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This Weekend in Cleveland: June 1-2, 2013

This weekend, spend a day downtown before the Indians vs. Tampa Bay Rays game. Take the family up to the Terminal Tower observation deck to see some of the best views of the city or experience the free Take a Hike tour offered through the Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation.  Then, head over to the Great Lakes Science Center to see the opening of Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, allowing you to experience the history of the Titanic like never before.

You can always visit our searchable calendar for more events at: www.positivelycleveland.com/play/events.

A Day Downtown: Take a Hike Tour and Tower City Observation Deck, Downtown Cleveland

Terminal Tower Observation DeckSee the city from a bird’s eye view, and the ground below. First, head over to the Terminal Tower observation deck at the top of the Terminal Tower in the Tower City Center. Here, you’ll see breathtaking 360 views of Cleveland’s skyline. When you’re finished, experience the history of Cleveland by going on a Take a Hike tour put on by the Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation. Both guided and free, these tours are a fun and educational way to experience Cleveland’s past and present. For Saturday’s tour, make your way over to Constantino’s Market on West 9th Street at 10am where you will embark on a tour of the Warehouse District. On Sunday, meet at Settler’s Landing RTA station at West Superior Avenue at 10am to tour Canal Basin Park in the Flats.

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Memorial Day Weekend in CLE

STOP! Have you entered to win our Tall Ships Tall Flips weekend sweeps? Visit www.summerincle.com to enter and to learn more about, you guessed it, Summer in CLE!

It’s Memorial Day Weekend and festival season is finally upon us. This weekend, enjoy both the Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-off & Music Festival and the Tremont Greek Festival. When you’re finished with the fests, head over to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to check out the opening of the new Rolling Stones exhibit, “Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction”.

Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-off & Music Festival – Jacob’s Pavilion at the Nautica Entertainment Complex, Downtown Cleveland                     

Rib CookoffThis Memorial Day Weekend, head down to Jacob’s Pavilion and the Nautica Entertainment Complex and enjoy Northeast Ohio’s biggest and most popular backyard barbeque. Watch (and taste) as ten professional grilling teams from across the country engage in a fiercely delicious culinary battle for barbeque supremacy. As the barbeque battle rages on, enjoy the entertainment featuring rock and roll legends Rick Springfield, Buddy Guy and Bret Michaels along with Rocktopia, a unique concert experience that fuses the worlds of rock, classical music and opera featuring Northeast Ohio’s Contemporary Youth Orchestra and the Cleveland School of Arts Choir. For tickets and information, call 216.622.6558 or visit www.marcs.com/Fresh-Savings/Promotions/Marc-s-Rib-Cook-Off-and-Music.aspx.

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Dining on the Ship Decks

As the sun begins to set and reflect its summer hues onto the windows of Cleveland’s skyline, there’s no better dinner table in Cleveland than those aboard the well-known sightseeing and dining cruise vessels.

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This Weekend in CLE: Cleveland Marathon, International Tattoo, Asian Fest

Cleveland Marathon

marathonThis weekend, tie up those laces and come downtown to see the running of the Cleveland Marathon. Cheer on the runners as they run their full/half marathon, or 5/10 k runs. If running isn’t your thing, this Saturday also marks the 28th Annual Cleveland International Tattoo where you can enjoy a spectacular demonstration of military drill, music and dance. After that, head over to Asia Town on Payne Avenue for the annual Cleveland Asian Festival.  Featuring authentic Asian food, merchandise and performing arts, this is sure to be one cultural experience you don’t want to miss.

You can always visit our event calendar for more events at: www.positivelycleveland.com/play/events.

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This Weekend in Cleveland: May 11-12, 2013

(c)Cedar Point

(c)Cedar Point

This Saturday marks Opening Day of Cedar Point, where you can be one of the first to experience the park’s new record-breaking, winged coaster, Gatekeeper.  One hundred sixty-four-foot drops not your thing? Saturday also is the last day of the International Children’s Festival presented by The Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. A fantastic time for the whole family, this kid-friendly festival includes multiple live shows at PlayhouseSquare, and a tour of the stunning Exxopolis luminarium.  Don’t forget about the most important day of the year, Mother’s Day. Check out our Mother’s Day blog featuring a number of Mother’s Day events she’s sure to love.

