Local business celebrates 20 years


 Messenger photo by Whitney Wilson Coy
 Darrell Drone, owner of the Blueberry Hill on Sullivant Avenue, poses in front of a mural in his bar done by Westside artist Juan Parker. The Blueberry Hill is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month.

“I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill,
On Blueberry Hill when I found you,
The moon stood still on Blueberry Hill,
And lingered until my dreams came true.”

Those words were first sung nearly fifty years ago by Fats Domino, but for some people, they still ring true today.

Blueberry Hill, at 2381 Sullivant Ave., is more than your average sports bar.

In fact, for some, it has become a place where romance blooms.

In the nine years since Darrell Drone and his wife Marilyn have been the owners,

Blueberry Hill has been the site of one wedding and 12 wedding receptions – all for couples who met under the dim lights of the bar.

As the bar celebrates its 20th anniversary, this fact, along with many more happy memories, are remembered by Drone and many others that spend their time there.

Drone bought Blueberry Hill in 1998 from Mike Bryant, who, according to Drone, “made it what it is today.”

Both lifelong Westside residents, the couple is committed to doing all that they can to make the Westside a better place to live.

They are members of the Hilltop Business Association, a group dedicated to the economic development of the Westside and the Hilltop areas.

The Drones are also big participants at the Annual Historic Hilltop Bean Dinner – they and their Blueberry Hill gang cook all of the the beans and hot dogs!

The first time you step inside of Blueberry Hill, you can’t help but be surprised. Along with the usual sports and beer related paraphernalia you find hanging on the walls of  nearly every bar, you also find beautiful murals and portraits, hand painted by the late Juan Parker, also a Westside resident.

Drone has also deemed the bar a haven for Buckeye fans, especially during football season.

The bar is equipped with 6 televisions and the basement, which is opened only for special occasions and Buckeye games, is a Buckeye room.

Every Saturday throughout the football season, fans bring a dish and gather together at Blueberry Hill to root their team to victory. They do the same on Sundays for the Bengals and the Browns.

According to Drone, one thing that makes Blueberry Hill different from every other bar on Sullivant Avenue is their clientele.

“We get a really wide variety in our crowd,” said Drone. “We see everyone from lawyers to doctors. We’ve even had Earl Bruce in here.”

“It’s unique. It’s one of the few really nice bars around here,” he continued.

Drone has admirers all over the Westside due to his bar.

“We need more businesses like that. Then the Hilltop would be a better place,” said karen Whitman, executive secretary of the HBA.

Drone says that the success he has found in Blueberry Hill makes him proud.

“We just want to provide a nice place for people to come and sit down and have a cocktail,” he added.

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