Bell Tower4.jpg

The parking lot outside of Bell Tower Brewing on Park Avenue near downtown Kent. The restaurant has been open for six weeks.

Bell Tower Brewing Co. is a neighborhood brewery located in the West River neighborhood of Kent, Ohio. 

 

“We are not just nestled in the neighborhood, but it’s a business that is supported by the community,” said Ryan Tipton, the co-founder of Bell Tower Brewing Co. “We are trying very hard and actively to be good neighbors.” 

 

The property was originally a dry ward, which meant no business could operate without a liquor license. 

 

“We had to go door to door collecting signatures from residents in the neighborhood in support of us converting the property from dry to wet,” Tipton said. 

 

The brewery was then added to Kent’s election ballot. Tipton said over 80 percent of those who voted, voted in favor for the property to convert.   

 

However, there is limited parking space at the brewery, so there have been some issues.

 

On Nov. 20, the Bell Tower Brewing Co. made a Facebook post addressing customers’ frustration with the parking situation. A resident of the neighborhood even commented saying that a customer had parked in their driveway when trying to go to the brewery.  

 

The brewery only has 18 parking spaces for guests, but there are other locations for public parking that customers can use. There just might be a bit of a walk. 

 

Bell Tower Brewing Co. parking map

Bell Tower Brewing Co. has 18 parking spots for customers. There are other nearby spaces patrons can park if the brewery's lot is full.

There are three lots available for public use on a neighboring street to Bell Tower Brewing Co., Gougler Avenue. These lots are open for the public on evenings past 5 p.m. and all-day parking on the weekends. Gougler Avenue is also open for street parking all day. 

 

Tom Wilke, the economic development director for the city of Kent, said that when businesses are opening they have the option to incorporate public parking when determining their location. 

 

“You don’t even need to have any on-site parking at all,” Wilke said. “When you think of a place like Ray’s Place too, you have to use public parking.”

 

Another obstacle the owners of Bell Tower Brewing Co. faced was opening during the pandemic.

 

Tipton said the owners were presented with the option to move into their current location at the beginning of 2020, but delays on building materials held them up.

 

Bell Tower Brewing Co. opened its doors on Oct. 21, 2021.

 

Tipton said they are in the process of seeing how feasible obtaining more parking spaces will be in hopes of not having customers park in somebody’s driveway again. 

 

“Thankfully we have been very busy,” he said. “The community has been supportive of us, and we are thankful for this.”

 

 

 Liam Morrison is a reporter. Contact him at lmorri34@kent.edu.

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