For more events, visit our event calendar at www.positivelycleveland.com/play/events/.

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While You’re in Town for the Cleveland Marathon

marathonYou’ve logged all the training miles, you’ve laced up your lucky pair of running shoes and you’re ready to line-up on the start line for the 36th annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. But, while you’re in town, why not get the full Cleveland Experience by exploring all that the birthplace of rock and roll has to offer?

Friday, May 17

Afternoon
Upon arriving in Cleveland, head 13 miles from Downtown to the I-X Center (www.ixcenter.com) near the airport for the 2013 Cleveland Marathon Health and Fitness Expo and packet pick-up. Shop for discounted running shoes and gear from more than 200 vendors, learn from workshops and running experts and pick up your race bib, timing device and t-shirt.

Evening
Next, grab a hearty, carbohydrate-filled meal in the east side Little Italy (www.littleitalycleveland.com) neighborhood. First settled in the late 19th century by skilled Italian artisans, Little Italy has retained much of its Old World charm and tight-knit sense of community.  A blend of art galleries, shops and restaurants, Little Italy offers some of the finest Italian dining in Cleveland including pizzas and pasta, calzones and calamari. Some local favorites include Guarino’s, the oldest continually operating restaurant in Cleveland since 1918, the new and vibrant Mia Bella and pizza slices from Mama Santas. Of course, don’t forget to indulge in a little dessert like a cannoli from Corbo’s Bakery or gelato from Presti’s Bakery.

Saturday, May 18

Morning
Grab a healthy and hearty breakfast from Ohio City (www.ohiocity.com) neighborhood favorites including BonBon Pastry and Café or French-inspired Le Petite Triangle. Or, enjoy a traditional diner-style breakfast from the West Side Market Café. While you’re there, make sure to check out the ultimate foodie’s mecca, The West Side Market, where turn-of-the-century immigrants found their native foods and spices. Today the century-old market features more than 100 vendors with the freshest selection of fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, produce, bakery, ethnic foods and international delicacies.

Afternoon
Keep your legs loose by heading over to University Circle (www.universitycircle.org), the most concentrated square miles of arts and culture in the nation. Just four miles from downtown Cleveland, University Circle is home to more than 20 artistic and cultural venues including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Western Reserve Historical Society and Cleveland Museum of Natural History, all of which are great to peruse on pre-race afternoon.

Evening
Take part in the Cleveland Marathon’s annual Pasta Dinner at the Hyatt Regency in the Arcade. Or, dine at one of downtown Cleveland’s award-winning restaurants in the East Fourth Street Entertainment District or the Historic Warehouse District*Note, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to pick up your race packet by 7pm.

Sunday, May 19

Morning
Race day! Good luck in the 36th annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K.

Afternoon
After burning off some serious calories, refuel at some of Cleveland’s best brunch stops. Open until 2pm is the local favorite, Latitude 41N in the west side Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood. Or, head over to the Tremont neighborhood for the iconic Lucky’s Café, the family-friendly Grumpy’s Café and slew of award-winning restaurants who are opening their doors early to accommodate marathon crowds.

Before heading home be sure to pay homage to your idols by exploring the largest single collection of rock and roll artifacts in the world at the Rock Hall of Fame and Museum (www.rockhall.com), featuring more than 50 exhibits, dynamic cinema presentations and other cool, one-of-a-kind memorabilia.

Take the family out to the ballpark and root for the home team as the Cleveland Indians (www.indians.com) take on the Mariners at Progressive Field. And, don’t forget runners can use the special code offer “Cleveland” for discounted tickets.

Or, cool off with more than 1 million gallons of water at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium (www.greaterclevelandaquarium.com). Here, the 145’ walk-through Seatube tunnel lets visitors experience life under the sea as they are completely surrounded by fish, sharks and stingrays.

– Submitted by April Ingle, Communications Coordinator 

Cleveland Mother’s Day Events

Are you having trouble planning a Mother’s Day outing for that special lady in your life? Allow Positively Cleveland to help make your Mother’s Day celebration as unique and beautiful as she is. Here is a list of some of the best Mother’s Day events to take Mom to in the Cleveland area. From a relaxing brunch in a beautiful garden setting, to a walk on the wild side at The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo; there truly is something for everyone.

