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The parking lot of Arnie's on Levis in Perrysburg across from Levis Commons always seems to be full on weekends and pretty full on weekdays, too.
The sports bar at 25818 N. Dixie Hwy. is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. until after midnight when the kitchen closes.
You may recall the original Arnie's Eating and Drinking Saloon that opened July 11,1980, at Westgate Shopping Center at Central Avenue and Secor Road in Toledo. This Perrysburg location and the Arnie's Toledo, as it is now referred to, are now owned by Singh Grewal and Bruce Gradkowski, both graduates of the University of Toledo where they were football players. Mr. Gradkowski is a quarterback star and an NFL player with the Cincinnati Bengals. And yes, both Arnie's locations are affiliated with Gradkowski's fine-dining restaurant near the University of Toledo, part of UT’s Gateway Project, a group of shops and apartments near Secor and Dorr Street.
But back to Arnie's, the original owner was Arnie Elzey, who started it with the idea of a neighborhood bar atmosphere and the new owners have kept that feeling. Large screen televisions are all around the room and nostalgic photographs decorate the walls, along with sports paraphernalia. I remember when Mr. Elzey walked into Gardner Sign's where I was the sign designer at the time and together we drew up a sketch for the sign for his new saloon.
Arnie's on Levis, which is less that a year old, is run by managers Denny Milligan and Alex Sutphin, who is also the chef. They are looking forward to opening the outdoor patio as soon as warm weather appears.
By the way, some call it Arnie's at Levis, and some also call it Arnie's Perrysburg, and they answer to all of them.
The menu is extensive. Appetizers range from pizza and potato skins to more, including chicken wings, originally served in Toledo by Mr. Elzey at the Westgate location. Now many places serve them. The bloody marys are tasty and the bar looks well stocked with top-shelf liquors. The eatery menu runs vast, and includes burgers, wraps, and deli sandwiches as well as homemade soups plus salads, ribs, shrimp, salmon, and chicken dinners, plus desserts.
Live entertainment is featured Wednesday through Saturday nights. Special nights, such as a whiskey tasting at 6 p.m. Wednesday for $30 per person, pop up here and there. Sunday is trivia night and Tuesday is Name that Tune night, which is the night I stopped by.
Ah, the look of concentration on faces as participants think of the name of the song played. Sounds familiar, but what is it? And who sang it? A lot of high five's were made as people guessed the right answer during Name That Tune Night, hosted by Dave Zwayer with DJ Branden Clawson. The music ranged from the 1940s to current tunes, so everyone had a crack at songs they knew. But, hmm. it's on the tip of my tongue ...
Among those who joined in the game were Aaron McAtee and Erin Dayton, Melanie Shoop, Devoren Garn and Tony Montata, and Mark Keller. The first-place team, which received $15 off its bill that night, was the Mantis Toboggan team. In second place, getting $10 off its bill, was Team Arnie's. McLovin' came in third, and received $5 off its tab that night: Other teams had a lot of fun, including Net Assets Volleyball and Team McDonald's.
Stopping by after the entertainment was over were Steve Hodges and Nicole Bloomer. They enjoyed sitting at the bar rather than a booth or table.