The City of Cleveland Heights presented businesses with longtime locations in the Cedar Fairmount Business District with proclamations honoring their longevity at an event held at Nighttown on May 10. Businesses and professionals who were honored are: Bridgestone Firestone, 85 years; Cedar Hill Sunoco, 82 years; Nighttown Restaurant, 50 years; Cedar Hill Antiques, 45 years; Blatchford Architects, 42 years; Appletree Books, 40 years; Dr. James Bashaw, 40 years; Dr. Javier Galvez, 38 years; Pete Axelrod, 37 years; India Community Center, 37 years; Jack Valancy Consulting, 35 years; Mad Greek Restaurant, 34 years; Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, 32 years; Dr. Maureen Krieck, 31 years; Reflections, 30 years; Abstract Hair Salon, 30 years; JPMorgan Chase Bank, 27 years; Stan Harris Insurance, 27 years; Roth Stanley & Associates Therapy Practice, 27 years; and Dr. Terry Tobias, 25 years.
Aharon Denton Photography of University Heights is celebrating children’s smiles this Mother's Day with a one-day portrait event to benefit Operation Smile.
On Sunday, May 10, the studio will donate every session fee and 5 percent of each order to Operation Smile—an international children's medical charity that performs safe, effective cleft lip and cleft palate surgery, and delivers postoperative and ongoing medical therapies to children in low- and middle-income countries.
Since 1982, Operation Smile—through the help of dedicated medical volunteers—has provided 220,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults. For every $240 donated to Operation Smile, one child can be helped.
Heights residents can vote for their favorite Heights businesses in the 11th annual FutureHeights Best of the Heights awards program. The 2015 survey begins May 1 and runs through Aug. 31.
Since 2005, FutureHeights—a nonprofit that inspires and facilitates collaboration and empowerment in our community—has conducted this public opinion survey to recognize the unique attributes of locally owned Heights businesses, and their contributions to the local economy.
Ballots for Best of the Heights awards will be available in the May, June, July and August issues of the Heights Observer, at the many Heights independent businesses and online at www.futureheights.org.
The Cedar Fairmount Business District lies 150 feet beyond the border of Cleveland, and is known as the “Gateway to the Heights.” In the early 1900s, real estate developers turned Cedar Fairmount into the first planned neighborhood shopping area in Cleveland Heights, and streetcars traveled the route between downtown Cleveland and the district.
Café Bon Appetit—a restaurant that specializes in healthy food, including organic and vegetarian items—is poised for an early May opening on Euclid Heights Boulevard, at the south end of Coventry Road. This will be the restaurant’s second location. The first opened in 2010, at 1900 Euclid Ave., near Cleveland State University (CSU).
Cleveland Heights residents Jay Novak and his wife, Jade Novak, own both restaurants. They have lived on Superior Avenue near Euclid Heights Boulevard since 2009, and both are immigrants from southeastern Europe. Jade, 31, moved here when she was a teenager, and Jay, 39, moved here about 15 years ago. They met in Cleveland, and their first date was at La Cave du Vin on Coventry Road.
Jay is a civil engineer by profession, who learned about cooking as a child. His mother taught cooking classes, and that inspired him to get involved with food and cooking.
Plans are progressing for the 14th annual Discover Cedar Fairmount Festival, to be held on Sunday, Aug. 9, from noon to 5 p.m. The festival committee has added more entertainment and venues this year.
The ever-popular Arts and Crafts Sale, featuring space for local artists, crafters and vendors to sell their work, will be located on Lennox and Surrey roads, and in the Zoss the Swiss Baker’s parking lot.
Returning entertainers lined up so far for this year include Eclectic Vision and Get Back Duo. The festival committee is adding a stage this year, to highlight some of the entertainment, and is still seeking entertainers and musicians for this year’s festival.
Small businesses are the backbone to a strong and flourishing community. They are destinations and landmarks that make our neighborhoods vibrant. As our local businesses prosper, we all prosper.
