Playing away the day is hard work. But feeding a ravenous crew shouldn’t mean sacrificing flavor or breaking the bank. In Cleveland, visitors can fuel-up on gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, “surpalious” noodles and savory milkshakes at the wide variety family and budget-friendly dining spots.
A tradition in the west side suburb of Rocky River since 1948, Beardan’s serves up steak burgers and milkshakes in an authentically-vintage diner setting. Families can try the famed “Peanut Burger,” a steak burger topped with melted peanut butter and wash it down with a thick milkshake for less than three dollars.
With four locations around the Cleveland region, the B-Spot features “Iron Chef” Michael Symon’s famous burgers, brats, bologna and craft beers. All the items on the kids menu are only five dollars and include unique side dish options such as sliced avocados or apples, yogart and salads in addition to a beverage and cupcake.
A fun dining experience for the whole family, Fourth Street Bar and Grill is located in the Corner Alley, a bowling alley in the heart of Downtown. Families can bowl for strikes and enjoy scrumptious contemporary American cuisine with a kids’ menu to boot.
Corky & Lenny’s
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Corky & Lenny’s is a traditional Jewish deli in the eastside suburb of Beachwood. Offering everything from smoked salmon lox to hot corned beef sandwiches, Corky and Lenny’s is a true Cleveland favorite!
Dewey’s Pizza, with locations in Lakewood and Cleveland Heights, is a hip, neighborhood pizza place with an inviting vibe the whole family. Children love watching through the window as the kitchen tosses massive pizza dough, while the adults love the great beer selection and delicious pizza flavor combinations.
Grumpy’s Café is a local favorite in the Tremont neighborhood. The classic, American menu with some southwest-inspired flair features great, big breakfasts and lunch and dinner specials of all at budget-friendly prices.
Hard Rock Café
What better way to celebrate Cleveland’s rock and roll roots than with a visit to the Hard Rock Café? Conveniently connected to Tower City Center, the Hard Rock features down-home American cuisine seasoned with rock music and loads of rock ‘n roll memorabilia. Children’s menus are available.
House of Blues
From alternative to heavy metal, the House of Blues showcases an eclectic variety of live entertainment through its doors every week. While the restaurant is connected to the music venue, it is not intrusive or are you required to have a show ticket to eat in the restaurant. The House of Blues restaurant serves distinctive Creole cuisine with kicked up contemporary flavors created by celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez.
As an Akron institution for more than 60 years, the family-owned Luigi’s Restaurant is known for its famous pizza and Italian dishes for which the recipes remain the same since it opened. While small in size, Luigi’s is big on taste and welcomes families with children.
What kid doesn’t like noodles? Chef Jonathon Sawyer plays to this strength at his whimsical second area-restaurant, a Japanese noodle-house named Noodlecat. In addition to the “Noodlekid” menu featuring items such as customized steamed buns, kid-friendly portions and even noodlekid “cocktail” specials, the Sawyer family often hosts “Noodlekid” nights which are overwhelmingly popular for both locals and visitors alike.
For families who want some deliciously inexpensive pizza they should look no further than Mama Santas. Located in Little Italy, Mama Santas is a great family restaurant which has been a Cleveland tradition for more than 60 years.
Melt Bar and Grilled
A rockin’ restaurant with four area location, serves up every kind of grilled cheese possible! But this isn’t the typical piece of American cheese slabbed between two slices of white bread. Melt features more than 20 different takes on the original all with their own unique twist. Try a “Parmageddon” stuffed with onions, kraut and a potato and cheese pierogi.
Conveiently located in Tower City Center in the center of Downtown, Susy’s Soup is a family-friendly fast-casual deli serving specializing in hearty soups, chowders, bisques and chili, as well as deli sandwiches, wraps and the ever-popular grilled cheese.
The Greenhouse Tavern
While traditionally The Greenhouse Tavern may not appear to be a “family-friendly” dining location with its upscale, French-inspired farm-to-plate menu but as a father himself, Chef Jonathon Sawyer aims to make new flavors and cuisines accessible to all. So, instead of a formal kid’s menu at East Fourth Street restaurant, Chef Sawyer and his staff will make anything “kid-friendly,” in both portion and price.
