It’s been a good year for the Water Street Tavern and it’s owner Mike Beder. For a second year in a row Water Street Tavern has been rated the “Best College Bar in Northeast Ohio” and Mike is currently busy expanding his business into the building next store which will add food service and a very cool roof top patio. Mike is a great example of a Kent State grad that stayed in Kent and has turned his business aspirations into business reality. He didn’t volunteer for the gig, but through his success, he’s become our Poster Child for how we hope to leverage the energy and enthusiasm of Kent State grads and convert it into new businesses and new jobs in Kent.
I’ve never asked Mike if he has a formula for his success but to the outsider looking in, he seems to have found good partners and he’s proven to be very resourceful with getting the most out of his investments. He continues to reinvest in his business and he’s been one of the few downtown businesses that have taken advantage of the City grants and loans that are available for facade improvements. The same could be said for Charley Thomas owner of Ray’s Place which makes me think smart reinvestment in their business may be the common denominator of successful downtown businesses.
Mike, and his business, was recently featured in the Kent State Alumni Magazine so here’s more about one of Kent’s best home grown businesses.