If you’ve been involved in the Toledo music scene or have attended local shows in the last few decades, chances are you’ve ended up at Frankie’s Inner-City.
Located in East Toledo, Frankie’s has been a staple in the local music scene while also catering to touring bands throughout the years. Nirvana, Weezer, The Black Keys, and The White Stripes to name a few. However, it’s been nearly four years since a show has been held at the venue for varying reasons, including shifting priorities from its management and, ultimately, the pandemic.
Fast forward to 2023, and Frankie’s is being brought back to life.
Broc Curry, owner of Your Media Exchange, 1738 W Laskey Road, previously operated Frankie’s through Toledo-based booking and promotion company, Innovation Concerts. Innovation was responsible for operating other Toledo venues throughout the years including The Ottawa Tavern, Headliners and Civic Music Hall. Late 2019/early 2020 saw Innovation ceasing operations with most of its employees leaning towards other professional paths, including Curry focusing on Your Media Exchange, with locations in Toledo and Ann Arbor.
Frankie’s holds a special place in Curry’s heart, and he couldn’t stand having it sit there empty. Over the last year, Curry has been secretly renovating Frankie’s to give it new life to allow future generations to experience it. The renovations include a new roof, HVAC, patio, bar equipment, sound equipment, electrical, bathrooms, sound booth, ceiling and more.
When asked why now, Curry said, “In the downtime of the pandemic, it made sense to finally put the time and money into things the building needed for it to remain a space where it could be here for years to come. Since we’re currently at the tail end of the renovations, it made sense to go ahead and re-open on a temporary basis and do a few events and have some fun.”
According to Curry via his Facebook post announcing Frankie’s return, the current plan is to host a handful of events this year to slowly get the wheels turning again. They do not plan at the moment to open Frankie’s every weekend but instead to open from time to time when able.
Frankie’s first show since November 2019 is happening on Saturday, July 8 featuring Toledo bands Tropic Bombs, Sir Cadian, The Ice Cream Militia and Second String Hero. The show started as a collaboration between Curry and Tropic Bombs vocalist, Ryan Wayton. In previous years, Tropic Bombs would collaborate with Innovation Concerts to host “Midsummer Meltdown,” the band’s annual headlining summertime show traditionally held at Frankie’s.
While Tropic Bombs never went away, they haven’t played a live show in nearly five years due to what the kids nowadays call “adulting.” With Curry having Frankie’s ready to go for early July and Tropic Bombs expressing interest in performing again for around that time, the stars aligned for what will be an epic return to a Toledo historical landmark.
“All the bands on this show mean something to me who I’ve enjoyed working with for a long time,” Curry said. “It was important for me to have friends on this bill that would also compliment each other.”
Curry assured us that aside from the renovations, Frankie’s is still the venue we all know and love. He restated that the show booking will be limited for the time being, but he’s looking forward to seeing a new generation of bands and concert-goers at this Toledo staple.
Saturday, July 8. Doors at 6:30pm. Tickets are $10 presale, $12 at the door. 308 Main St, Toledo, OH 43605. facebook.com/FrankiesInnerCityLive