Downtown Bowling Green

Art 4 Animals show on exhibit at Four Corners

From BOWLING GREEN ARTS COUNCIL The Bowling Green Arts Council and Four Corners Center is hosting Artists 4 Animals 5 at the Four Corners Center, 130 S. Main Street, from November 10 through November 28th. Thirty-two artists of all ages, kindergarten through adult, are exhibiting their animal-themed work in the show, which is free and open to the public during regular Four Corners hours of 9am to 5pm Monday-Friday. The show features selected top winners in each age category as well as best domestic and wild animal. Several of the artworks depict dogs and cats currently at the Wood County Humane Society, as depicted by Eastwood High School students. First place award winners are: Best Domestic Animal, Anna Gerken, “Begging for Treats” Best Wild Animal, Jean Gidich-Holbrook, “Iguana” Adults, Isabel Zeng “Bunny Ears K-4th Grade, Aya Aldailami, “Two Animals” 5th-8th Grade, Robbie Witte, “Racing Steeds” 9th-12th Grade, Hope Harvey, “Baybee” The winning images are reproduced on note cards that are available for purchase at the Four Corners Center.  Sales of the cards will benefit the Wood County Humane Society and the Bowling Green Arts Council.  This event is sponsored in part by The Copy Shop and Kabob it BG.  



Bowling Green turns on the lights of a new tree

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green celebrated the lighting of a new Christmas tree Friday night and got help from some friends from afar to do it. Gone is the 50-foot Colorado blue spruce, and in its place is a less towering 12-foot specimen. Still Wood County Library Director Michael Penrod, who had to make the recommendation to cut down the old tree, said he was pleased with the new tree. “Our new baby is alive and well and is awesome,” he said. “It’s exciting to be here on the beginning of a new tradition.” He hopes the tree will last 30 years like the previous tree. This is the third community tree on the library lawn, though the first one only lasted a year. For such a momentous change, it’s taken a long time for some people to notice. A patron came in a couple weeks ago, Penrod said, and asked what happened to the tree. “Wasn’t it bigger?” In honor of International Week on the Bowling Green State University campus, foreign students were invited to participate in the tradition. Foreign students on campus made decorations representing their countries, and the tree was topped with flags representing some of the 80 countries from which students come to BGSU. Edwards invited three BGSU students to join him in flipping the switch to light the tree. Hannah Lechner, from Austria, Crystal Lau, Hong Kong, and Caroline Flaesgarten, an American student who studied in Strasbourg, France, last year. “It made me feel like a little girl,” Lau said, after the tree was lit. Flaesgarten agreed, especially having the chance to drive to the event in the fire engine with the…


Drag takes the stage as local LBGTQ claims a club night for their own

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News With the band’s sound check completed, Howard’s co-owner Tony Zmarzly was on the stage at the club making sure the gear was pushed to the edges of the stage. He taped down a section of the carpet and checked for errant microphone cords. The crowd cleared the dance floor in front of the stage, and waited. Then Rosie D. Riveter appeared, all glitter and bitchy attitude. Drag was on stage at Howard’s Club, and it found a willing audience. The Rosie and Viv Show last Sunday was the first of three Queer Night drag and variety performances scheduled for the club. Organizer Gary Strain, a.k.a. Rosie, hopes this will continue and maybe even expand in 2018. The other shows are set for Nov. 26 and Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. she and Vivian Vendetta Sinclaire also will be part of the line up Saturday, Nov. 19, for the Leelah Alcorn Memorial Scholarship Benefit Show to raise scholarship money for transgender students at Bowling Green State University. The benefit starts at 3 p.m. and runs until closing time. The show Sunday marked a promising launch as Rosie and her co-hostess Vivian Vendetta Sinclaire commanded the stage with raucous, off-color humor and word play. They pulled the audience in. They even had a couple women come up to guess their bras sizes, to no avail. Then Nikki Cordy, the club’s barkeep, left her station, to nail it. Strain said when he’d approached Cordy about staging the drag show at the club, her response was “hell yeah.” So Rosie and Ms. Sinclaire and their special guests Rikki Sins and Deja D. Dellataro walked the walk to the sounds…


