Concerts celebrate Ottawa Tavern’s fifth anniversaryWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
To many local bands, The Ottawa Tavern (OT) is a landmark.
“The Ottawa Tavern is the heartbeat of both Adams Street and the Toledo music scene,” Matt Klein of Bikini Babes and Silent Lions said in an email. “I’ve always been impressed by their dedication to supporting unique local talent and hosting the best touring bands to visit our city.”
The bar will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a three-day concert, starting 10 p.m. Aug. 1.
“I think in bar and restaurant terms, it’s pretty impressive,” said manager Adam Sattler. “More than us being a bar and a restaurant, it’s more about the fact that we’ve been doing original music for five years.”
Each band performing during the three days has a connection to the bar in some way. Some have been playing at the tavern since its opening.
The party will include the first ever performance by Gunshots or Fireworks and the last by Bikini Babes. The schedule of bands includes GOLD, NRR, Katie’s Randy Cat, The Miracle Vitamins and Gunshots or Fireworks on Aug. 1; goLab, The Zimmerman Twins, Bikini Babes, Silent Lions and People Being Human on Aug. 2; and The Fight Within, Jack and the Bear, Thirty Three & 1/3, React and Mike Corwin on Aug. 3.
“The folks at the OT have such a sharp eye for talent, both local and national, and support the bands and artists in ways very few bars/venues do,” said Russ Courtney of The Miracle Vitamins said in an email. “I sometimes refer to Adam from the OT as the ‘patron saint of Toledo music’, which I still think is appropriate. In the last five years, the OT opened up a new channel for expression for Toledo’s so-called ‘indie’ artists and truly changed the artistic environment in our town.”
This event will be free, like most of their shows have been for the past five years.
“I think by doing free shows, we can still maintain that we are a neighborhood bar,” Sattler said. “Hopefully what the bar means to Toledo is it is a venue for people to see up-and-coming regional and national bands. Toledo’s in such a great spot. There’s a lot of opportunities for us to bring in some of those touring bands and pair them with local bands.”
Mark Metzger of The Fight Within said that The Ottawa Tavern stands out among other bars in Toledo.
“I think a huge part of it would have to be the staff,” he said in an email. “Adam has been nothing but incredible to us. [The staff continues] to make that place such a great venue and bar. I think I can speak for the rest of the band when I say that we’re honored to be a part of their celebration.”
Sattler said the bar tries to stay plugged into the community. The venue is currently hosting a “Political Party” every Tuesday. The event is an informal meet and greet of Toledo mayoral candidates followed by food and entertainment. Opal Covey will be at the venue on Aug. 6 and councilman Joe McNamara on Aug. 13.
“Any bar can just open up and sell people liquor,” Sattler said. “We like to be involved in the arts [and] music community.”
The bar was opened five years ago by Tom Baird, who enjoyed the original Ottawa Tavern when he was in college. He wanted to recreate the bar in UpTown.
“This bar is five years old, but the name is I don’t even know how many years old,” Sattler said.
For more information, visit otavern.com.