Neighborhoods: Tremont

(photo courtesy of Greater Cleveland Life) http://greaterclevelandlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Tremont_Cleveland_Neighborhood.jpg
(photo courtesy of Greater Cleveland Life)

Contributed by Emily Poirier

Tremont, one of Cleveland’s oldest neighborhoods, and the former location of the defunct Cleveland University which has since become the lovely Lincoln Park, is an up and coming neighborhood full of restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and historic attractions.

Located west of the Cuyahoga River and south of the Ohio City neighborhood and Downtown, the most popular and walkable Tremont area is centered around the Chelsea Building, one of the oldest high rise buildings in the city.

Tremont is home to a number of noteworthy restaurants including Lolita, a trendy spot from the well-known chef and restaurateur, Michael Symon, and more casual eateries featuring sunny patios like The South Side and Fat Cats. No meal in Tremont is complete without a visit to Lily’s Handmade Chocolates, a treat for both chocolate lovers and craft beer devotees, or a stop at one of the two ice cream shops, Tremont Scoops and Churned.

Lemko Hall (photo courtesy of THD3 via WikiMedia) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lemko_Hall_7-10-11.jpg
Lemko Hall (photo courtesy of THD3 via WikiMedia)

Aside from food and sweet confections Tremont boasts numerous other attractions. This includes quirky clothing and accessory stores like Evie Lou and Banyan Tree, a seemingly endless number of art galleries like Brandt Gallery, Eikona Gallery, and Inside-Outside Art Gallery, and The Loop which is in a league all its own as a two story coffee shop with an extensive record store hidden away on the second floor.

The area is also known for its historic churches which offer a range of different architecture styles like St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral, and Pilgrim Congregational Church.

Movie buffs will especially enjoy A Christmas Story House and Museum, the original home featured in the 1983 film, and adjacent museum that are both open to the public for tours. And Lemko Hall on West 11th Street, a building with a rich history of its own that is now home to retail establishments and condominiums, but is best known for being the location of the wedding reception in the 1978 movie, The Deer Hunter.

(photo courtesy of Fresh Water) http://www.freshwatercleveland.com/
(photo courtesy of Fresh Water)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More information

Tremont City Guide. Cleveland.com

Tremont Historic District. National Park Service

 

 

 

 

Neighborhoods: Ohio City

By Jeremy Feador, Host Committee member

Guardians of Traffic (photo courtesy Einar Einarsson Kvaran via WikiMedia) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HHLorain-pylon2.jpg
Guardians of Traffic (photo courtesy Einar Einarsson Kvaran via WikiMedia)

Ohio City, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Cleveland, is now one of the most popular areas to hang out and grab a beer. A short car ride or long walk from the convention center, Ohio City’s main thoroughfare, West 25th Street, is where you can grab some food and check out a ballgame at the bar.

If you are looking for a place to run, start at Progressive Field and make the one mile run over the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge over to West 25th. You’ll enjoy some neat views of Cleveland and be greeted by The Guardians of Traffic.

The Westside Market, which has been covered in previous blog posts, is always a nice stop. However, if you are visiting Ohio City, there is a good chance you are checking out one of the fabulous microbrews. Perhaps the most well-known is Great Lakes Brewing Company. GLBC offers quite a few history themed beers (The Wright Pils, Elliot Ness Lager, Burning River Pale Ale) and a cozy atmosphere to enjoy your delicious brew. Rumor has it that Elliot Ness’ gun went off while in the bar (before it was GLBC) and the bullet hole can still be seen. GLBC also offers tours on Fridays and Saturdays.

Great Lakes Brewing Company (photo courtesy GLBC) https://www.greatlakesbrewing.com/
Great Lakes Brewing Company (photo courtesy GLBC)

Across the street you can visit Market Garden Brewery. August in Cleveland is usually very enjoyable, so grab a beer and join some friends in Market Garden’s patio. Follow in the footsteps of Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio and visit Townhall, another spacious eatery that offers a variety of beers. For the bike enthusiast, stop by Nano Brew. Offering 24 beers on tap, including some of their very own creations, Nano Brew also offers bikers the ability to tune-up their bikes. A partnership with the Joy Machines Bike Shop has helped to create the Nano Brew Bike Tune-up Station inside the bar.

If you are hungry for history (and food) make sure you stop by Mitchells Homemade Ice Cream and Crop Bistro. Mitchells, an award winning local ice cream shop offers a variety of flavors. They even collaborate with GLBC to create (non-alcoholic) beer ice cream. The Ohio City location opened in 2014. The building dates back to 1919 and was once a performance space for vaudeville acts.