Downtown BG decorates for the holidays

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN As the holiday season comes upon us, Downtown Bowling Green is beyond elated to unveil the new seasonal décor.   Through fundraising and generous donations of our community we have been able to replace all the arrangements for the commercial planters that line the downtown as well as purchase four new banners to tout the new Bowling Green distinction of “Best Home Town” 2017-2018 for our region from Ohio Magazine. Norm Tolles who works at McKenzie’s Flower Basket was so eager to help create a beautiful selection with white birch poles, evergreen, ornaments and pinecones.  Tolles headed up a group of volunteers that pre-assembled some of the decorations and again instructed a group that installed the new arrangements.  In all 360’ of white birch was cut and bound, 500 pinecones and 500 ornaments wired and an immeasurable amount of evergreen will make for a beautiful seasonal setting in our downtown.   Many thanks Rick and Carl’s Tree Farm, Lewallen Construction for their donations and for all the volunteers.  In all we accumulate almost 200 volunteer hours from start to finish, not just assembling but also removal of the summer foliage and installing the new arrangements. The BG Central Business Special Improvement District dba Downtown Bowling Green reminds everyone to shop local during this holiday season.  Of every dollar spent at a locally owned and operated business 68 cents stays local through wages, taxes and reinvestment.  It’s easy to do this with the purchase of Downtown Dollars at our office, For Keeps, Farm Girls, Calico Sage & Thyme or on our website at DowntownBGOhio.org


BG Community Tree Lighting set for Nov. 17

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN Downtown Bowling Green is decorated and ready to kick off the holiday season Friday, November 17 th as Mayor Richard Edwards officiates the throwing of the switch that will light the Community Tree. The annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony, organized by the Downtown Bowling Green has grown enormously in recent years and proves to be a well attended event yet again. This year’s program will include a prelude of music by the Madrigals and refreshments from Qdoba, Meijer, and the American Red Cross. The Downtown Bowling Green office is also honored to announce the partnership with the BGSU International Program to bring the town and gown together on this community event. The week of the tree lighting is International Education week and to bring light to this, there will be ornaments on the tree representing over 80 countries. The ornaments have been handmade by the students who will also be volunteering to assist the day of the event. The Wood County District Public Library has been a community partner in this event for so many years. Michael Penrod, Executive Director of the library gave us free rein on decorating and program choices. The library opens its doors to everyone for a free concert by the Madrigals in the library atrium at the conclusion of the tree lighting. So many thanks need to be extended; To the City of Bowling Green for all their assistance with logistics, BG Fire Department for transportation, Bowling Green Electric for the purchase of new lights for the tree this year, The Convention and Visitors Bureau for arranging for the afore mentioned refreshments, The annual Community Tree Lighting will take place Friday,…


BG Council action to help Betco create 20 new jobs

 By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council helped pave the way Monday evening for a local manufacturer to add approximately 20 jobs. Council agreed to vacate about 90 feet of right-of-way adjacent to Betco Corporation on Newton Road. The vacating of the right-of-way will allow the company to proceed with construction of an additional facility at its location. Betco is planning a 20,000 square foot warehouse for the relocation of operations from another state – which will create an estimated 20 new jobs. Also at Monday’s meeting, Mayor Dick Edwards declared Nov. 25 as “Small Business Saturday” in Bowling Green. “Small businesses employ over 48 percent of the working population of the U.S.,” he said. Mary Hinkelman, managing director of Downtown Bowling Green, asked those present to remember the “Holly Days” and “Downtown Dollars” promotions while they do their holiday shopping. “We are working hard to promote our downtown,” Hinkelman said. “It’s so important for our downtown merchants.” According to Hinkelman, when people spend their shopping dollars locally, 68 cents of every $1 stays in the local economy. She also noted that local businesses are frequently giving back to the community. “They make a huge investment in our downtown and it vibrates out to our whole community,” she said. The mayor also recognized Wendy Chambers, executive director of the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau, for her efforts in the city being named one of Ohio’s Best Hometowns of the Year. This is the second time in 10 years for Ohio Magazine to name Bowling Green to the position. The November issue of the magazine features coverage on Bowling Green, “showcasing all our wonderful city…