Greater Cleveland Aquarium: Beach Blanket Breakfast
How about a breakfast on a beach blanket for Mother’s Day this year? The Greater Cleveland Aquarium is offering just that. Come enjoy a fun and educational breakfast in the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, located on the west bank of the Flats in downtown Cleveland. This family-friendly event takes you under the sea and into the lives of our fishy friends. Learn how aquatic mothers take care of their young all while enjoying a delicious breakfast.  For questions and tickets call 216.826.8803 or visit www.greaterclevelandaquarium.com/events

Nautica Queen
This Mother’s Day, treat Mom like a queen. The Nautica Queen Cruise ship is offering a Mother’s Day brunch and an early dinner cruise around the waterways of Cleveland. Let Mom relax while taking in gorgeous views of the Cleveland skyline. Brunch is from 11am to 1:30pm and an early dinner cruise is from 4pm to 6pm. For reservations call 216.696.8888 or visit: www.nauticaqueen.com

Mother’s Day at the Zoo
Is your Mom wild about animals? This Mother’s Day, take her to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on May 12, from 10 am to 5pm and receive half price admission for mom. This event focuses on the universal love a mother has for her offspring through educational shows, allowing visitors to see animal mother and young interactions up close. For questions call 216.661.6500 or visit www.clemetzoo.com/events/event.asp?event_id=23

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens
Invite Mom to enjoy a relaxing self-guided tour through Stan Hywet estate. All mothers receive free admission to the estate, including the architecturally stunning Manor House and gorgeous gardens. For more information call 330.836.5533 or visit  www.stanhywet.org.

Mother’s Day Brunch at The Garden
Treat Mom to a beautiful springtime brunch at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. On Mother’s Day, dine surrounded by gorgeous blooms and beautiful themed gardens. Brunch seating times are available from 10am to 2pm, in 30 minute blocks. To make reservations, call 216.721.1600 x100 or visit www.cbgarden.org/

The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland
The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland is offering a lavish bunch this Mother’s Day. Spoil Mom with an extensive brunch menu all set in the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s Cleveland Ballroom. For information call 216.623.1300 or visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Cleveland/Default.htm

House of Blues Presents: Kirk Franklin’s Mother’s Day Gospel Brunch
Celebrate this Mother’s Day with an unforgettable brunch and inspiring music! Grammy-Award winning Gospel music icon Kirk Franklin is working with the House of Blues to create a new Gospel Brunch experience. The all-you-can-eat Gospel Brunch is a non-denominational celebration of gospel music with a buffet menu featuring southern specialties ranging from Creole chicken to a create-your-own Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar. For ticket information, call the House of Blues at 216.523.2583, or visit http://www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/cleveland/

For other events happening Mother’s Day weekend, or anytime in Cleveland, visit www.positivelycleveland.com/play/events.

Cleveland Food Festivals

food-festivalsPick a weekend in Cleveland, and visitors can find a chance to boogie with bagpipers, drift downriver on dragonboats, “mangia” manicotti and more. With such an appreciation and celebration of the 117 different ethnicities that make up our region, it’s not just Cleveland, Ohio… it’s more like Cleveland, World.

May – September: Throughout the summer months, Cleveland’s gourmet cuisine on wheels comes together for Walnut Wednesdays. Nearly a dozen of the area’s most popular food trucks gather in downtown’s NineTwelve District for delicious food, live music and an enjoyable mid-day break.

May 11: The Kamm’s Corners neighborhood recently introduced a new type of ethnic celebration to Cleveland. The Hooley (an Irish slang term for “party”) brings together the community for day of music, pipes and drummers, Irish dancers and food vendors galore. The inaugural year brought out more the 15,000 attendees for a block party like none other.

May 25 – 28: Each year on Memorial Day weekend, families head to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in the Tremont Neighborhood for delicious traditional dishes such as moussaka and hours of Greek music and dancing at the Tremont Greek Festival.

May18 – 19: In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month the region’s Asian community hosts the annual Cleveland Asian Festival, a weekend of fun for the entire family. With cultural performances, martial arts demonstrations, children’s activities, authentic Asian cuisine, trolley tours and fun competitions, this festival is quickly becoming a “not-to-be-missed” summer activity.

