Kent's Venice Cafe will be back in business under new ownership on Friday, just in time for the Folk Alley 'Round Town events of the Kent State Folk Festival.
Kent band 15 60 75, better known as the Numbers Band, will play a free show beginning at 8 p.m. at the Venice Cafe for Folk Alley 'Round Town.
The downtown bar, which is located at Franklin Avenue and Erie Street, temporarily closed in early August for repairs and renovations after its former owners, the Ricciardi family, sold the operation to Mike Beder.
Beder also owns and operates the Water Street Tavern and Tree City Coffee & Pastry.
The Ricciardis still own the building, which is being leased to Beder.
"People will definitely notice a facelift in the place, however, it's not 100 percent of where we're planning on going with it just yet," Beder said.
A fresh coat of paint now lines the inside of the Venice, a performance stage is partially constructed and Beder has upgraded the former two-tap bar to 12 taps.
Beder said that, with an exception or two, most of the draft beers will be familiar names to craft beer connoisseurs such as Dogfish Head, Heavy Seas, Thirsty Dog, Stone and Breckenridge.
While preserving the old-school charm of the Venice, Beder plans to install a nanobrewery operation for small-batch beer making, and fix up the Venice's kitchen to accommodate another Taco Tonto's operation.
Beder said the Venice Cafe will begin serving Taco Tonto's in the coming weeks, followed later by the beer brewery operation.
"We're just reopening the bar right now," Beder said. "There's a bunch of improvements we'll keep making."
Until the kitchen opens, Beder said the bar will open at 7 p.m. daily, which allows workers to continue improving the place during the day.
"I encourage people to keep stopping back in because there's always going to be something new going on," he said.
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1127
Facebook: Kyle McDonald, Record-Courier