Cameron’s Comics turns the page with shop in downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jonathan Smith said he was something of a nerd when he was a kid. He loved Calvin and Hobbes and Mad Magazine. When Smith’s wife died three years ago this coming February, he needed something that he and his son, Cameron, could do together. Before then Smith traveled a lot selling and racing quarter-scale race cars. Reading comic books was just the thing. Together they’d travel to different shops in southern Michigan and Toledo, checking out what was available. That bonding experience blossomed into a store selling comic books and named after Cameron, 16, which opened in Adrian, Michigan, last year. The success of the Cameron’s Comics & Stuff took Smith, 42, by surprise. At first, he worked days at a factory and ran the store at night. But he found he could quit his factory job and devote himself to the store. Now Smith has opened a second Cameron’s Comics at 175 N. Main St. in Bowling Green. The shop officially opened Friday with a ribbon cutting. Over the weekend, Smith said, customers flocked to the store. Many were pleased to have a store devoted to comics and related literature, toys, and games back on Main Street. Though the store is open, it’s still a work in progress. More merchandise is coming in to fill the shelves that Smith built himself. He also plans to put a game room in the back. The main wall has the comics on white shelving. “They’re presented on white because they’re art,” he said. While he carries Marvel and DC, his stock goes deeper than that, extending to publishers including Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly, Image Comics, Silver…


Arts beat: NRBQ right at home at Howard’s Club H

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Anyone who doubts that Howard’s Club H is having a revival as a music venue wasn’t at Saturday night’s NRBQ show. The venerable rock quartet was right at home in the stylish grit of the venerable club. And the sound system did justice to the band’s mix. NRBQ responded with 100 minutes of effervescent groove-based music delivered with a sly smile. The band opened with founder Terry Adams’ ”Rhythm Spell” and wrapped things up with Johnny Cash’s “Get Rhythm” as an encore. That was fitting because there was plenty of rhythm on display between the two. Whether they were sunny rock, the blues, or mambo, the beat was the thing throughout the night. The set bounced with little time between numbers from one highlight to another – the NRBG standard “Me and the Boys” or a rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” among them. The show had its odd turns, as when the Adams summoned drummer John Perrin from behind his set to sing a number, supposedly for a woman in the audience. He ambled to the front of the stage and consulted with bassist Casey McDonough and guitarist Scott Ligon about what to sing. Then they eased into Roger Miller’s hit “King of the Road.” Adams took his place behind the drum set, He treated those drums far gentler than he did his two keyboards, which he treated like percussion throughout the night, slapping, punching, and then executing flowing runs. That’s the secret of NRBQ. Why after 50 years and shifts in personnel – Adams is the only founder and long-time member – the band is something more…


The music plays on at the Clazel

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The new operators of the 91-year-old Clazel in downtown in Bowling Green are not looking to teach the old venue new tricks. This summer Darrin and Cierra Karcher, of Findlay, purchased the Clazel business from Ammar Mufleh, who retains ownership of the building and property. The vision for the venue spelled out by John Carroll, the general manager, follows along the lines of what Mufleh did from the time he purchased the old theater in mid-2008. He ran the club nights on Fridays and Saturdays until last December when he stopped them out of concern for the wear-and-tear on the theater and his staff. Now the late night lights and DJs are back. Carroll worked security and on other projects for the Clazel since 2011. “I have a lot of respect for the building and definitely want to make sure it’s taken care of.” The Karchers, Carroll said, who own several bars in Findlay and Upper Sandusky, were interested in branching out. This will be the first night club the couple will operate. The Clazel continues to be available for weddings, corporate meetings and parties, and fundraisers.  “The big one being Fire and Ice,” a February benefit for the American Red Cross, Carroll said. Working with A.L. Entertainment, the owners are also bringing back regular live music to the Clazel. Carroll said that the Columbus-based jam band ekoostik hookah was interested in hosting a holiday show at the venue. That show will be Friday, Dec. 8 and also feature Tropidelic, Rustik Waters, and Tree No Leaves. Leading up to the December show, the club is hosting a series of concerts featuring bands who play…


Expect the unexpected when NRBQ plays Howard’s Club H, founder Terry Adams promises

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Back in 1966, a teenage Terry Adams used to push his piano into the bedroom and jam with brother, Donn, and a few other musical friends. A half century later Adams is still pushing his keyboards across the country playing concert halls, clubs, and bars with that band born in the outskirts of Louisville. NRBQ – originally for New Rhythm and Blues Quintet, and then Quartet – purveyors of off-kilter, off-beat pop rock is heading to Howard’s Club H, Saturday, Oct. 28, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Click to purchase. A few home recordings mark the launch of a band that has persisted over the years, reaching music lovers ears in concerts, recordings, and the soundtrack of “The Simpsons,” where their loving irreverence was a perfect fit. In a recent telephone interview, Adams said “you don’t want to lose the reason you got into it.” “Music affected me when I was a young guy. Listening to it gave me something I couldn’t get anywhere else. It showed me the world, gave me insight into living. You can have times when you need a true friend and the music really reaches you. It’s there for you.” He started “messing around” on piano around sixth grade. “I didn’t know I was going to be a musician. I just loved listening to it, and slowly I realized I was making it myself, and I never turned back.” At the beginning during those bedroom sessions, “we just started playing music. Whatever we wanted. Different guys would stop by, and we realized we kind of had something.” Louisville, he said, didn’t seem to them to have much of…