May 24 – 27: Get the bib ready for some lip-smacking, finger-licking fun at the Berea National Rib Cook-Off at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. Rib masters battle it out to provide some of the tastiest ribs in town with other events for kids, themed nights and a slew of favorite local bands.

May 24 – 27: Taste all of the delicious barbeque goodness provided when grill pros go head-to-head to earn best ribs in the land during the Marc’s Annual Great American Rib Cook-off and Music Festivalat Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica.

June 8: A free community arts celebration, Parade the Circle incorporates the drama and artistry of handmade colorful floats (no motorized vehicles, though), giant puppets, bright costumes, handmade masks, stilt-walkers, dancers and musicians. Held in University Circle, the nation’s most concentrated square mile of arts and cultural institutions, the event draws more than 60,000 people every year.

June 14 – 16: Attendees choose from more than 200 wine samples from around the world while learning about new and exciting varieties from the experts at the Cleveland Wine Festival, located at Voinovich Park in downtown Cleveland. Some of the region’s best restaurants and caterers are on-hand selling their signature dishes.

June 20 – 22: At the 35th Annual Ohio Scottish Games on the Lorain County Fairgrounds, traditional musicians compete head to head in solo piping and drumming, pipe bans, harping fiddling and highland dancing. As a one-day escape to the highlands, visitors are immersed in traditional Scottish culture with massed bagpipe bands, along with art displays and traditional food. The weekend also features Clan Village where heritage clans and societies gather to assist the general public with family, genealogy and membership questions pertaining to their clan/society.

June 28 – 30: The community of Lorain located west of Cleveland, hosts a week-long annual International Festival and Bazaar to celebrate various nationalities and cultures. Along with authentic music, live performances and costumes, a three-day bazaar features more than 40 food vendors and craft booths with products from native lands.

July 11: A not-to-be-missed summer event great for the whole family is the Taste of Tremont. For the past ten years, this art and culinary-centric neighborhood throws a massive street fair to showcase all the best that Tremont has to taste.

July19 – 21: The Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival seeks to preserve, memorialize and document Irish history and traditions. The festival includes more than 20 performers on nine stages, a multitude of exhibits and Irish vendors. From traditional Celtic dancers, pipe bands and harpists to massive rock bands, the festival truly exemplifies the spirit of the Irish community.

July: Help Cleveland celebrate environmental awareness with great music, incredible food and a frothy pint of Great Lakes Brewing Company beer during the Great Lakes Burning River Festival. Held at the historic Coast Guard Station on Whiskey Island, this festival features educational exhibitors who raise awareness of environmental issues affecting the region.

August 2- 3: Vintage Ohio Wine Festival, an annual wine festival held at Lake Farmpark, features the latest and greatest offerings by some of Ohio’s best vineyards. Besides all the wonderful wine, visitors can enjoy the fabulous food offered by participating restaurants with menu items ranging from $3-$10. Also experience great music, entertainment, crafters, exhibitors and cooking demonstrations.

August 15 – 18: Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood is famous for its annual four-day festival, Feast of the Assumption. The throughout the weekend, affectionately called “The Feast,” the streets are shut down and all the family-owned Italian eateries bring their menu to the streets where more than 100,000 people visit just to get a taste.

August 17 – 18: During The National Hamburger Festival, at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron, burger fans in goggles bob for foam hamburger patties in a kiddie pool full of ketchup. This delicious weekend celebration features many fan favorites, such as burger cook-off events, Hamburger Eating competition, the Miss Hamburger Pageant and more.

August 30 – Sept. 2: The Cleveland Labor Day Oktoberfest honors German culture with a beer-stein holding contest, a nationally-recognized marionette company, wiener dog races and more. The scale of Europeans foods, microbrews, exhibits and vendors participating in the festival is of Germanic proportions. The festival takes place at the Cuyahoga County fairgrounds all weekend long.

August: The City of Cleveland has hosted the Puerto Rican Parade and Latino festival for more than 40 years. The activities highlight the Latino community’s rich music, foods, folklore and splendor.  Stunning floats and costumes line the city streets for a spectacular conclusion to the weekend-long festival.

