Lofty ambitions and acoustics in Levi & Lilac’s new performance space

Appreciated by musicians and audiences alike

Toledo may be known for Jeeps and glass, but the city has always been a host to a great music scene with many talented artists and venues. One of the city’s newer venues, Levi & Lilac’s Listening Loft located near downtown Maumee, offers an intimate setting for artists to make a wholesome connection with an audience.

We sat down with Jake Pilewski, the Event Producer of Levi & Lilac’s Listening Loft, to learn more about it.

What inspired the idea for the Listening Loft?

The concept itself stemmed from me wanting to do a CD release show for my music, Jake & The Venom in March 2022, but not knowing where in town to have it since we wanted a vibe that didn’t exist around here. We wanted control over the lighting, the sound, etc. and for it to not be in a bar setting.

Heavily inspired not only by The Ark in Ann Arbor, but by early 90’s MTV Unplugged shows, what started as a one-off show that was truly a DIY project in an empty room evolved into a venue where, with the help of my crew, I have since produced shows for other artists. That is happening now about twice a month. The owners of Levi & Lilac’s Whiskey Room took on the lease and allowed me to handle the Listening Loft concert aspects, while the Loft is tied into their business downstairs so that we can provide food & beverage for concert goers, in addition to free parking. A true one-stop shop.

What makes it different from other local venues?

logo for the Listening Loft
The simple yet elegant approach of the Listening Loft is represented in its logo

First, it’s located in the oldest standing building in Lucas County. The building, at 301 River Road in Maumee, carries such rich history. Aside from these shows being ticketed, the listening concept itself is one of the many things that makes it different. Additionally, we have a quality standard set for lighting, sound, seating, promotion, etc as well; we see to it that the artists have one of the best paydays both monetarily and spiritually. And each show is designed to be something that you won’t see these performers do in any other venue they perform at. It’s exclusive, which is something that both artists and audience tend to enjoy. Total capacity for most shows is 100 seats.

What is the schedule for the Listening Loft?

The shows take place predominantly on Tuesday evenings, and have a time frame typically of 6:30pm-8:15pm, allowing guests to dine on the first floor at the Whiskey Room beforehand, walk upstairs to the second floor for the show, followed by the artist meet-and-greet on the first floor with drinks and a limited food menu. Each show has an intermission to allow guests to purchase additional beverages. 

What’s the vision for the Listening Loft moving forward?

I want to continue to welcome artists who perform original music, as well as to host other shows that can feature many guests with a core band celebrating different eras and themes from years past. We anticipate welcoming some regional acts as well, and perhaps even venture into other forms of art that would fit the space.

301 River Rd., Maumee. 567-402-4308., Reel JP Multimedia.