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“Davey and Kent: Growing Together Since 1880”

Own a bit of Kent History – The Venice Café Glass Block

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The Venice Cafe business dates to 1936, making it the oldest bar business in Kent. Its first location, established by Italian immigrants Josephine Sidoti and her husband's cousin, Johnny Sidoti, was on North Mantua Street before a nearby shooting prompted a ban on alcohol sales in the area. Following the shooting, the Venice Cafe relocated to what is now the second floor of Mugs Brew Pub at Franklin Avenue and Erie Street, before moving across Erie Street to its current spot in 1941. Jospehine (Sidoti) Ricciardi and her husband, Constantino Ricciardi, became the bar's second-generation owners and their children, Joseph, Josephine and Anita, later became the third-generation owners.
After more than 70 years and three generations of family ownership, Kent's iconic Venice Cafe has changed hands.

The Ricciardi family has sold the bar operation to Kent businessman Mike Beder, who on Wednesday August 7, 2013 received the keys to the establishment located at the corner of Franklin Avenue and Erie Street since 1941.
Beder has since removed all the glass block that was the corner window and replaced it with a modern style glass window.

Beder says he wants the block "to live on as a backdrop for future memories in your home or office just like they were for so many years on the corner of Franklin and Erie". Through the generosity of Mr. Beder the Kent Historical Society has obtained all the glass block that were removed from the Venice Café window. We are selling these blocks for a mere $5.00 - 2 for $10. Purchase one of these blocks and own a bit of Kent history. The block are available at the Kent Historical Society. It’s never too soon to stock up on Christmas presents. Please note our days and hours of operation.
This documentary produced by the KHS is a short historical overview depicting the building blocks of the Kent community, from its Franklin Mills origins to the eventual renaming of the city to Kent. The video illustrates the importance of the Cuyahoga River and the economic impact it had on the city. We get a brief view of the individuals that built the industries, mills, the canal and eventually the railroad. We find out that John Brown lived and briefly worked in Kent and that Kent was a stop on the underground railroad. The video brings us up to date with the businesses of today and ending with the growth of the Kent Normal School into what eventually became Kent State University.

Kent – The Early Years
To find out what your historical society has been up to this past year, click me!
Become a history detective - click me!
If you’re looking for a gift or interested in Kent history take a look at our online bookstore. We may have what you want.

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