East Toledo’s Papa’s Tavern looking to emerge from charred remains
Papa’s Tavern was engulfed in flames on New Years’ Eve night, now the bar and music hall is looking to what’s next in the new year.
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - For years Papa’s Tavern has been an East Toledo staple offering people a place to grab a drink and listen to great music, but now all that remains is the shell of the building, a whole lot of rubble, and a growing amount of hope.
“It’s been 15 years that we have been here, and to see the flames and stuff, I couldn’t emotionally take it,” said Owner Tim Stahl.
For Stahl, 2021 began with his bar bursting into flames, with the entire back half of the building being brought down to nothing but charred debris.
“It’s pretty bad,” said Stahl. “I didn’t know what we were going to do at that point. I didn’t know what my intentions were, what I planned for a goal of tearing down, reopening, I didn’t know what to do.”
Just days into the new year, with the wrath of the fire still fresh, community members helped Stahl make his decision for him.
“My phone just blew up, people just started messaging me,” said Stahl. “I didn’t realize that Papa’s was this important and meant so much to the east side of Toledo.”
Stahl says dozens of community members reached out to him to offer their support to help rebuild and do anything they can to keep the staple concert bar alive.
Musician and 2010 American Idol runner up, Toledo native Crystal Bowersox even sent her own well wishes. The singer and songwriter who used to perform on Papa’s very stage telling 13abc: “I know the spirit of that bar and its patrons. You can’t keep an east sider down for long. Sending lots of love and prayers.”
“That’s what’s keeping me energized and going,” said Stahl. “I want to rebuild Papa’s, I want to make it bigger, better, stronger.”
Tim is now sorting through the remanence of Papa’s, piecing together a new chapter for the bar. Stahl plans to reopen Papa’s doors once again on the 15th anniversary of when he first bought the bar.
“My goal on august 26th is to open the doors to my customers,” said Stahl. “They’re the ones who are putting in the energy in me right now and keeping me going. My goal isn’t for me it’s for them.”
The cause of what started the fire is still unknown and remains under investigation.
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