Soon after Tommy’s started out as a small soda fountain in the Coventry neighborhood in 1972, Rolling Stone magazine voted it “Best Milkshake East of the Mississippi.” While the shakes and menu stayed the same since then, Tommy’s is now in a much bigger venue with a menu that pleases any type of customer including vegetarians, vegans, meat-eaters, health-conscious and the just plain hungry.
This family-owned restaurant group operates eight quick-serve restaurants throughout the region. Since the 1980s Yours Truly has been serving up everything from omelets and pancakes to mac and cheese and pie, combining good, old-fashioned neighborhood friendliness with a standout menu.
The Winking Lizard
Since its inception in 1983, The Winking Lizard is a favorite with the locals, as it offers high-quality food served in a friendly, unique atmosphere. At any of the Winking Lizard’s 12 locations across the Cleveland-area, the restaurants are a great spot for catching a game while enjoying delectable wings, pizza and burgers.
Raised in Highland Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, Nic Satow graduated from Mayfield High School in 2005, and then attended both Cleveland State University and Kent State University to study advertising. In 2009, he joined Marcus Thomas LLC, an integrated communications agency, managing digital and social media, before moving to RightTurn.com, a start-up eCommerce site where he now heads social media, PR and event marketing. Nic has also run the Gay Games 9 social media and event marketing committees since 2011.
You chair the social media committee for Gay Games IX. What does it mean to you that Cleveland is hosting the Games? Cleveland winning Gay Games 9 is one of the most exciting and progressive opportunities Cleveland has ever had. Being born and raised in Cleveland, I’d have to say it’s pretty open and welcoming to the gay community. Most wouldn’t consider Cleveland a “gay” city or destination because we don’t have a concentrated “gayborhood” full of bars and retail like a WeHo or Boystown, but that isn’t necessarily true. There is a pretty active gay community in Cleveland that thrives as neighbors among all Clevelanders. I think the Gay Games coming to Cleveland will remind Clevelanders, Americans and the world that gays don’t just live in Chelsea or the South End and that there are places like Cleveland where you can find the “everyday gay” living a fabulous life right in the heart of Midwestern America.
You recently moved to downtown Cleveland. Why did you commit to living in Cleveland? What are the advantages to living downtown? Yes, I recently moved to the East 4th neighborhood, and I’m loving it! There is energy in the neighborhood that you don’t necessarily get as a young professional living in suburbia. It’s beneficial for me to be in an area full of life and activity, and it feels good to be part of the group of young professionals, or “pioneers” who are actively rebuilding the downtown neighborhoods and rejuvenating the local businesses. Cleveland has so much culture to offer, and I love its character and people. I have a great job just minutes from my new loft, and, for the first time, I’ll start to utilize the city’s public transportation. I’m within walking distance to some of Cleveland’s best restaurants, bars, music venues and pro sports stadiums, and I’m centrally located between where I grew up on the east side and the life I’ve created for myself as a young adult on the west side of Cleveland. I guess East 4th is my sort of “happy place.”
What are some of the fun nightlife spots in Cleveland? What places do you recommend to visitors? I work/play with a remarkable group of friends. The crew is made up of all ages of gay and straight men and woman, and we’re all very social. When the group isn’t attending a party, fundraiser or concert, we frequent gay bars like Bounce and Twist, but I can guarantee you’ll find us bar hopping in the Ohio City, Tremont or downtown districts at least once a weekend. We don’t segregate ourselves to only gay bars because that’s not what Cleveland’s about. The up-and-coming neighborhoods, bars, restaurants and art scenes are very gay friendly, and I frequent them with my boys or even on the occasional date. From museums like MOCA, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Cleveland Museum of Art, to authentic neighborhoods like Little Italy, my friends and I really consider all of Cleveland our playground. Sure, Bounce and Twist are definitely gay staples of Cleveland that every LGBT tourist should visit, but I wouldn’t let a friend visit this city without experiencing some fun on Lake Erie, a visit to our beautiful Metroparks and the rest of the culture that Cleveland has to offer.