FutureHeights invites Heights businesses to attend the Accessing Capital Workshop on Monday, May 4, 4–6 p.m., at Motorcars Honda, 2953 Mayfield Road.
FutureHeights strives to recognize the investment of time, energy and money our small businesses make in the local economy, boosting the neighborhoods and improving the quality of life for those who live here.
Access to capital, however, is an issue for many small businesses. In fact, the presumed upfront costs for upgrades or other expenses often prevent businesses from even analyzing their opportunities for improvement and growth.
Black Box Fix, a restaurant that features a variety of unique sandwiches, opened on March 27 on Lee Road, in the space previously occupied by Sweetie Fry. Eric Rogers and his wife, LaToya Rogers, own the new restaurant. Eric is the chef, while LaToya focuses on customer service. The Rogers previously ran Nevaeh Cuisine and Catering on South Green Road in South Euclid.
The couple has lived in South Euclid for the past five years, and have three children: two boys, ages 12 and 14, and a nine-month-old daughter. Eric, who’s 36, was born and raised in Cleveland, and graduated from Collinwood High School in 1997. After graduating, he took a job at University Hospitals, where he started as a clerk in the mailroom and kept moving up the ranks until he became the hospital’s supervisor of finance.
The Heights is full of great people—they knit us together, make us feel good, and serve our community. They are trustworthy, generous, and a positive reflection of this place we call home.
Tony and Kathy Skettle are two of these people.
They moved to Bushnell Road in University Heights in the spring of 1978. They raised four children—Nicole, Karl, Genevieve and Timothy—who grew up going to church at Gesu, playing outside until the streetlights came on, and lifeguarding at Purvis Park Pool. All graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and three earned degrees from Ohio University. And three are now homeowners in Cleveland Heights.
Asked what they liked most about raising a family on Bushnell Road, Tony cited the proximity to schools, stores, library, recreation center and church.
Kathy praised the neighbors, and said, “We’ve always been blessed with the friendliest and most-caring neighbors.”
Friday evening shopping used to be a tradition in many towns. It was a night to relax, shop and dine out after a busy work week. Cedar Fairmount merchants have decided to restart the tradition by making the second Friday of each month special, beginning April 10.
The district’s merchants plan to extend their hours to remain open until 8 p.m. or later, and offer refreshments, entertainment or special saving in the stores, and the district’s restaurants plan to feature specials, events and other incentives.
The goal for each month’s Cedar Fairmount Second Friday is for the district’s businesses to offer unique opportunities and festivities for visitors.
In Cleveland Heights’s Cedar Fairmount Business District, a new business has opened, and other businesses have added staff, expanded menus, and made other enhancements during the first part of 2015.
BowTie Medical Clinic has opened its doors at 12429 Cedar Road, Suite 25 (877-283-8863, www.bowtiemedical.com). Its board-certified medical practitioners offer same-day appointments, and a walk-in clinic that is open Monday through Friday, 4-8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or by appointment.
This is the second clinic started by Dr. Firouz Daneshgari, principal founder, and Rob Winings and Sam Thomas, co-founders (the first is located in Broadway Heights), and they say their goal is to create a new model in health care, offering membership-based health services.
Serendipity Space, located at 2174 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, just south of Cedar Road, is truly unique. It was designed as a place where people can build connections, relationships and community and, in the process, change the world. Sue Wolpert had the idea for Serendipity a little more than a year ago. “I wanted to develop a place where people could discover ideas and create positive change through their ideas,” she said, “a place that will help us all have the life we want to have.”
After coming up with the concept, Wolpert organized a couple of events at Negative Space Gallery, which is located at East 38th Street and Superior Avenue. Then, one of her friends, Joan Greenwood, wanted to do a program called LovingKindness Week. Because it was a weeklong event, Wolpert realized she would need her own space.
Judith Eugene opened Loving Hands Yoga and Reiki in her house at 2959 Hampshire Road in Cleveland Heights in January 2011. Since then, the yoga studio and Reiki center has become very successful. Last year it won the Best of the Heights Award for Best Home-Based Business.
