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Postcards From The Pandemic: Mahall's Hopes County Arts Funds Buy Them Time

Nearly a century old, Mahall’s has operated as a bowling alley in Lakewood since 1924.

In 1926, you might have found these guys hanging out at the bowling alley [Mahall family]

Eight years ago, this recreation destination on Madison Avenue added art and music to its resume. The Mahall family handed the keys over to some young entrepreneurs in 2012, who now book concerts and art exhibitions in the historic space. Co-owner Kelly Flamos said it was important to her to preserve some of that history by retaining some employees who have worked at Mahall’s for decades. But, since the pandemic hit, Flamos said it’s been a challenge to keep the doors open.

Mahall’s has spent the last seven months producing online forums with artists, hosting art shows and serving food. Flamos said she’s applying some of the recently announced CARES funds being distributed by Cuyahoga County. Flamos said the money would buy her some time.

Kelly Flamos (center) [Mahall's]

Less Business

We're at 75 to 100 percent revenue loss. When Mahall’s shut down on March 15th, I found myself at home with three kids – eleven, seven and four - managing home schooling and having to manage this crisis.

Pre-COVID, we had a staff of 28 and we were having live music every day of the week. We have three stages, sometimes live music on all three stages. Right now we don't have that. So that's not bringing in hundreds of people every day.

Muamin Collective is one of hundreds of acts that have played Mahall's [Mahall's]

Our staff is significantly reduced, right now. And I guess we're just getting by. The overhead expenses are significant.

Seeking County Support

The county effort would help enormously because then we could at least make sure that we have our bills paid and payroll covered.

Part of today's Mahall's community. [Mahall's]

I'm really scared [for] all these small businesses which contribute to local culture and community. I just hope that most make it. Because, I don't want to live in a society where everybody just sits at home and gets everything from Amazon. No, thank you.


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