Written By: Jeremy Baumhower
“What are you drinking?” shouted the familiar-faced barkeep.
Adam Bevier was standing behind the wooden partition, white rag in hand, trying to hear my alcohol order over the loud sounds of Toledo’s best band (IMO), The Bridges.
The Blarney was packed this past Saturday night.
“I’ll have a breakfast shot and a Stella.”
As I threw back the refreshing concoction of Jameson and Crown Royal Maple, I looked outside the Irish tavern and noticed something else: the streets of Downtown Toledo were filled with people. Hundreds of souls with clear plastic cups all containing various colored drinks, were out walking the sidewalks, celebrating the warm weather and summer season.
The most unbelievable aspect — the Toledo Mud Hens were on the road. There was no concert at the Huntington Center.
This very moment was someone’s dream being actualized: the rebirth of Downtown Toledo on a night without a major draw. Amazing.
D.O.R.A. aka Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area, the new open-container law, was working. A thought from outside the box has people walking outdoors in the heart of our city.
James Filipiak of The Bridges was leading a singalong of ‘Shut Up and Dance with Me’ from the raised-section turned stage, and the space directly in front which hours before was filled with tables of Celtic-inspired food, had magically became an impromptu choir and congested dance floor. If it weren’t for Jimmy’s recognizable voice, trademark smile and perfectly-coifed hair, you’d think you were in Chicago or Indianapolis or Austin… or the last city you remember having the time of your life.
But I wasn’t in any of those places — I was doing better in Toledo.