Speaking of rehabbing historic buildings, if you are looking for a fancy dinner, try Crop Bistro. Located in a former bank building, the grandiose building has lovely golden ceilings and a spacious feel. Originally built in 1925, the original bank vault still sits intact. In fact, you can even grab dinner in the vault!

Cleveland’s Ohio City has come a long way in the last 30 years. Whether it is to grab a beer, ice cream cone, or dinner, making the trip to Ohio City is well worth it!

Crop Bistro (photo courtesy Crop Bistro) http://cropbistro.com/
Crop Bistro (photo courtesy Crop Bistro)

 

More information:

Ohio City website

Ohio City Guide Cleveland.com

Ohio City (City of Ohio). The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University

Nano Brew (photo courtesy of Discovering Cleveland) http://discoveringcleveland.com/nano-brew/
Nano Brew (photo courtesy of Discovering Cleveland)

Neighborhoods: AsiaTown

By Ron Davidson, Host Committee member

A Chinese dragon adorns a wall on a building on Payne Avenue in AsiaTown (photo courtesy of Ron Davidson)
A Chinese dragon adorns a wall on a building on Payne Avenue in AsiaTown (photo courtesy of Ron Davidson)

In the mood for some dim sum? Or Korean barbecue? How about a nice bowl of pho? Pad Thai? You can find all these and more in Cleveland’s AsiaTown neighborhood, on the near east side–just a short drive from the convention center. You’ll find good food and culture in this small but busy neighborhood.

AsiaTown began to develop as a distinct neighborhood around the 1950s, when the small existing community of Cleveland Chinese began to move here, supplemented by an influx of immigrants from China. By the 1970s, the Chinese were joined by immigrants from Vietnam, Korea, and other Asian nations, making today’s AsiaTown a diverse but close-knit community.

As we hinted above, there is a great variety of Asian (and other) restaurants in the area. Two of Cleveland’s favorite dim sum restaurants are in AsiaTown: Bo Loong on St. Clair Avenue, and Li Wah in the Asia Plaza at E. 30th Street and Payne Avenue. If you’re not in the mood for dim sum, but still want Chinese, there are more restaurants to choose from. For Vietnamese, AsiaTown’s pho restaurants get high reviews: #1 Pho and Superior Pho on Superior Avenue, just to name two. You’ll find good Korean food in AsiaTown, including Miega Korean BBQ, Ha Anh, and Korea House, all on Superior. And even some Thai food.

2015 is the Year of the Sheep, so you can find artistically-rendered statues of sheep throughout the neighborhood, each sponsored by a local business or organization (photo courtesy of Ron Davidson)

If you want to take some groceries home, AsiaTown has two supermarkets specializing in Asian foods: at the Asian Town Center, E. 38th and Superior; and at Park to Shop, in the Asia Plaza on E. 30th Street. You’ll find plenty of produce, meats, groceries, and prepared foods you won’t find at most supermarkets. Stop in for a fresh pork bun, spring rolls, a Vietnamese sandwich, or many other ready-to-eat foods. Or stock up on foods for the trip home. There are plenty of fresh baked goods in these stores, but you’ll also find some bakeries in the neighborhood. Koko Bakery is rated the best Asian bakery in town–you’ll find good bubble tea and Taiwanese shaved ice among their specialties.

Neighborhoods: Hingetown

By Jennie Thomas, Host Committee Co-Chair

Courtesy of Urban Orchid.

Hingetown is located on the “hinge” between Ohio City’s Market District, Gordon Square, and the Warehouse District. On their website, they lay claim to a “kick ass art museum, unbelievably delicious coffee, the best florist, dynamic residential opportunities, & much much more.” Businesses includes the Urban Orchid, Dean Rufus House of Fun, Harness Cycle, and Ohio City Dog Haven, as well as Rising Star Coffee Roasters, the Beet Jar, Cleveland Tea Revival, and the Jukebox bar.

The historic Transformer Station has been renovated into a contemporary art gallery. The Transformer Station’s collections and summer concerts draw thousands to the area.

Definitely stop by Hingetown next week!

Courtesy of the Beet Jar.

