Photo: Corey Robertson on the set of New Music Today with Feast of Kings.
Heard on the Street – WEpodcast.ca Launches New Music Today
Musicians from Windsor and beyond now have a new venue for showcasing their talents to a wider audience with the recent launch of New Music Today, a podcast hosted by Corey Robertson. “Our goal is to share live performances from our studios to a wide audience covering all genres of music,” explains Robertson. “We’ve had blues, rock, Christian, classic rock and electronic dance music on our podcast to date and there’s really no limit to what we can show music fans.” Robertson, a 20 year veteran of local radio stations, launched the podcast in September 2017 as part of WEpodcast.ca. “We’ve found that in the past few months, musicians are coming to us and asking if they can be part of the show,” says Robertson. “Typically, they would send us their Spotify or YouTube videos and then we would invite them into our studios for either a live podcast or a show to be broadcast at a later date.” Among the artists and bands who have already appeared are: Twinns, an electronic dance music duo; blues artist Christine Campbell from Halifax; Ignore the Evidence and Feast of Kings, featuring Jody Raffoul and Kelly Authier. “I am super proud of what we have achieved so far because it’s about identifying new artists and hoping they resonate with our audience and so far, I believe they have,” adds Robertson. Viewing the podcast is free with revenue being generated from advertising within the show. “It’s an entirely new way of delivering music to fans and it’s very exciting,” expresses Robertson.
Growth and changes along Windsor’s Via Italia are being credited with an uptick in business along busy Erie Street, which is lined with restaurants and cafes. Filip Rocca, Owner of Mezzo Ristorante and Lounge and Chair of the Via Italia Business Improvement Association, says he’s expecting his best year of business since opening 16 years ago. Rocca points out that even when businesses close, none of the properties stay vacant for very long. Paciocco and Mellow, a law firm, has moved into 995 Erie Street East, Nico Ristorante is moving into a larger space at the corner of Howard Avenue and Erie, and Vern Mylischuk, owner of Bacchus Ristorante and Better Made Cabinets, is planning to open Verna-Q-Lar Cocktail Lounge in the 600 block of Erie Street East. “There seems to a great deal more traffic along the street, which is good for all our businesses,” adds Rocca. “Our BIA is also working hard to advertise what we have to offer and that helps all of us.” In mid-June, the BIA unveiled a new clock tower on the roundabout at Parent Avenue and Erie and the organization recently launched a redesigned website at: ViaItalia.com.
After spending three years managing Blanche Nightclub in downtown Windsor, Joe Merheje is stepping out on his own by opening TQLA, a Mexican-themed bar and restaurant at 481 Ouellette Avenue. “I’ve learned a lot about the bar and restaurant business at Blanche and I think it’s time to try something for myself,” Merheje explains. “It’s exciting and I think it will bring something different to downtown Windsor.” TQLA will feature specialty cocktails and upscale Mexican cuisine in a venue featuring unique artwork and a colourful design. This new business will feature entertainment on selected nights as well as theme nights and food specials throughout the week. Seating capacity will be 280 people. Merheje hopes to open in August and plans to be open in the evenings at first from Tuesday until Sunday. “I’m a social person by nature and I think I’m ready to run my own place,” adds Merheje. He plans to have 10 to 12 employees in the beginning and add more if business requires it. Blanche, meanwhile, will remain open at 487 Ouellette and Merheje will continue as Manager. He will also continue to manage Pushers Collective in the same location. Both are owned by Ahmed Hassan.
Lou Tortola, Chief Executive Officer of eliquidMEDIA, is constantly re-inventing himself and his company. After years of developing websites for major clients and corporations, Tortola branched out by inventing the Roundtail bike, which revolutionized bike design and won an award in an Italian design competition. There are about 500 of the bikes in customers’ hands around the world, but the economics of becoming a bike company never made sense, says Tortola. “It was all about selling the design and technology, but that never happened so I folded it up a few years ago.” Today, Tortola operates an e-commerce spinoff from eliquid, selling automotive parts on the Internet through PartsAuto.com. “Anybody can design a website these days, so we had to go back to our core competency, which is developing technology,” says Tortola who adds that business is going fairly well despite the fact that it’s early days yet. PartsAuto.com offers a wide range of parts for domestic and imported vehicles.
The Broken Egg, a new restaurant specializing in breakfast entrees, is close to opening in the former Gilligan’s restaurant at 12058 Tecumseh Road East in Tecumseh. Representatives of the Tecumseh Business Improvement Association were unable to provide any further details at press time and owners/operators of the new restaurant couldn’t be reached. The restaurant is currently undergoing extensive renovations.