Akron, Ohio: Mechanical Barbie and the Band of Many Kens

Miniature mechanical musical machine that's been in this Italian restaurant probably since it opened in 1947.


105 N. Main St., Akron, OH
Inside and above the front door of a restaurant named Luigi's. On N. Main St., which is across a road and train tracks from the rest of Main St. Look for the exterminator building with the giant cockroach and hang a right, then a quick right onto Furnace, which is brick.
Daily 3 PM - 4 AM. There's usually a line to get in. (Call to verify)
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Mechanical Ken Doll Band.

Mechanical Barbie and the Band of Many Kens

We go to Luigi's so often I guess we kinda take the bandbox for granted. Recently we saw members of some mechanical music box group taking pictures of it so maybe others would enjoy it? The bandbox is just over the front door and features lead singer Barbie and the Orchestra of Many Kens dancing and playing instruments to whatever music is being blared on the jukebox. The drummer looks like he's humping his instrument.

The two side rooms have very lurid murals of quasi-Italian countryscapes and the room on the left of the main room has all sorts of mechanical sculptures hanging from the ceiling that whizz and whir. Luigi's has been around since the '40s and remains a favorite of locals (get anything with cheese).

[Connie LaCook, 10/23/2001]

Sept. 2007: Based on this photo, snapped by Jennifer Deheer, there is a definite connection between Akron's doll mech band and the Big Band era one we saw at Iowa's House of Clocks.

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