Written by: Beau Brown
If you enjoy a relaxing, social atmosphere while sitting back and enjoying live acoustic music and sipping on an ice-cold drink, then say hello, ladies and gentlemen, to The AcoustiX Cafe.
Located on Canton Road in Akron, The AcoustiX Cafe has been open for about a year and is a unique combination of a live concert venue and a typical bar. Inside the cafe, a small stage sits in front of an array of tables and chairs, where customers can sit and eat while watching the performers. In the back is a bar, featuring multiple brands of beer and two television sets, next to an area with a pool table and several arcade games. To sum it up, this place has something for everyone.
“The word ‘cafe’ in our title is misleading,” said Ryan Parslow, the owner of The AcoustiX Cafe. “Here, we have our own little restaurant and bar as well as live music. This place is friendly to anyone who just likes to have a good time.”
Parslow thinks of The AcoustiX Cafe as more than just your average bar. Rather than building the establishment around alcohol and sports, he made sure that the cafe’s foundations were grounded in the pure love of music and friendship. Parslow himself takes time out of his busy work duties to visit all of the customers.
“My desire was to create this relaxed, sort of small-town environment, where everyone who came knew each other and wanted to enjoy some good tunes,” said Parslow. “I wanted to avoid glorifying alcohol, and instead wanted to shift that honor to music.”
The staff of The AcoustiX Cafe seem to hold the same point of view. Riley Parslow, a bartender and daughter of the owner, described the cafe as a comfortable place.
“When you come in, you’ll always be greeted with a smile,” Riley said. “It seems these days that most college kids enjoy loud, pumping night clubs. But this is a place for those who are more laid back.”
The cafe is open to all sorts of performers from a wide range of styles, and has featured many different local and regional bands. It also hosts an open-mic night on Mondays, where anyone with an instrument can jump on stage and display their talents. Parslow personally invites any person from the music department at The University of Akron to come and play or rehearse at the cafe.
Parslow wants to dedicate Tuesday nights to karaoke, which he believes will attract more people.
He also looks forward to a wider range of musical styles. “I never say no to a performer. But what I would really like to see is some jazz,” he said.
Parslow’s occupation as the owner of The AcoustiX Cafe is unusually difficult, since he lives in Dayton, which is over 100 miles away from Akron. Financial and legal issues put him in a bind, but he healthily deals with the hard work.
“I had never been exposed to business before I became an owner, and I’ve been through a lot of money trouble and legal issues, but it’s all worth it,” Parslow said. “Every day I’m here is a good experience, and I hope to convey that feeling to anyone who comes to visit.”
The AcoustiX Cafe is located at 662 Canton Road and is open Monday to Saturday, from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. For a list of events and more information, or to book your own gig, please visit acoustixcafe.com.