Eugene, 52, is a Cleveland Heights native. She grew up on Kenilworth Road and attended Coventry Elementary School, Roxboro Middle School and Heights High. She then went to Kent State University, where she majored in architecture. After graduating, she could not find a job in the Cleveland area, so she wound up moving to New York City and, later, northern Virginia.
“I always felt like Cleveland was my home,” she said. “And I kept coming back to visit.” She moved back to Cleveland Heights in 2010.
A new store that sells artwork and other items created by local artisans opened on the south end of Coventry Road on Jan. 23. Jenny Goe and her husband, Steve Goe, are the owners of In the 216, located in the space formerly occupied by Phoenix Coffee and, before that, Arabica Coffee.
Jenny, 49, is an artist herself, while her husband works for Progressive Insurance. The couple, who just got married in December, currently live in Highland Heights, but hope to move to the Cleveland Heights area soon. Jenny lived in Shaker Heights, off of Coventry Road, for about 10 years. The couple’s dog—a mixed-breed terrier and retriever named Heaven—can often be found in the shop.
Jenny said that she and her husband had often thought about opening a shop where they could sell items made by local artists. “Because I make and sell jewelry, it was a natural idea to open a store,” she said. “And Coventry was always a cool place to go and hang out. So when I saw this space, I thought it was a really good fit. I think our store really fits Coventry, which features small shops and handmade items.”
Keller Williams Realty Group and an AT&T authorized retailer have opened their doors, adjacent to one another, on Cedar Road.
After a soft opening in early December, the Heights office of Keller Williams Greater Cleveland (KWHeights) is up and running at 12451 Cedar Road, with 14 agents working from the new office. The agents chose the Cedar Road location because of its “easy access” to the heart of Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Shaker Heights and University Circle.
Keith Keifer, one of the agents, said, “Keller Williams offices are each independently owned and operated. We believe real estate is a local service industry and our customers always come first.” The agents can be reached at 877-477-SOLD.
Nighttown, the restaurant located at the top of Cedar Hill in the Cedar Fairmount District of Cleveland Heights, is observering its 50th anniversary this month. On Feb. 13, the restaurant will host its biggest anniversary celebration, which will feature a concert by the Manhattan Transfer, the Grammy-Award-winning vocal quartet. In addition, the restaurant is putting together an all-star Cleveland band for a performance on Feb. 5, and is planning numerous other anniversary celebrations over the course of the year.
On an icy January day in 1995, John Emerman and Tatyana Rehn sat nervously at one of the tables in their new restaurant and wondered if anyone would walk through the front door. “Minutes earlier, we had pulled the Kraft paper off the windows and given the café a final once over,” said Emerman. “After months of work, we now wondered if anyone would know we were there.”
Twenty years later, the Stone Oven Bakery Café has become a neighborhood landmark.
“I’m amazed,” said Emerman. “I’m not one to stay in one place for more than a couple of years. I could never hold down a job for more than two years because I’d get bored and I’d leave.”
“This has been really creative and fun,” said Emerman, who added that he enjoys owning the business, although being a local celebrity can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.
According to Emerman, the business evolved slowly. He and Rehn met as engineering students at Cleveland State University in the 1970s. They married and settled on Queenston Road in Cleveland Heights to raise two children who attended Heights schools.
Washington & Lee Service will host a customer appreciation party on Saturday, Jan. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. at its facility at 2080 Lee Road. The event will feature food by the Tavern Company and music by the band Old Boy. Owner Chip Ramsey invites customers and friends to attend.
"I've owned the business for eight years now," said Ramsey. "I'm carrying on the tradition of the previous owner, showing appreciation for my loyal customers and giving back to the community."
Oldboy is a local rock-folk band whose music runs the gamut from wistful to epic folk to downright heavy rock and roll. Band members include Shawn Brewster, Michael Kinsella (FutureHeights board member), Rob Kovacs, Shelby Sangdahl and Pete Simon.
