Mar 22, 2022
Kurt Hernon will forgo digital apps and social media sites in favor of old-fashioned connections made by conversations with friends and soon-to-be friends.
In late 2017, Kurt and his wife, Page, launched Speak of the Devil, a craft cocktail bar with “carefully prepared remedies,” in downtown Lorain. The couple’s goals were to cultivate a passion for skilled bartending developed over the years while sparking an interest in their adopted hometown and creating a place where people could come together to connect.
“We both believe that something is lost when we no longer really connect to other people,” said Kurt, who retired in 2013 after a decades-long career as an air traffic controller. “We wanted this to be a social place that could create a sense of community by spending time joining your friends and your neighbors.”
The name of the establishment, located at 201 W. 5th St in Lorain, comes from the lighthearted colloquialism used to explain the phenomenon that occurs when you are talking about someone and they then coincidentally pop up, Kurt said. Speak of the Devil’s setting is meant to encourage people to start conversations, as it is devoid of large televisions and blaring recorded music that is usually the hallmark of other establishments.
“Page and I wanted to show that Lorain is a place where a quality business can thrive and draw people here. We believe that this is a great location and wanted to add to the conversation about the great assets like Lake Erie and the beautiful Black River that more people can use to build our community up.”
As a community gathering place, Speak of the Devil provides a vital venue for a host of various artists, performers, writers and musicians to create further linkage by sharing their gifts with the community. The Hernons’ desire to encourage more business growth has resulted in Speak of the Devil being the home base of the separate Smash Kitchen, which provides food for the bar and operates a popular catering and food truck business.
Buckeye Community Bank was a natural fit when launching their adventure, Kurt said, because “Buckeye believes in the value of connecting with neighbors and friends. Buckeye builds its business the old-school way through conversations, connections and with an extremely personal touch. They want to see this community succeed and are there to help businesses in any way they can.”
“Speak of the Devil, through Kurt and Page’s vision, has created an inclusive environment that welcomes all,” said Buckeye President and CEO Ben Norton. “Buckeye works every day to be a partner that supports existing and new local businesses growing in a way their owners envision. It is rewarding that Buckeye can work with and support people like Kurt and Page who believe in being a catalyst for the local community.”
Check out Speak of the Devil at speakofthedevillorain.com.