Marley, Dylan, The Dead and More . . .

Arsenic and Old Lace
779 N. Main St.
Monday-Saturday 12 p.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

I’ve lived in Akron since 1997 and have driven past the sign at least a hundred times, but I had no idea what Arsenic and Old Lace was until a few weeks ago. I guess you could call it a head shop, but it’s more of an experience that has been around for close to forty years.

Located on the second floor of this classic North Hill structure, Arsenic and Old Lace sparsely fills its two-story space with psychedelic posters, beads, and, especially, smoking devices.  OK, let’s be honest here folks:  There are bongs and pipes that you couldn’t imagine exist, and in large quantities. I spotted a large Marge Simpson bong where smokers put their lips on the top of a staggering glass column of curly blue hair.

Sure, you can find smoking devices almost anywhere around the city, but this locale has a moody throwback. Check out the candy dispenser in the photo above; it’s as retro as the rest of the decor. But what I like is wading through the aura of the room. It’s spacious and always filled with deep, echoing music from the ’60 and ’70s. The neon green paint and black lights are a dramatic contrast from the actual structure of the building, which must be from the ’30s or ’40s, at the latest.

My favorite sight is the high school auditorium-style stage in the back of the room with bead curtains and large-format Doors and Bob Marley posters.

These photos don’t do this site any justice. If you’re truly into Akron counter-culture, it’s a must-see.


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2 Responses to “Marley, Dylan, The Dead and More . . .”

  1. anon Says:

    Love the site. Nice job. Born in Akron and still haven’t seen much of this.

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