YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Competition between restaurants, especially ones in downtown Youngstown, can be fierce.
But one downtown bar is counting on a collaboration to help it fill a need for their customers.
Imbibe Martini Bar has been open for nine years in the same location on West Federal Street. It opened at a time when it was a major risk to do so downtown.
And it has been able to stay open without serving food. But that is about to change, and the owners are going to do it without a kitchen.
“Over the last nine years, the biggest request we have had has not involved our product, but for food. But we do not have the time or capacity for a kitchen, so it fills the need of our customers,” said Imbibe co-owner Jeff Kurz.
The bar is going to provide food through a collaborative effort from other downtown restaurants and bars.
“The idea of being able to get our food out there and having people try it even if they are not here. Even if we are competing against everyone downtown, it is still something we want to participate in,” said Nathan Dukes, co-owner of Martini Brothers Burger Bar.
Here’s how it works: Some friends are at Imbibe having a few martinis and they get hungry. All they have to do us pick up the phone, call one of the places that is in collaboration with the bar and order some food. The restaurant will actually deliver the food to the customers at the bar, so they do not even have to get out of their seat.
“It is directly between the patrons and the restaurants themselves. We have tables, we will assign table numbers to each table and the orders will be brought over,” Kurz said.
“We are a burger bar, so we will definitely have a few burger choices, mostly appetizers. They like to be able to get stuff in and out in under 15 minutes,” Dukes said.
So far, Martini Brothers Burger Bar, The Avalon Downtown, and the Downtown Circle will be a part of the collaboration. But Kurz said he expects more restaurants to jump on board in the future.