Dan Kane is the entertainment editor for The Repository’s Ticket magazine, for which he writes about theater, movies, rock ‘n’ roll, art, classical music, dance, restaurants, festivals and everything else that’s going on. Growing up in Wooster, he always thought of Canton as “the big city.”
As much as we love the sunny skies, warm temperatures and fresh air of summertime, sometimes it’s just too hot and muggy. And raining. Which is where air-conditioning comes in. Here’s a family-friendly guide to some indoor summer fun.
Robin Muntean has cherished childhood memories of Saturday shopping with her family in downtown Canton and wintertime skating on the downtown rink. “I’m a big part of bringing Canton back,” said Muntean, who bought the downtown Italian staple Arcadia Grille at the beginning of 2019, after working there for 17 years as a waitress, cook and manager. The Arcadia’s website said it has been in business for more than 85 years.
Brian Bailey is a man with a plan. Lots of plans, actually. “I’ve been accused of having restaurant ADD,” he said brightly. “I eat at a lot of restaurants. I love food. I love to tell stories about a region through food.” His restaurant concepts have included Old Carolina Barbecue Co., Baja West Coast Kitchen, Smoke the Burger Joint and two new ones, Biscuit Uprising and StreetCraft Modern Mexican.
Tony Ly was just 23 years old when he opened Basil Asian Bistro in downtown Canton in May 2013. “I had a lot of management experience for my age, but not enough. I was still growing up,” Ly said. With an easy chuckle, he added, “I’m still growing up.” Six years later, Basil is a popular and thriving downtown cornerstone.
A handsome Victorian house built in 1901 houses one of the liveliest lunch spots in Canal Fulton in its former living room. The Dragonfly Tea Room, which opened in 2011 at 116 Canal Street S, is popular for its menu of what owner Tiffany Craney calls “Southern tea house cooking.” The cozy setting, with lace curtains and loads of teapots, has plenty of period charm. And the Dragonfly offers popular monthly events for kids.
It was 1991 and Nick Regas, then 24, had graduated from law school at Case Western Reserve University. Working for an attorney in Cleveland, he knew a law career was not for him. As fate would have it, his father had just been talking about selling his business, Canton Importing Co., a neighborhood deli and grocery at 1136 Wertz Avenue NW. “I called dad up and told him, I’ll buy the business.’ ”
If you’re craving a sweet treat from Liebermann’s Bakery in downtown Massillon, you’d be wise to arrive early. “Especially on Fridays and Saturdays, you best get here by 9 o’clock,” said Sue Liebermann, a 33-year bakery employee. “We open up at 6. The glazed donuts and creamsticks are usually the first things to sell out.”
Already a bright light on the downtown Canton nightlife scene, Star Fronimo enjoyed quick success when her namesake bar-restaurant opened in May 2016. More than two years later, Fronimo’s Downtown at 315 Cleveland Avenue NW is reliably lively and frequently packed, especially on weekends.
The Repository Select Rite Aid Stores Spee-D Foods Buehler's Fresh Foods Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations Aultman Hospital Gift Shop Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations News Depot Avenue Arts Marketplace Yum Yum Tree Alliance Grapes in a Glass