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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
August 17, 2007

Akron's Roseto Club is for sale

Akron--After 27 years, the Roseto Club on South Arlington Road is up for sale.

One of the oldest women’s bars in the state, the club was owned by John and Anna Woytovech until John’s death in 2000.

Since then, his wife has kept the club going herself, but her advancing age is taking its toll, according to manager Alice Keller.

“Anna’s getting up there in age and she just wants to sell it,” Keller said.

She pointed to the lengths Woytovech has gone to keep the club up, with flowers around the outside, some statuary and a nice fountain. The fountain had to be unplugged because customers kept pouring their beer in it, clogging the pump.

It is uncertain how long the bar will be on the market, since the prospective buyers that Woytovech has spoken with were put off by the large size of the club.

“She’s gotten some nibbles, but many thought it was too big,” Keller noted. “A lot of people want a smaller space.”

The bar has an attached apartment that the couple lived in for eight years at one point, saving money to keep the club running.

In addition to advertising the bar in the newspaper, flyers were sent to other queer bars in the LGBT community in Northeast Ohio to see if any established bar owners might be interested, but there has been little response.

Part of the problem, Keller believes, is that lesbians are less interested in going to bars than their gay male counterparts.

“Gay girls don’t go to gay bars as much as the boys do,” she said. “They don’t support it enough, but they’ll complain when she’s gone.”

When the Woytoveches purchased the location in 1980, it was a country-western bar. One of John’s friends suggested making it into a lesbian club, and he and his wife have been dedicated to it ever since.

Keller pointed out the lavish food spreads that Anna would put out, and again referred to the money she put into beautifying the property.

“The neighbors are really great. If they saw anyone who shouldn’t be there, they’d call Anna or the police,” she said. “When she would have food at the bar, she’d give the leftovers to the neighbors.”

“It’s going to be a shame when she leaves,” Keller sighed. “I just hope someone buys it and keeps it up as nicely as she does.”

 

 

 

 

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