Your birthday – that one time every year that it’s okay to be a little extra self-centered.
A time to reflect on the growth you’ve made over the past year, a time to celebrate the extra wisdom you’ve gained, and a time to request that extra delicious cake from your favorite bakery (Almond Torte from Classic Bakery, please.)
Recently, I celebrated my quarter of a century milestone, and I did it in my favorite city. This year, my birthday fell on a Wednesday, lame I know, so I decided to celebrate it all weekend long. No elaborate trip planned. No expensive hotels. No reservations planned months in advance. Just a jam-packed weekend, right here in Youngstown.
Here’s a list of my favorite things to do for a birthday celebration in Youngstown:
EMBRACING YOUR INNER ITALIAN FOR DINNER – MANGIARE!
There’s no shortage of delicious Italian food here in Youngstown, but I’ve got two restaurants that stand out to me. Roberto’s, located right on W. Federal St. in downtown Youngstown, and Nicolinni’s located in Boardman, a suburb of Youngstown just a few miles away from the downtown epicenter. Here’s the thing… you truly can not go wrong with either of these places! Coming from your typical pasta-every-sunday, not-yelling-just-talking Italian family, I’m pretty picky about my red sauce when I eat out. OH, AND A MEATBALL. I want a meatball, not a ball of ¼ meat, ¾ bread. When I say that these places are DELICIOUS, boy do I mean it.
I recommend the Calamari and Chicken Parmigiana at Roberto’s. For Nicolinni’s, I can’t go there and not order the Chicken with Greens over Penne or the Whitefish Francaise, while overindulging on their homemade bread you get with your meal. You’ll be stuffed. Oh, and make room for dessert, co-owner and baker Stephanie Levanty makes all of their desserts in house and they are to die for!
PARTY WITH YOUR CLOSEST FRIENDS
Downtown Youngstown has some really cool spots with a ton of history. One of my favorites is Imbibe Martini Bar. Imbibe is located in what used to be the Dollar Bank many years ago. The owners renovated the space in the early 2000’s, before much revitalization had been done to the downtown area. Like most renovations in Youngstown, to proudly remember our history, many of the historical features were preserved. Imbibe preserved the banks vault, which you can rent for private gatherings. An intimate, cool gathering place filled with plush black leather sofas amidst this super contemporary atmosphere paired with a slight club vibe. So cool. And their martini’s? Which of the over 120 recipes would you like to try? One of my favorites is the Green Tea Martini.
YOUNGSTOWN IS HERE FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT
There’s a ton of talent here in the YO, and there’s no shortage of venues for local or big stage talent! Being a huge supporter of small business/local talent, I opted for a small venue this year. Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts is this super cool place with an awesome menu. Veggies Dogs, Regular Dogs, Impossible Burgers, Tater Tots, and more topping options than you can shake a stick at! Every Friday night they have live entertainment. Summertime in the YO, drinkin’ a cold one with the boys at Suzie’s, live music playing with the garage doors up. I could get used to it!
One of my other favorite entertainment venues is Edward J. Powers Auditorium, the main venue at the DeYor Performing Arts Center. A local theatre company, Easy Street Productions, holds most of their shows at DeYor. They’re an absolute blast and well worth the money! Tickets are always reasonable and shows range from classics like Annie and Pump Boys & the Dinettes to a Summer Concert Series. They’re seriously a blast and a great addition to any birthday evening night out!
BIRTHDAY WEEKEND CLOSEOUT – A LITTLE R&R
SHUT UP AND BRUNCH WITH ME
Chicken and Waffles. Those 3 simple words are the only thing I want to hear on a Sunday morning. Youngstown is blessed with an awesome brunch spot called The Kitchen Post. Known for their brunch, the small menu and hip atmosphere is sure to make you leave with a full stomach and a smile on your face.
BREAKING OUT OF YOUR (BIRTHDAY) COMFORT ZONE
One of my favorite things to do with my closest friends is a group activity that’s not just eating or drinking. And because I’m a bit adventurous and I like making my friends try new things, one of the best things I’ve found is a private group session of aerial yoga at PurYoga in Boardman, OH.
PurYoga is a locally, woman-owned yoga studio that is absolutely the best in Youngstown in my opinion. You walk into to this warm, safe space. The owner, Shannon, is an AMAZING instructor who takes the time to get to know each and every person that walks in the door. Private yoga session, especially aerial yoga, are a great way to break out of your comfort zone with those most special to you. The amount of relaxation and freedom you feel — it’s a great way to start the next year in your book of life!
SHOULD’VE HAD YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES. SHOULD’VE HAD AN ORANGE AVOCADO.
Post yoga with your posse, I had to head to The Orange Avocado. It’s our local spot for fresh pressed juices and vegan treats that you’d never know were vegan if I didn’t tell you. Get yourself a Go Green or a Caribbean Sea and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to go for the week. Not a full “detox,” but they do offer a juice cleanse if you’re feeling frisky at your new age.
Any and all of these places/activites are sure to make your weekend a blast. Bring along the right group of people and no matter where you go or what you do, you’re sure to have a great time celebrating another year! Here’s to 25 — cheers!
Corey Patrick is the Director of Marketing & Communications for the Youngstown Business Incubator. Corey lives in the Youngstown suburb of Struthers where, in all of his free time, he runs his own Digital Marketing company, is a Group Fitness Instructor at a local gym, and stays actively involved as a Board Member for a local inclusive, adaptive playground. He loves making new friends so you should follow him on social media — @cor_pat on Instagram, Twitter, & Snapchat!