Cleveland & Akron Are Open Folks, Go Exploring!

by | Jul 21, 2021 | NE Ohio in the News

Once a month, an email is sent to our 15 WFH employees. It keeps the connectivity alive, but equally important is the info share about what is new and happening in the Greater CLE/AKR region. We pass this knowledge on to the candidates and newcomers we work with every day.
So, after hearing the fourth person in as many weeks say, “Geez, I haven’t been downtown since before COVID. Has anything changed?, we knew we had to share this info with a wider audience. We all need to support the places that make Cleveland and Akron unique and special…the restaurants, the parks, the cool city neighborhoods, our arts institutions and the new construction projects we should all know about. But with so many of us still working from home (maybe forever) we aren’t out and about as much as we used to be and so the organic learning isn’t happening. Here are some ideas to help you venture outside of your bubble and go exploring!

  • Downtown Cleveland Alliance makes it easy to see what’s open: more than 150 places! – and it’s even arranged by neighborhood (Flats, Warehouse District, Theater Distict, etc.) to take the guesswork out of and make your next trip downtown fun. Here’s just one new restaurant to try out: Acqua di Luca(Warehouse District) – former spot of XO Prime Steaks on the corner of St. Clair & W. 6th
  • The Wendy Park Bridge that connects downtown, Ohio City, Gordon Square, Tremont and the Flats to the water’s edge is now open. If you haven’t walked a new trail in awhile and want to explore cool urban neighborhoods, check out the interactive map and lace up your shoes or get your bike out!

    Wendy Park Bridge, photo courtesy KS Associates, Inc. the coastal engineering co that helped with the project (and an EA client of course!)

  • BrewDog is opening this summer on Scranton Peninsula in the Flats with river and city views, outdoor seating in converted shipping containers, a dog park, a playground, and fire pits in the yard area. A Scottish-based brewery, BrewDogs can be found in Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh.
  • Multiple construction cranes near the West Side Market are slowly bringing new structures to Ohio City:
    • Intro, a nine-story building across the street from Market, the largest mass timber building in US (out of wood, old school!) just under 300 apartments and 35,000 sq ft of retail including new restaurants to augment the many on this strip. Will also feature Truss, new event space, bound to be the dream wedding location for all those who waited a long COVID year to throw a party!
    • Waterford Bluffs, 240 luxury apartments at the foot of the Detroit Superior Bridge on the north side of Lorain Rd
    • Voos development project by MRN (Maron brothers developed E. 4th and Uptown) 4.2 acres with residential and retail on W. 25th two blocks south of West Side Market in SOLO, South of Lorain, a hot address in CLE right now

      Intro Cleveland – photo courtesy Habor Bay Real Estate Advisors

  • Interesting things happening in University Circle:
    • Circle Square  – ok despite the name (are we deliberately trying to confuse people?) it’s a cool project nonetheless: a full city block at the intersection of Chester/E. 105th) that will include a new MLK Jr branch of Cleveland Public Library, 160-room hotel, 800 apartments, ground floor retail. University Circle is growing its residential numbers making it a real neighborhood!
    • Ford/Hessler  -a  controversial project for some as Hessler Street has a lot of strong memories for many – but this project, with some modifications from the residents, was approved by the Cleveland Landmarks Commission and will both renovate and bring new construction to the area including a dozen new housing units
    • New development in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood: a couple from Ethiopia are spearheading open Adidas, 400+ moderately priced apartments as  “Costs are multiplying in nearby UC and Little Italy pricing out students and others. We’ve got Dealer Tire here and Dave’s, but there’s really nothing for the butcher that wants to live near where he works.”
  • Freedom Boat Club is a way for those who want to enjoy Lake Erie but not the hassle of owning their own boat possible. Founded in Sarasota 3 decades ago, it’s the oldest and largest boat club in the world with 275 clubs in US, Canada & Europe. Members get unlimited use of Lake Erie boats from May through October, plus reciprocal reservations at 275 other clubs (great for those who travel or are snowbirds). The Club owns, maintains and insures a local fleet of new 22-24-foot boats that seat 8-12 people and while it’s not inexpensive to belong, it’s way less costly than owning your own boat. Seven locations in our region to pick up the boat include:
    • Anchors Away Marina on Catawba Island/Lakeside Marblehead
    • Oasis Marinas at Battery Park in Sandusky [Opening in June]
    • Huron Boat Basin Marina in Huron
    • Oasis Marinas at Port Lorain in Lorain
    • Emerald Necklace Marina/Rocky River Reservation in Lakewood
    • Channel Park Marina in Downtown Cleveland
    • Mentor Harbor Yachting Club in Mentor
  • Jeff Epstein, Executive Director MidTown shared info on interesting things happening in his neighborhood including:
    • Offset Lofts originally a former printing company now open airy lofts at 3800 Euclid Ave across from the Children’s Museum
    • Cleveland Foundation’s new headquarters is now under construction at E. 66th and Euclid alongside the Dunham Tavern Museum. When it opens in 2022 it will add much needed greenspace to MidTown and will provide a welcoming public space on the first floor with a cafe run by a local non-profit – another dining option in MidTown!
    • Mark these dates on your calendar: August 23-28, when MidTown will be presenting Cleveland Walls – a weeklong installation of 20 new murals, with free family-friendly activities, performances & artists talks

