YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – There was a time years ago when Market Street in Youngstown was lined with bars and restaurants. Today, there is only a McDonald’s, Taco Bell and a few other fast food joints and pizza shops.
That was until Thursday night when a new nightclub, which has been going without any type of nightlife, opened on Market Street.
Co-owner Sandra Murphy organized the hors d’oeuvres as the evening traffic moved along Market Street near St. Louis Avenue, passing a newly-renovated building that now houses Flambeau’s Live — Youngstown’s newest restaurant and nightclub.
“We’re here because we love Youngstown, and downtown is awesome, but uptown needs to get where it used to be,” she said.
But as the south side deteriorated, the restaurants and nightlife left. Flambeau’s Live hopes to reverse that.
“I figured out that Market Street should be on its way back, and we want to be on the forefront,” said co-owner Josh Alphonse.
Alphonse is from Haiti. Murphy’s from Trinidad. They met in New York and ended up in Youngstown after Sandra wanted to be closer to her grandchildren in Toledo.
They also own Flambeau’s Caribbean Take Out on Hillman Way in Youngstown.
Flambeau’s Live once housed Gutter King. Since taking over the building, Murphy said they have done quite a bit of renovations.
“When we walked in, there was massive water damage. So everything, we did extensive, everything down to the studs.
The exterior is now grays and gold. The kitchen will eventually serve food, along with the signature drinks — the Red Flame and Blue Flame, both made with Jamaican ginger beer. There is room for a DJ and live bands.
Did people tell Sandra Murphy she was crazy to open such a business on Market Street?
“Yes, but I’m from New York,” she said. “This is like a little part of New York City. Instead of tearing the buildings down, we got to save them.”
Murphy and Alphonse bought other property along Market Street and hope to develop it as well. They say this is just the beginning.