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New Chapters for Two Akron Landmarks: Tangier Restaurant and Former Beacon Journal Building

photo of Tangier Restaurant
The Tangier opened in 1948 and by the mid-1970s had grown to an 11-room facility with a cabaret and banquet rooms. It's slated for a major investment from the LeBron James Family Foundation to provide athletic facilities for the nearby iPromise School.

Two Akron landmarks are getting a new lease on life: The Tangier restaurant and the former Akron Beacon Journal building.

The LeBron James Family Foundation plans to convert the top of the parking deck at The Tangier restaurant into basketball courts, play areas and interactive outdoor spaces. The foundation will also use the restaurant’s ballroom for monthly town hall meetings.

Ed George, President of the Tangier, says he’s excited about the new partnership because it continues their decades of community involvement.

“Akron’s been so good to The Tangier. When you hook up with the LeBron James Foundation – they’re philosophy [and] what they’re doing for kids – kind of fits into our philosophy of business. So we think it’s a win-win for all of us, and the possibilities here at The Tangier are endless because we have 50,000 square feet. So you don’t know where this is going to go; we’ll see.”

Officials with James’ nearby iPromise school say that as they continue to grow, it's become a challenge to find spaces that will accommodate all the school's students. A plan announced last year to build a new gym has been modified to instead re-purpose much of the 72-year-old Tangier on West Market Street.

The building was once one of the most popular fine-dining spots in the city, and its cabaret hosted big names such as Tina Turner, James Brown, and Danny Thomas. George’s daughter, Angelica, took the reins several years ago and transitioned it into an event space.

George says rental availability will continue, and this is not the first step in James buying The Tangier.

“This is just a partnership – we use the place exactly the same. They’re going to invest some serious dollars into the place and I think it’s just going to help this whole area of Akron. And we need a shot in the arm in Akron right now.”

The Akron Beacon Journal Building
On the other side of downtown, the 90-year-old Akron Beacon Journal building has been purchased for close to $3 million by an Alabama developer, who plans to convert it to offices. The newspaper moved out last year after being sold in 2018. Last year, it made Preservation Ohio's list of the most endangered historic buildings in the state.

Developer Michael Mouron tells the paper that the sale is slated to close on Monday. He adds that he’s submitted a proposal to “a very big prospect” in Northeast Ohio to move its offices to the building in 2022.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.