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

 

 

 

 

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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: Coventry Village

By Jill Tatem, Host Committee member

These days there may be more tattoos than tie-dye, but Coventry still retains the quirky independence that made it Cleveland’s hippie haven in the ’60s.

About 2 miles east of University Circle, in Cleveland Heights, Coventry Road between Mayfield Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard is two blocks of restaurants, bars, and shops.

You can find burgers and fries, vegan, Thai and Japanese cuisine, comfort food of all varieties, and one of the best milkshakes you’ve ever had (Tommy’s). Besides a wine bar (La Cave du Vin), Coventry offers concerts (Grog Shop), and numerous happy hour venues.

Coventry has, not one, but two, independent bookstores (Mac’s Backs and Revolution Books). You can find vintage toys and collectibles (Big Fun), vinyl records (Record Revolution), clothing and accessories — for you and your pets, Cleveland souvenirs and work of Cleveland artists (In the 216), and a real hardware store (Heights Hardware).

Be sure to visit Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park. Even if there’s no yoga or outdoor movie showing, it is a fun place to finish your Coventry visit.

More details are available at http://coventryvillage.org, including a Google Map.

 

Other Cleveland Heights shopping and dining districts include

Cedar Fairmount

Cedar Lee 

Fairmount Taylor

Coventry Village (Photo courtesy THD3 Wikimedia Commons)
Coventry Village (Photo courtesy THD3 Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

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: 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.

A Tale of Two Markets

By Rita Knight-Gray, Host Committee member

West Side Market (photo courtesy Marvin Fong/The Plain Dealer via Cleveland.com) http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2015/06/west_side_market_faces_changes.html
West Side Market (photo courtesy Marvin Fong/The Plain Dealer via Cleveland.com)

The thriving West Side Market is Cleveland’s oldest continuously operating municipally owned market. It began in 1840 when land at the corner of Pearl (W. 25th) and Lorain streets was given by Josiah Barber and Richard Lord. Barber and Lord stipulated that it always be kept as a public market site to Ohio City and City of Cleveland ( the Cuyahoga River was the divide for Cleveland and Ohio City). Additional land gifts enabled the marketplace to expand as the population grew, and in 1912 the yellow brick building opened across the street from the first building.  The new building contained 100 stalls, an outdoor arcade with 85 stands, and the familiar clock tower. In 1973 it was designated a National Historic Landmark and has become an attractive location for local as well as out-of-town shoppers.  What ever you are looking for–fresh fruits and vegetables, exotic meats, all types of baked goods and specialty items, or maybe the sights and sounds of the diverse merchants and patrons–all can be found at the West Side Market. Visit the website for the times and an in-depth look of the market.

 

Haymarket location along Ontario Avenue, ca.1930. The area is now occupied by the Gateway Sports Complex (photo courtesy of Western Reserve Historical Society, from the  Encyclopedia of Cleveland History http://ech.case.edu/cgi/article.pl?id=WSM
Haymarket location along Ontario Avenue, ca.1930. The area is now occupied by the Gateway Sports Complex (photo courtesy of Western Reserve Historical Society, via the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History)

The defunct Central Market was located on the east side of downtown Cleveland. It was built in 1856 on the Ontario, Woodland and Broadway intersection.  It contained more than 200 vendors that were frequented by a bevy of customers. Due to neglect it became antiquated and lacked the proper sanitary facilities, but it was still used as a market. It was cited as a traffic, safety, and health hazard in the 1940s, so in 1946 a 1.3 million bond was approved to build a new market. Unfortunately it was destroyed by fire in 1949 and the bond money was used instead to renovate the West Side Market. In 1950 a new Central Market was created but due to financial problems the market was sold in 1986 to the Greater Cleveland Domed Stadium Corporation (then the domed stadium project didn’t materialize). The building was demolished and the land became part of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex.

1999 aerial view of the complex and downtown Cleveland, Ohio (photo courtesy Paul M. Walsh via Flickr. Creative Commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/69805768@N00/677593640/
1999 aerial view of the complex and downtown Cleveland, Ohio (photo courtesy Paul M. Walsh via Flickr. Creative Commons