Marion’s newest entertainment venue officially opened its doors on Friday, Dec. 27.
The Kingdom, located at 111 N. Boots St., is a family-friendly cafe and bar that serves warm sandwiches, vegan soups, local and domestic beer, wine and more.
“The idea has always been inside of me,” said Bobby Pittman Jr., the founder and owner of The Kingdom.
Pittman created a homey space featuring an open kitchen managed by Pittman’s mother and local art.
“That’s why I wanted the industrial open kitchen. When you’re in here listening to music, you are also amongst the smells of what feels like home,” Pittman said.
Since itss opening, the space has been full of people of all ages, from children to their grandparents.
“Peoples’ first impression (of the Kingdom) is a bar or a nightclub, but after they come in and leave, it’s more like home,” Pittman said. “Even when I walked in when it was a cold empty warehouse, it had this welcoming presence to it.”
The lack of entertainment venues in Grant County is a problem Pittman has always felt someone needed to fix.
“Growing up, there was a basketball goal in every driveway in the Midwest. That’s how Indiana Hoosiers were built. That’s why we’re really good,” Pittman said. “You go to New York there’s practice rooms, rehearsal studios, and live venues in every other business. Go to Austin, Texas, Nashville, (they are) everywhere. That’s why there’s really good musicians there.”
Grant County is full of excellent musicians with nowhere to play, Pittman said.
Pittman mentioned the work the Community School of the Arts does with young artists, but in the end, those artists are taking their skills to other cities because there isn’t a stage for them in Marion when they graduate.
“I was kind of lamenting and complaining like a lot of us here in Marion: When is someone going to put something in? When is someone going to put in a cool place with live music? Why isn’t…