Hollie M. Ksiezyk, a Northeast Ohio native, has been a leader with The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland for the past five years. As a proud member of the Marriott Community, Hollie has been a true ambassador of the brand as she serves as a Board Member of LifeBanc Gift of Life Walk, The Cleveland Special Events Corporation and is Co-Chair for Gay Games 9, 2014 in Cleveland and Akron. Hollie actively engages her fellow ladies and gentlemen as she participates in community organizations and fundraising events, including Cleveland PRIDE, the annual HRC Gala, Equality Ohio, A Prom to Remember and the first ever Dare2Care Anti Bullying event. She is currently the Catering Sales Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland receiving the prestigious Chairman’s Circle Award in 2010.
How would you sum up the visitor experience in Cleveland/Akron? Surprising!! We welcome so many visitors and guests each year and I can honestly say the consistent feedback I receive is that people are genuinely surprised at how dynamic our cities are and the amazing culture we embrace. I often speak about our incredible restaurants and chef-owned eateries and the fact that you will see very few “chains” in our towns. From our museums and performing arts centers, our professional and minor league sports teams, new business development and 98% downtown resident occupancy, people walk away saying ”wow, I never would have expected this.”
What is the hospitality community doing to make LGBT visitors feel more welcomed? Well, here at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland, we pride ourselves on really being the first downtown hotelier to actively market and sell specifically to the LGBT community. We have developed a LGBT package that includes in-room amenities such as the LGBT Visitors Guide, a Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland rainbow duck and a Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland rainbow pin. We participated in our first gay pride in 2011 and are members of IGLTA, NGLCC and Plexus and support Equality Ohio, GLSEN, HRC, WH2, G2H2 and Dare2Care. Additionally, as a Marriott brand we are very proud of Marriott’s new “Be You With Us” campaign that launched their LGBT travel website.
What are the top “must-see” visitor attractions? The Rock Hall and Science Center, of course, MOCA and the Cleveland Museum of Art have recently been transformed into industry leaders with new architecture and state-of-the-art technology. You must stop by the West Side Market and spend an afternoon wandering around the Warehouse District as well as East 4th Street. If you are looking for great ethnic communities outside of downtown, I recommend Tremont, Little Italy and Coventry.
LGBT visitors depend on word-of-mouth suggestions, any favorite neighborhood spots? The following are LGBT owned establishments as well as places that have reached out to the community in a show of support. For breakfast/brunch, Latitude 41! For business lunch, Pura Vada. For business happy hour, Muse. For friends happy hour, Barley House and Bar Louie. For dinner with friends, The Greenhouse Tavern, Blue Pointe Grille, Hyde Park and Morton’s. For dancing/entertainment, Bounce/Union Cafe.
Emma Beno, 23, and Alexia Rodriguez, 31, met in 2009. They live in the West Park/Kamm’s Corners neighborhood. They are co-owners of the Pork Chop Shop at the West Side Market. They stay here because of the quality of life in Cleveland, including the nightlife and dining scene.
What makes Cleveland’s foodie scene unique? There is an abundance of fresh food, locally grown. There is also a great tradition of many ethnic cuisines. The increasing numbers of creative chefs and adventurous restaurants and customers makes the Cleveland food scene second to none.
What can visitors expect to find at the West Side Market? It is a unique experience. You’ll see things and discover food that won’t be found anywhere else. The other thing you’ll notice right away is that this is a working market. You can do your grocery shopping here. At the same time, you’ll learn about and taste new foods, talk with vendors and get to know where your food comes from.
What are some of your favorite things about Cleveland? It’s easy to get around, which is great because there are so many fun and exciting neighborhoods. There are many pockets of hip and interesting places to go, whether you like art, dancing, dining, sports, culture, theater, or whatever. We live in the Kamm’s Corners neighborhood, where there are lots of great restaurants and bars; we work in Ohio City, where there are galleries, breweries, clubs, restaurants and more. Also check out Tremont, University Circle, Little Italy, East 4th St. and Waterloo. There are so many.
Are you on Twitter? The Cleveland Department of Public Safety and Division of Police will use hashtag #CLEStPats to provide updates related to the St. Patrick’s Day parade and to engage the public in advance to promote a safe and enjoyable experience. Subscribe to their St. Patrick’s Day Twitter list here.
St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and if you’re in Cleveland, consider yourself Irish. Who’s ready for street parties, parades, drink specials, corned beef and those really loud plastic horns? We are, and with Cleveland’s most loved holiday falling on a Sunday we can expect fantastic crowds of all ages. Walk like the Irish, talk like the Irish and act like the Irish at these Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Events on Sunday, March 17, 2013.