New WBGU-TV show captures sound, atmosphere of Howard’s Club H

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Dive is a moniker that Howard’s Club H wears proudly. While owners Steve Feehan and Tony Zmarzly have made a number of cosmetic improvements to the Bowling Green establishment, the essential gritty rock ‘n’ roll essence of the place remains. Joe Goodman, of WBGU-TV, recognized that spirit as soon as he came in. The graffiti, the concrete floors and the smell of well-aged beer, he said, “reminded me of all the places I loved in New York City that I was missing. … It’s where real rock is born. This is where people cut their teeth.” So the television producer started thinking about how he could share this place viewers. Working with bands and the owners, he brought in a crew to film. The result is “Live at Howard’s.” As the posters declare “the dive comes alive on WBGU-TV” on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 11 p.m., and in that time slot every week for the next nine. The shows will then be rebroadcast early Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3 a.m. The show’s premiere will be celebrated with a party at the club where the first episode will be shown. Goodman said the aim is for “Live at Howard’s” to be “a little manic, energetic” in keeping with the vibe of the gritty club. The aim is to feature up-and-coming bands both local and regional with a mix true to the club’s usual lineups. The first show features Howard’s regulars Tree No Leaves. The band headlined a show last December, when the first taping was done. Technical difficulties marred some of the taping. When Feehan heard about it, he came in to make sure that…


Sugar Ridge Brewery opens up in historic downtown BG location

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News At Sugar Ridge Brewery the beer isn’t relegated to the tap, it finds its way into every course on the menu. Mike Mullins, the owner and the brewer, said the restaurant’s chef J.R. Hernandez “incorporates it in everything” – the sauces, the brines, even the desserts. Sugar Ridge Brewery opened at 109 S. Main St., earlier this month during the Black Swamp Arts Festival. A ribbon cutting will be held to celebrate the new eatery Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 11 a.m. Contact the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce to RSVP at MarissaMuniz@bgchamber.net or (419) 353-7945. Mullins opened on Dixie Highway in October, 2010. He operated it there until he closed it two years ago in preparation for opening the Bowling Green restaurant in the old Millikin Hotel. The new microbrewery was a long time coming. The walls had been covered in plaster and dry board and the tile covered with carpet. Mullins put a lot of “elbow grease and sweat equity” stripping the place to brick and mother of pearl tile. That renovation was done “one brick at a time” exposing the historic hotel’s original interior. Mullins started as a chef. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, he worked in Columbus as a sous chef at the One Nation and then as an executive chef two top restaurants in Charleston, West Virginia. He started brewing back in 1992. “I just always wanted to brew beer and see how it would turn out.” He has seven varieties on tap. Many of the names are a tip of the tap to nearby locales. The Falcon Ale is an American Amber Ale. Rossford Red is a Belgian-style…


Scavenger hunt helps international students discover downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Students from around the world got a chance to explore downtown Bowling Green Wednesday afternoon. The international students from Bowling Green State University came from many countries—France, Taiwan, China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Zimbabwe, Netherlands – just to name a few. A scavenger hunt organized by the Four Corners Center had them searching out all the treasures they could find in the downtown. That included the coffee shops, restaurants, gift shops, restaurants, and even the farmers market. Teams of about half dozen students each buzzed about town. Members of one group said they didn’t have time to talk as they hurried off to find Homeworks. Elisa Erbrech, a business student from Strasbourg, France, said, those on her team were too intent on winning to even stop and taste the cookies and coffee the Wood County Library had set out. And they accomplished their mission. The team was the first to finish. Marcia Salazar-Valentine, the director of International Programs and Partnerships, said the idea behind the scavenger hunt was to introduce the students, all of whom had just arrived at BGSU, to the downtown, and to introduce downtown businesses to the students. “The international students are so important,” said Wendy Chambers, the director of the Wood County Convention Visitors Bureau, one of the Four Corners entities.  “We wanted to welcome them to the community.” BGSU enrolls more than 1,000 foreign students. “I think it takes a while because they have so much to do the first weeks,” Salazar-Valentine said. She remembers arriving as an international student in Bowling Green. “I came downtown and learned so much and felt so welcomed.” She wanted others arriving here to…