Neighborhoods: Shaker Square Is Neither

By Leslie Cade, Host Committee member

One of the country’s earliest planned shopping districts borders Cleveland and one of its poshest residential suburbs, Shaker Heights. The masterminds behind Shaker were eccentric brothers Oris P. and Mantis J. Van Sweringen, real estate and railroad tycoons who wanted to build an exclusive suburban retreat for Cleveland businessmen with easy access to their offices downtown.  Their plan for a small train station grew into the central terminus known as the Terminal Tower that SAA conference goers will pass through on their way to the Cleveland convention center, and lodge in at the Renaissance Hotel.

The Van Sweringen brother’s home, Shaker Heights. (Via ClevelandHistorical.org)
The Van Sweringen brother’s home, Shaker Heights. (Via ClevelandHistorical.org)

But I digress. Originally designed as a circle in 1927, the plan for the Square changed to an octagon to accommodate parking. The four quadrants are designed in the American Colonial-Georgian style to conform with the “Vans” vision for their suburb. Over the years Shaker Square has remained a community center with shops, restaurants, professional offices, and activities from music and art fairs to the North Union Farmers Market.

Shaker Square. (via Cleveland.com)
Shaker Square. (via Cleveland.com)

Two light rail trains transport commuters from the far reaches of Shaker Heights to the Terminal Tower and points in between. Hop on the green or the blue line to Shaker Square and enjoy dinner at James Beard nominee chef Douglas Katz’ Fire or Edwins, the awe inspiring French restaurant managed by formerly incarcerated adults through the Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute.

Neighborhoods: Gordon Square Arts District

Located at the intersection of W. 65th Street and Detroit Avenue, Gordon Square is the historic commercial district of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. In 2007, the Cleveland Public Theatre, Near West Theatre, and the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization/Capitol Theatre came together to create the Gordon Square Arts District (GSAD) to leverage the vibrant arts and culture of the area to foster economic growth and collaboration. A recent $30 million capital campaign resulted in remaking Detroit Avenue from West 54th to West 78th Streets into a thriving arts district complete with galleries, boutiques, restaurants, wine bars, coffee shops, arts lofts, and affordable housing, which more than 80 new businesses (many arts-based) and numerous locals now call home.

If you’re going to be in the GSAD, you have to try the Happy Dog with the most creative hot dogs you’ve ever had and lots of local music; Luxe Kitchen and Lounge, a hipster hangout with delicious Mediterranean fare; Spice Kitchen + Bar with its garden patio and local ingredients; Toast, a cozy wine bar, sourcing food from their own farm; Latitude 41 to satisfy your comfort food cravings; Sweet Moses, an old fashioned soda fountain; Minh Anh for Vietnamese and other Asian fare; the Stone Mad Pub to get your bocce ball on; Rincon Criollo with its authentic Puerto Rican cuisine; and Gypsy Beans and Baking Company for great coffee and pastries.

Gordon Square (photo courtesy Roger Cross via Flickr creative commons license)
Gordon Square (photo courtesy Roger Cross via Flickr creative commons license)

For more information, see:

Neighborhoods: Lakewood is for Archivists

Lakewood, Ohio
Lakewood, Ohio (Courtesy of theunquietlibrarian via Flickr Creative Commons)

Located to the west of Cleveland on the shore of Lake Erie, Lakewood is one of the inner-ring suburbs that surround the city proper. The area was settled by farmers in the early 1800s and was established as a city in 1911. Typified by a variety of home styles and sizes from the workmen’s cottages of Bird Town to the millionaires’ estates of Clifton Park, Lakewood is known as the “City of Beautiful Homes.” It was most recently designated “A Great Place to Call Home” by Business View Magazine.

#SAA15 attendees looking for a break from the hustle and bustle downtown should take time to visit this friendly, laid-back community which boasts a number of tranquil parks, including one of Ohio’s largest lakefront recreation areas. Main business districts on Detroit Road and Madison Avenue boast acclaimed dining, retail, and entertainment establishments.

Some of the top Lakewood restaurants include Melt Bar and Grilled for a grilled cheese extravaganza like no other, Pier W for fabulous views and great seafood (and an even better brunch, if you’re here on a Sunday and can think ahead to make reservations), Deagan’s Kitchen and Bar, El Carnicero, Forage Public House, Barroco Grill, Dewey’s Pizza, Buckeye Beer Engine, and Voodoo Tuna for unique sushi creations. If after dinner you’re up for a bit of gaming, head out to 16 Bit Bar + Arcade or The Side Quest. And be sure to top the night off with Griffin Cider Works for authentic English-style cider made in Ohio by an Englishman!

To help plan your visit further check out these resources:

How to get there? Lakewood is easily accessible by car or hired ride as well as Cleveland RTA busses and trains leaving from Public Square.