2012 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Downtown Cleveland
Continuing the tradition as one of the only cities that hosts its parade on March 17th, Cleveland once again celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a spectacular parade. The parade kicks off at 2:04pm and runs from East 18th Street and heads west on Superior Avenue.
It’s become a St. Patrick’s Day tradition, and this year is no different. AJ Rocco’s in Downtown Cleveland hosts the 11th Annual St. Baldrick’s Charity Shave-Off. Stop in for a bite to eat, and shave your head for childhood cancer research. Register now at www.stbaldricks.org.
House of Blues
House of Blues hosts their 9th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. Pints, partying and music kick off at 8am. No cover charge.
The Barley House
The Barley House is home to one of Cleveland’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parties. Festivities kick off with Keg n Eggs at 7am and the parking lot opens at 11. Entertainment provided by the Irish American Club Bag Pipe Band, Irish Dancers and 6 Deejays with Special Guest DJ Nova from Orlando. Fuel up with hot corned beef and plenty of Irish inspired drinks. www.barleyhousecleveland.com; 216.623.1700
Pickwick & Frolic
Doors open at 8am. Enjoy special drinks prices, breakfast menu from 8am-11am, entertainment by the Whiskey Island Ramblers from 9am-1pm and live Irish music by Pat Shepard from 2pm-6pm. Lunch served from 8am-4pm. No cover charge.
Wonder Bar, located on East 4th Street, kicks things off at 8am. The Jameson and good times will be flowing all day long. Rock out with a performance from Pants on Fire at 2pm.
Doors open at 6am and The Boys from County Hell kick up their heels at 1pm and keep the party rocking until 8pm. Breakfast burritos start at 6am and liquor sales at 11am. $35 minimum on all tabs started with credit/debit cards. $5 cover from 1-8pm.
The Flat Iron
Get to the flats for Kegs and Eggs and stay for live music by Donal O’Shaughnessy from 11am until the Guinness runs out. Free shuttle will run to and from the parade all day and the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipes and Drums will perform post parade. Doors open at 7am.
The Boys from County Hell keep the party going at 9:30pm.
Great Lakes Brewing Company
The Great Lakes Brewing Company though not usually open on Sundays can’t resist a St. Patrick’s Day party. The festivities features Irish-inspired cuisine and beer, along with Irish bands, Ceud Mile Failte, CRAIC and the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipes and Drums. The bar and kitchen open at 11am. Head downtown on the free shuttle running two hours before and after the parade.
East Side Irish American Club
The Irish American Club of the East Side of Cleveland has a full day of activities planned for March 17th. The day begins at 9:00am with a St. Patrick’s Day Mass, and continues all day and night with food and music. Members are free and guests are just $5.
Enjoy St Patrick’s Day with The New Barleycorn at 1pm, 5pm and 7:30pm at Nightown. Admission is $22.
100th Bomb Group Restaurant and Special Event Center
Enjoy corned beef and cabbage, irish flavors and green drink specials. Make reservations today.
For the Kids
The Children’s Museum of Cleveland
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with The Children’s Museum of Cleveland. Discover the fun of Irish dancing at Dance Around the World at 12pm. Then, stick around to learn the history of the holiday and make 4-Leaf Clover pins at 3pm.
Cleveland Metorparks Zoo
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is putting a new spin on the “green tradition” of St. Patrick’s Day. At the zoo, you can show your green side by helping the environment. Bring an old cell phone, aluminum cans, shoes and/or cooking and dining supplies to the box office on March 17th and receive $2 off admission to the zoo and rainforest.
More often than not when I mention to someone that one of my favorite hobbies is quilting, the reaction typically amounts to a raised eyebrow and some comment about my youthful age. In our culture there is somewhat of a preconceived notion that quilting is done by old biddies with nothing better to do than meticulously sew tiny pieces of fabric together. What is unfortunately overlooked is how modern this time-treasured craft has become.
I recently had the opportunity to visit Quilts 2013 at Lake Metroparks Farmpark, located just 30 minutes east of Downtown. Running now through March 27, Quilts is considered one of the best quilt showcases in the state. And, after seeing it for myself, I must agree.
