From the Executive Director’s desk:  2020 was a year to remember – and not so fondly.  However, it was a year that helped us understand just how important Oberlin’s downtown is to the vitality and vibrancy of our city. When no one was walking our sidewalks, shopping in our stores, dining in our restaurants or attending in-person events, we definitely lost that connectivity and that vibrancy that is so often linked to our downtown. 

OBP has been working with a Downtown Vitality Stakeholders group to create opportunities to jumpstart the revitalization of downtown and to put together a 'wish list' for how the City can collaborate with and support the downtown corridor. More on that in next month's newsletter. For now, we think it is important to remember how important downtown Oberlin is as an economic force in our community.

Downtown Oberlin is an important economic asset that contributes to the vitality and sustainability of Oberlin.
  • Downtown businesses provide employment taxes, property taxes, income taxes.  They are a collective economic force in Oberlin.
  • Downtown businesses hire local employees and contribute to the community in many ways such as donations to nonprofit organizations, representing Oberlin to visitors, etc.

Downtown Oberlin helps to promote Oberlin as a destination. When supported with important city services downtown provides a welcoming atmosphere and appealing ambiance as the City Center.

City services help downtown to “shine:”
  • Signage and Wayfinding.
  • Ample and adequate parking.
  • Streetscape – benches, flowers, lighting, etc.
  • Maintenance – clean sidewalks and streets.

Downtown businesses can offer:
  • Interesting and appealing store fronts.
  • Friendly customer service.
  • Promotion of their ‘sister businesses’ in downtown.
  • Promotion of downtown and community events.

Downtown events and activities help bring people to the city’s core to shop,
dine, play, stay and to want to come back!

Downtown Oberin is a reflection of the vitality of the city.
  • People are proud of the impression the downtown makes on visitors and they are proud to say they live here.
  • Visitors “take notice,” talk about Oberlin and encourage others to visit.
  • News organizations ask to write stories about Oberlin.
  • A vibrant downtown helps to create a place where people want to live.
  • A vibrant downtown can become a distinctive regional destination.
2nd SATURDAYS IN OBERLIN. OBP is initiating a return to a ‘happening downtown’ with the introduction of 2nd Saturdays in Oberlin. On the 2ndSaturday of June, July and August Oberlin will be ‘alive’ with thigs happening all around downtown. Each month every residential household in Oberlin will receive a postcard promoting 2nd Saturdays and other events happening during that month. We encourage participation by businesses, groups, individuals, nonprofits, small businesses that are not downtown but want people to know about them, etc. Stay tuned to your email, the OBP Facebook Page, and Instagram to be updated about each month’s activities. And, be sure to participate in the White Squirrel Scavenger Hunt on June 12th - information at the OBP Welcome Table in front of Northwest Bank.

2021 COMEDY NIGHT. Stay tuned for more information and SAVE THE DATE for the 2021 Comedy Night fundraiser which is being held at the New Russia Township Lodge on Friday night, September 10th – music, raffles, food & comedy!

2021 LEADERCAST EVENT. Save Thursday, October 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a day you will not forget! This year’s theme is SHIFT and it couldn’t be more relevant! It will be a jam-packed day with networking, presentations from nationally recognized speakers and a panel of local business people who have ‘shifted’ because of COVID, learned important lessons, and been successful. SAVE THE DATE – REGISTRATION OPENS SOON.
The Origins of Father’s Day
It was while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909 that the idea of Father's Day suddenly struck Spokane, Washington resident Sonora Dodd. She wanted to honor her own father, William Smart, who was a widowed farmer left alone to raise his six kids single-handedly. On June 19, 1910 the first Father's Day celebration was proclaimed in Spokane because it was the month of Dodd's father's birth.
The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Father's Day in America has been officially celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent. 

Did You Know?
  • Today, some of the most popular Internet searches connected to the day include “father's day recipes”, “Father's day poems, and “father's day crafts.”
  • Roses are the official flower for Father's Day. A red rose is worn in the lapel if your father is living, a white rose if he is deceased.

