Tag Archives: Closed

Nyabinghi 1998-2006

Opened in 1998 by Greg Barratt, who had owned another bar by the same name in Morgantown, West Virginia, the Nyabinghi at 1229 Salt Springs Road served as a haven for heavier stoner rock and metal as well as many other sorts of music in its brief existence. Plenty of acts who were big names or on their way to becoming big names played there such as the White Stripes, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Clutch and the Melvins. Hell, even former child actor Corey Feldman played their once with his terrible band. It was an eclectic place with a killer jukebox and beer selection that made a name for itself on the national music scene with the Emissions From The Monolith music festival.

In 2006, Barratt put it up for sale on eBay, but a a potential buyer with the means to meet the $150,000 bid for the building and equipment never emerged. Nyabinghi’s last night was on New Year’s Eve 2006. The building fell into foreclosure and later housed a bar called Pope’s Pub for a short time. A deliberately set fire in Jan. 2009 caused $5,000 damage to the stage area. Sometime in the last two years, the building was razed.

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It’s all over now

I headed over to Cedar’s on Wednesday afternoon, January 30th, 2013 to see if the bar was still open. Published reports had it closing today, but it was a ghost town when I showed up. Not sure if it opened later or last night was it, but I saw no real signs of life. RIP Cedar’s at 23 North Hazel, Youngstown, Ohio. You will be missed.

The open light is no longer on at Cedars on Hazel St. in Youngstown.

The OPEN sign is no longer on at Cedar’s on Hazel St. in Youngstown.

The closed Cedar's Cafe and patio area will soon be a memory.

The closed Cedar’s Cafe and patio area will soon be a memory.

The gate to the patio area of Cedar's was wide open on Wednesday afternoon. A few beer bottles and cups were scattered about.

The gate to the patio area of Cedar’s was wide open on Wednesday afternoon. A few beer bottles and cups were scattered about.

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Starr Palace and the end of the line

In the final years of the State Theater’s existence as an active concert venue, there were quite a few attempts to continue to make it a place where people wanted to go. After the Agora shut its doors in 1982, the venue reverted back to the State Theater name only to trudge through the same pattern of uneven results as before. In 1984, the venue hosted rock concerts under the name Star Theatre, but ran out of steam sometime in late 1985/early ’86.

The State Theater’s final act was revealed on December 29, 1986, when a group of area businessmen under the name of Honorable Productions Inc. announced that the State Theater would begin hosting R&B, blues, hip-hop, jazz and gospel under the name Star Palace. The Star Palace (or Starr Palace as it was commonly spelled) opened on Dec. 31, 1986. Honorable Productions claimed it was putting $40,000 into renovation work at the time of the opening.

It’s difficult to gauge what acts took the stage there since management was uneven about advertising in The Vindicator during that time frame, but the booking tradition seemed to mirror that of those that went before it. I don’t have a specific date as to when the venue closed for good, but a member of Honorable Productions was busted in May of 1988 trying to sell 500 pounds of marijuana to undercover federal agents in Florida. That, and other issues, led to Youngstown city council requesting that the Starr Palace’s liquor license be revoked on August 30, 1988.

It’s really a shame that the venue didn’t hold on for a few more years because it likely would have been able to thrive during the alternative/grunge era of the early to mid ’90s.

FOOTNOTE: The Vindicator did a nice pictorial spread on the club on Dec. 30, 1986. Sadly there’s a good chance these were the last published photos of the venue in active use.

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