      mural to be painted on side of HausMalts building on Carnegie at E. 61st – photo courtesy MidTown Cleveland

  • Maker Town Market is back this summer in Ohio City’s Hingetown every Sunday’s 11 am – 4 pm from Memorial Day weekend thru mid-September. Now if the rain would only stay away long enough for us all to enjoy it!
  • Bark & Brew is scheduled to open this summer at E. 21 & Lakeside in downtown CLE and combines a doggie daycare with a brewery; free entry for humans without dogs who just want a beer!
  • We are all sad that the staffing challenges has kept one of our favorite spots on the Cuyahoga River (Merwin’s Wharf)  temporarily closed this summer, but here are other Metroparks spots to enjoy a cold beer or a meal
    • E55 on the Lake sits adjacent to Lake Erie and the marina there and offer great casual food close to downtown
    • The Metroparks Huntington Reservation in Bay Village has a new restaurant that we like, Chatty’s Pizzeria  – and speaking of the Huntington Reservation….the snack bar that used to serve just a few basics (including beloved Honey Hut ice cream) is now The Noshery and offers cocktails/local craft beer and a bigger menu. Sunset Plaza is perched on the ridge overlooking the beach and is quickly becoming one of the places to go to watch the sun go down on the west side. Oh and they also have the best canned wine (Graham & Fisk Wine-in-A-Can) that you’ve ever had!

      The Noshery, photo courstey Cleveland Metroparks

  • Noticed any Hollywood A-Listers in town? A Netflix film (White Noise, based on a book by the same name) is in production in Cleveland thru September. Starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig and directed by her husband Noah Bombach
  • CitiRoc, the local developer working exclusively in CLE has a new project, The Centaur which opens in December. Its location is north of NASA’s campus which is beside the airport at 21000 Brookpark Rd, Cleveland. named for the Centaur rocket team. Will also have a (Wyndham managed and branded) boutique hotel. Described as one of two adjacent buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, at one point in time 1,000 engineers were working within these buildings. The accomplishments that came from the men and women that worked in the NASA K building redefined global space exploration. The K building will be converted into 84 Luxury apartments that consist of a combination of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites.  A unique location for our Westside focused clients.
  • The Farmer’s Rail in Bath is a farmer owned/operated butcher shop and boutique market that blows us away every time we stop in or order something to go. We have heard rumors that they are opening up additional locations in Hudson and Cuyahoga Falls.

    this could be your lunch – photo courtesy The Farmer’s Rail

  • Speaking of Cuyahoga Falls if you haven’t been to their charming downtown with all the funs places to see on Front street, make a trip! One great place for lunch is Leo’s Italian Social (same owners as M Italian & Burntwood Tavern), a old-time candy shop, a great brewery with patio that welcomes dogs

    greaat pizza and craft beer at HiHo Brewery in Cuyahoga Falls

  • COVID battered quite a few local favorites (still crying over loss of Fire on Shaker Square, Spice in Gordon Square, Lola on E. 4th Street and Nighttown) but we imagine many of those spots will return with a new chef/owner. Crop in Ohio City is being reimagined as Bartleby, a modern supper club and Ben Bebenroth’s beloved Spice is now both Keep the Change Kitchen Collective (order to go) and an event space that can be rented out and known as Spice Kitchen & Bar and all of Michael Symon’s B Spots have closed, but the one at Eton will be turned into a suburban outpost for Mabel’s BBQ

HEY, if you’ve read this far and think we are missing something really interesting, send us an email at [email protected] and just maybe it will show up in next months blog posting.

  • Finally, we love the new cheese shop in the Cedar/Lee neighborhood of Cleveland Heights: Marchant Manor Cheese. They even have premade cheese boards that make trying new styles easy and fun. Fluffy Duck provides bakery, and they feature other local makers like Nosh Nut Butters from Cuyahoga Falls
    • they make cheese sampling fun! (photo courtesy Marchmont Manor Cheese)