Father's Day by the numbers    
This is a big day for the 70.1 million fathers in America.  
  • Nearly 95 million Father's Day cards were given last year in the United States, making Father's Day the fourth-largest card-sending occasion.
  • Sons and daughters send 50 percent of the Father's Day card to their dads.
  • Nearly 20 percent of Father's Day cards are purchased by wives for their husbands. 
  • That leaves 30 percent of the cards which go to grandfathers, sons, brothers, uncles and “someone special.”
  • Nearly 75 percent of Americans plan to celebrate or acknowledge Father's Day.

Gifts for Father's Day  
(Check out Oberlin stores for unique gifts for that special dad…and treat him to a Father’s Day lunch at one of our restaurants.)
  • Neckties are an old standby and lead the list of Father's Day gifts. 
  • Other items high on the list of Father's Day gifts include those items you may find in dad's toolbox such as hammers, wrenches and screwdrivers. 
  • Other traditional gifts for dad such as fishing rods and golf clubs make for a happy Father's Day.

More than 85 million Americans participated at a barbecue the last year — it's probably safe to assume many of these barbecues took place on Father's Day.
Member Profile
Chef Jim Barnhart
1833 Restaurant at the Hotel at Oberlin
The Hotel at Oberlin has been a loyal member of Oberlin Business Partnership since the businesses opened in 2016. This month we interviewed Chef Jim Barnhart from the 1833 Restaurant in the hotel.

Chef Barnhart grew up in nearby Carlisle Township and realized from a young age that he wanted to be chef. On the weekends he watched cooking shows and also helped his parents prepare dinner. The family prioritized fresh ingredients, fished, and grew their own vegetables. Barnhart participated in the culinary arts program at Lorain County JVS and upon graduation went to work at Ritz-Carlton in Cleveland which was an important apprenticeship since he gained valuable experience.

Barnhart was thrilled to be hired as the executive chef when 1833 opened in 2016. He designed the menu for 1833 and is passionate about emphasizing local foods, while at the same time bringing something different to the Oberlin restaurant scene.

2020 was extremely challenging for everyone in the restaurant industry. Chef Barnhart has thought about all the small restaurants and the people who have been out of work. He feels, however, that restaurants are on the upturn, vibrancy is returning and “we’re getting ready for the flowers to bloom.” He knows how important it is for communities to focus on supporting the little guys.  

The 1833 Restaurant offers seasonally inspired menus showcasing locally sourced ingredients and regional artisan products. You'll find a cool atmosphere, unique beverage selections, and a friendly staff making it the ideal gathering spot for colleagues, family and friends.
Business Profile
Tom Bethel
Acoustik Musik, Ltd and Room with a View Productions
Contact Information: 440-775-3681 and
Tell me about your business. We are an audio mastering, audio media transfer and audio restoration-preservation company. We also do CD production, on location recordings, voice over work and provide other related services as needed by our clients.

Tell me a little bit about you. I was raised in Parma Heights, Ohio. I graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Broadcasting and after serving two years in the United States Army as a Broadcast Specialist, made up my mind to pursue my love of audio. Within a year after leaving the Army I landed a job as the Director of Audio Services and Concert Sound at Oberlin College here in Oberlin, Ohio. I stayed with the college for 26 years.
While at Oberlin College, I was responsible for the expansion of the Conservatory Audio Department. I grew it from a small-scale, seldom used department into a full-time recording and concert sound operation with a staff of 4 professional staff members and 35 student employees.  In 1995, I left Oberlin College and opened up a professional mastering studio in Oberlin, Ohio to further pursue my dreams. 

