growth in small to mid-sized businesses, and we continue to work with a variety of companies in efforts to attract them to Lorain,” he explained in an email to Channel 3’s Tiffany Tarpley.
“Presently, the city and Port are working on at least 7 different economic development projects with varying timeframes.”
Speak of the Devil is located on West 5th Street near Broadway Avenue. Hernon and his wife, Paige hope to open the bar on October 28th which is the same date congress passed the National Prohibition Act back in 1919.
“Lorain is resilient, there is so much potential and everyone sees it,” says Hernon.
“We saw so many Lorainites going to these other places that we said let’s keep them here and keep their money here and make them have something to be proud of here.”
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