Sept. 7 – 8: Shaker Square, home to the ever-popular North Union Farmers Market, once again becomes the place to be for “all things garlic” in the region during the Cleveland Garlic Festival. Attendees, armed with breath mints, enjoy garlic-themed food (everything from ice cream to oysters) prepared by local chefs, an onsite celebrity chef Grill-Off, live music, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, taste and grow tents for children and more.

October: Visitors can enjoy an entire week dedicated to beer! Cleveland Beer Week showcases local breweries, restaurants, bars, taverns, grocers and specialty beverage stores. From music and activities to ale tastings and brewmaster meet-and-greets, all events offer unique specials for and raise awareness of craft brews.

Nov. 8- 10: Foodies who desire to learn the latest techniques from top chefs, shop for the holidays, sample outstanding food and taste fantastic wines should take a trip to The Fabulous Food Show, a consumer culinary show at the I-X Center. Take a trip down the aisles and aisles of cooking products and savory samples mixed in with a dash of cooking demos and the zest of celebrity chef appearances.

December 31: For more than 15 years thousands have gathered in Port Clinton for the “Madness at Midnight” Walleye Drop. Located approximately an hour and a half outside of Cleveland, the town of Port Clinton is home to a hearty population of walleye capital in the Lake Erie waters nearby. To celebrate such a distinction the town uses a massive crane to lower a fiberglass walleye replica, approximately 30 times larger than the average walleye, at the stroke of midnight.

 

Family-Friendly Dining

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.

Beardan’s
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.
440.331.7850, www.beardens-cleveland.com

B Spot
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.
www.bspotburgers.com

Corner Alley
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.
216.298.4070, www.corneralley.com

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!
216.464.3838, www.corkyandlennys.com

Dewey’s Pizza
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.
www.deweyspizza.com

Grumpy’s Café
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.
216.241.5025, www.grumpys-cafe.com

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.
216.830.7625, www.hardrock.com

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.
216.523.BLUE, www.houseofblues.com/cleveland

Luigi’s Restaurant
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.
330.253.2999, www.luigisrestaurant.com

Noodlecat
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.
www.noodlecat.com

Mama Santas
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.
216.421.2159, http://mamasantas.com

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.
www.meltbarandgrilled.com 

Susy’s Soup
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.
216.771.7792, www.susysoup.com 

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.
216.443.0511, www.thegreenhousetavern.com 

Tommy’s Restaurant
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.
216.321.7757, www.tommyscoventry.com

Yours Truly
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.
http://www.ytr.com/

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.
216.589.0313, www.winkinglizard.com 

Profiles: Phyllis Harris, The Community Activist

phyllis lgbtCleveland native Phyllis Harris holds a Master’s degree in non-profit management from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baldwin Wallace College. She is dedicated to helping improve the lives of Greater Clevelanders through advocating for social justice. She is the proud mother of two children ages 7 and 15.

The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland is nearly 40 years old. What role does the center play in the community? The LGBT Community Center continues to play an important role in the quality of life for many LGBT Clevelanders. In some instances the Center may be the only LGBT resource where residents feel that they can be affirmed and safely access social, educational and health services. The Center also provides LGBT Clevelanders the opportunity to engage in advocating for social and legal change.

What did it mean to you when Cleveland’s iconic Terminal Tower was lit in LGBT pride colors? I felt a sense of pride about being a Clevelander and about my choice to live in Cleveland as an out lesbian. I hold the lighting of the Terminal Tower in pride colors as a symbol of acknowledgement and appreciation!

The City of Cleveland offers a domestic partner registry. Has that helped to make Cleveland a more welcoming city? Yes, I believe so. I know many people who have left the state to seek out legal protections offered in other states like the ability to marry and build families through second parent adoption. I believe the registry is a start in the right direction.

How do you like living in the Cleveland region? I enjoy living in Cleveland! In the past few years I feel like I am rediscovering all that the region has to offer. I generally tell friends who want to visit that we have great Meds, Eds, Eats, Arts and Parks!

Any recommendations for visitors with kids? Yes, Cleveland is kid-friendly and has affordable opportunities such as our museums – the Children’s Museum, Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Museum of Art and so on.

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