Just one glance at the Best of Show winner “Gujarati Woman” by Cleveland-area quilter Shandra Belknap, and I would bet you’ll be saying, “she made that out of FABRIC?” The piece, recreated from a photograph, utilizes vibrant colors and techniques to fashion a breathtaking piece of art.
But, this is only one example.
From school pictures mimicking Andy Warhol’s Marilyn to hand-painted silks that are detailed with shimmering and colorful threads, it’s impossible to deny that the pieces on display are not simply a homemade blanket to keep warm in the winter, but truly aspects of modern art.
Now in its 22nd year, Quilts 2013 features more than 200 quilted works in a spacious layout with plenty of room near each piece to take it the handiwork. Those familiar with quilting shows will find a wide variety of styles and techniques on display with works from regional artists from Northeast Ohio and around the country. But, even the untrained eye will notice the carefully-selected colors and intricate details that pop the piece right off the wall.
Two internationally-acclaimed featured artists, Wendy Butler Burns from Lake Mills, Wisconsin and Cindy Casciato from Ravenna, Ohio, have a number of breathtaking pieces on display as well. These two visiting artists host special lectures and workshops throughout the duration of the show. Click here for these specific dates and time.
Families can make a day trip of the show by exploring the rest of the Farmpark facility, a science and cultural center devoted to agriculture, farming and country life. Visitors can try their hand at milking a dairy cow, learn how cheese is made and meet and greet dozens of breeds of livestock (not to mention, there are plenty of newborn farm animals this time of year. Check them out on Pinterest). The spring also features a variety of unique maple sugaring events and activities.
So, while many of my peers are doing the hipster thing by strolling through trendy galleries trying to interpret the latest art piece; I find myself doing the exact same thing, just in a completely different place and medium – through fabric.
You should know:
- Quilts 2013 is on display Tuesdays through Sundays from 9am to 5 pm
- Admission to the show is included in the price of Farmpark Admission. Rate are $6 for ages 12 through 59, $5 for ages 60+, $4 for ages 2 – 11 and children younger than 2 are free.
- Lake Metroparks Farmpark is located at 8800 Euclid Chardon Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094
- For more information call 440.256.2122 or visit www.lakemetroparks.com.
For more events happening in the area, check out our event calendar here.
– April Ingle
For decades, many of the great names in the entertainment business got their start in Cleveland. The strong, active community of independent thinkers in mediums such as art, film and music demands creative, out of the box, original works of art on the main stage and center stage.
On the Main Stage
Cleveland Public Theater
Cleveland Public Theater has been producing adventurous, versatile, intelligent and socially conscious work in the Cleveland area since their founding in 1981. Committed to the community through educational programs for urban youth and homeless men and women, and as the anchor of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood redevelopment, Cleveland Public Theatre is much more than a production warehouse; it is an artistic movement both on stage and off.
Cleveland Play House
Founded in 1915, the Cleveland Play House is America’s first professional regional theater known for its artful presentation of new works, as well as classics, comedies, dramas and musicals. Recently, the Cleveland Play House moved to its new, state-of-the art venue inside the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare in Downtown Cleveland.
On the Center Stage
The Beachland Ballroom
Cleveland’s greatest venue for catching some of the best up-and-coming indie rockers is the Beachland Ballroom. Located in the artsy Waterloo Arts district, the space was once a Croatian Liberty Home, a social center for the large Slavic community in the area. While the space has remained largely the same with original design elements, signage and images from the 1950s, the venue has become one of Cleveland’s most diverse live music venues with numerous shows throughout the week.
What originally started as just another corner bar quickly gave way to a booming music scene showcasing some of the best underground rock bands in the nation. Today, the Grog Shop remains true to its bar roots with an extensive beer list featuring microbrews and adventurous imports.
Peabody’s, located on East 21st street downtown, has been a Cleveland music institution since the 1960s. With two floors and more than 13,000 square feet of space, this club draws massive crowds looking to discover new musicians and national acts. In tribute to the city’s musical and industrial roots, Peabody’s not only features a diverse musical line-up but exposed piping and metal accents create a unique vibe throughout the venue. Best of all, most shows cost less than $20 to enjoy.
– April Ingle