By Cailey Barnhart
The B&O Station and the Boxcar Lounge, located on Mahoning Avenue, held their first Blues, Brews & BBQ Music Festival on Sunday with proceeds going toward Robert Arroyo’s medical costs.
Robert Arroyo was the owner of the B&O Station for over 20 years. He was diagnosed with myelofibrosis, a rare form of leukemia, four years ago.
Now run by his son and daughter-in-law, the B&O Station hosted the festival to raise money for his medical bills.
The event featured a craft sale from Artists of the Rust Belt, Daddy Dick’s BBQ and Penguin City Beer.
Ten local music acts also performed on two stages throughout the day, including The Labra Brothers, Triple Threat, Hoss & The Juggernauts and more.
Catherine Fetter, manager of the B&O Station and Arroyo’s daughter-in-law, explained why the event was created.
“Robert Arroyo has been a huge supporter of artists in the area, both artists selling their goods and musical artists. Every year coming after this, we’re going to have a nonprofit that we’ll be working with to make sure we’re giving back to an important aspect of our community,” she said.
Artists of the Rust Belt set up a merchant fair spanning both floors of the banquet hall.
The vendors sold handmade items including pet treats, chocolates, jewelry, clothing and mixed media designs from local artists and companies such as Sandpiper Soap Company, Medusa’s Adornments, MishMoccs and more.
Lauren Potts, Artists of the Rust Belt’s event planner, discussed the impact the Arroyo family has had on the group.
“Artists of the Rust Belt wouldn’t have a home if it weren’t for the B&O Station. They are our venue every year, and we do at least three shows a year,” she said.
“We have our show the weekend before Christmas, a winter market in February, a summer market in June and occasionally a fall show,” Potts added. “We really just wanted to come out and support the family today.”
Jamie Maese relocated to Youngstown from Columbus when Arroyo needed someone to bring specific skills and talents to the B&O Station kitchen. Maese’s Daddy Dick’s BBQ won Best in Ohio and was the food highlight of Sunday’s event.
The menu featured ribs, bratwursts, chicken and street corn, along with a slew of homemade barbecue sauces to choose from.
“This [B&O Station] has been in [Arroyo’s] family for over 25 years. Now it’s run by his son and daughter-in-law, and they’re putting a fresh spin on it,” Maese said. “They are rejuvenating the downtown area, and we want to show Robert the love that he and his family have shown Youngstown over the years.”
Maese encourages everyone to come to Daddy Dick’s BBQ and bring the city back to life the way it used to be.
To learn more about Robert Arroyo and donating to his medical bills, visit his GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/f/robert-arroyo-medical-costs.
Donations can also be submitted by contacting the B&O Station or the Boxcar Lounge.