This year Acoustik Musik, Ltd. and Room with a View Productions celebrated our 26th year anniversary of delivering high-quality audio mastering and /or video production to everyone from local groups to artist from around the world. I am a voting member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) (Lifetime member) and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). I am also a member of Alpha Epsilon Rho (AEP) a national Radio and TV honorary. In my free time (unfortunately very little of that) I enjoy photography, videography, reading and traveling.

I mentor two to four interns a year who come to me to learn how to do professional level mastering, on location recordings and video productions. So far, I have mentored over 45 student interns many of whom are currently working in music, audio, video, or related fields.

Why did you decide to open your business in Oberlin? When I left Oberlin College, I already had a house and was established in the community. It seemed like an ideal place for a new business.

Why did you join the Oberlin Business Partnership? I believe very strongly in what the OPB is trying to accomplish and in their current director.

Would you encourage others to join? If so, why? I would highly recommend anyone running a business in Oberlin to be a part of OPB. It is worth the money.

What is one piece of advice or input you would like to share with our readers? Follow your dreams and don’t give up
Thursday, June 10, 2021
via Zoom

To receive monthly invitations, send your email address to or just click on "I'll be there!" below.

We invite you to settle in with your morning beverage and share your stories with us and learn what other people are doing and how you can engage in new opportunities.

We hope you will join us for this opportunity to learn, grow and share!
by Megan Apple
Opportunity to Share and Receive!
CoWork Oberlin’s Resident Business Advisor, Megan Apple, is available to offer support and advice. She can be reached at
Profit Joyfully Business Network for Women
A twice monthly coach-facilitated group for female entrepreneurs to provide support, networking opportunities, business coaching and advising. You can join at any time.
Register here.

The health, safety and well-being of Oberlin employees, residents and businesses is our highest priority. Although City buildings are still closed to the public, Oberlin services are still operational. Please visit for how to contact City offices, and information on services, state of Ohio orders/advisories, assistance options, etc. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up to date information!

  • City Offices Reopening: The City of Oberlin will once again allow the public to access City facilities during normal business hours, beginning June 14, 2021. Members of the public may still choose to conduct City business online or over the phone. The City appreciates members of the public who choose to visit City facilities adhering to the guidance and recommendations provided by the CDC, the Ohio Department of Health and Lorain County Public Health. For those who are not fully vaccinated, it is recommended to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and stay home if you feel sick.
  • City Construction Updates: The City of Oberlin will have several construction projects going on throughout the summer months. To keep residents and businesses informed, updates on City construction projects are now available on the City’s website: If there are specific questions regarding City construction projects, please contact the Public Works Department at 440-775-7218.
  • Rain Barrel Incentive Program: The City of Oberlin is excited to launch a new Rain Barrel Incentive Program to encourage water conservation and to reduce the amount of storm water flowing from residential properties. Residential property owners who purchase a rain barrel in 2021 can receive a rebate of up to $50. For more information, including advice on installation, contact City of Oberlin Storm Water Coordinator Jennifer Reeves at 440-776-4871 or visit
  • News & Updates: The City sends bi-monthly newsletters to residents with information on City programs, services and events. These items, along with past editions of News & Updates mailers are now available online HERE.
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Program:  The COVID-19 Vaccination Program is underway in Lorain County, with vaccines now available for everyone age 12 and older. Lorain County Public Health has online appointment registration for local vaccine clinics. For more information, to schedule an appointment, or to find walk-in clinics, visit: Other vaccine providers may be found at For those who prefer to make an appointment over the phone or who need transportation to a clinic, Dial 2-1-1.
  • City Email Updates: Keep up to date on important City announcements, including City programming and service updates, job openings, event announcements and more! Sign up today:
  • Emergency Notification System: It’s more important than ever to stay informed. Members of the local workforce are encouraged to register for the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS). This system is used by the City of Oberlin and Lorain County to alert the community about emergency situations, such as boil alerts, power outages, street closures, weather alerts, etc. Alerts can be received via email, text message and/or voicemail. Register HERE. For more information, contact the Oberlin Fire Department at 440-774-3211 or