Declan Synnott, owner of Parnell’s Pub in Cleveland Heights, only expected to stay in Cleveland for a year. Now, he is celebrating 18 years of owning his Lee Road business.
“I thought I’d be in and out,” said Synnott, a native of Dublin, recruited to move here from Boston by the founders of Flannery’s Irish Pub in Cleveland. “It wasn’t until I bought Parnell’s that I realized my stay may be a bit longer than expected."
On Saturday, Jan. 31, Synnott, along with his wife, Liz, and family and staff, invite you and yours to celebrate 18 years of serving great pints and good company. Whiskey specials and giveaways will be offered all night, with live musical entertainment provided by the Cleveland Heights-based band Oldboy, performing from 10 p.m. to midnight.
Jake Orosz was growing up in the Forest Hill neighborhood when he took a part-time job bussing tables at The Mad Greek. He moved through various positions there, then on to restaurants Moxie and Red, and back to The Mad Greek before he started tending bar at The Fairmount. Two years later, at age 23, he was able to buy the place.
It’s been three years, and Orosz has made incremental improvements to the space, adding bright new signage, a full kitchen, renovations and upgrades to the interior, revising and expanding the drink and food menus, and building a reputation for himself and The Fairmount as a Heights destination.
The bar features an indoor herb garden. “It’s great to cook with fresh herbs all year round,” said Orosz. The built-in liquor closet contains a dizzying assortment of liquors, wines and aperitifs. “We’ve added more taps to accommodate the thirst for craft beer on draft,” Orosz noted.
Chuck Falk, manager and master barber at Eddy’s Barbershop on Coventry Road, has become a haircutter to the stars. Over the past few months, Falk has expanded his business, and his clients now include Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel and hip-hop artist G-Eazy.
Falk started cutting Manziel’s hair last July, when the Browns opened their training camp in Berea. One of Manziel’s representatives had contacted Michael Hurley, who owns a clothing store on West 25th Street in Cleveland, and Hurley recommended Falk.
The barber went to the hotel where the players were staying in Berea and cut Manziel’s hair. Since then, he has been cutting Manziel’s hair on a regular basis. “I usually do it before the team heads out of town for a road game, or before they play a game here in Cleveland,” Falk said. But Manziel doesn’t come to Eddy’s. Instead, Falk goes to Manziel’s apartment downtown.
Alex and Dawn Quintana, along with their children, Gabriella and John, celebrated the opening of their expanded space with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 8. The Heights High Barbershoppers performed as friends and family enjoyed tours of the new space and free paraffin hand treatments.
Quintana's Barber & Dream Spa now occupies two storefronts next door to each other, 2200 and 2190 South Taylor Road. The spa, which had occupied the upper floor of 2200, now occupies the adjacent storefront.
Next, the Ohio-based clothing-store chain, has moved its Cleveland Heights shop to a new location on Coventry Road. The store, which was at the north end of Coventry, next to Avalon Exchange, is now at 1812 Coventry Road, between Big Fun and Coventry Cats, in the space that was previously occupied by the Sleep Source mattress store.
Though the old Next store had a street-level entrance, shoppers had to go downstairs into the basement to get into the actual store. “We wanted to get out of the basement and get up on the street level,” said Robert Rosenthal, who is the men’s apparel buyer for the chain. “We were always a little hidden in the old location.”
In July 2013, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) opened an office in the Lee Road Library. Staffed by Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University, SBDC provides no-cost, confidential, in-depth, one-on-one counseling for small businesses. Services, such as training, counseling, quality-based assessments, technical assistance, loan packaging guidance and preparation are also available.
Before the office opened at the library, the City of Cleveland Heights housed an SBDC office at city hall. The in-kind services provided by the city helped establish the center’s presence. After operating for a year at city hall, Heights Libraries invited SBDC to relocate to the library’s Heights Knowledge and Innovation Center (HKIC), a workspace dedicated to business and creative endeavors for entrepreneurs.
The BottleHouse Brewery plans to expand its brewing capacity at its 2050 Lee Road location. Installation of new brewing barrels will begin in January, enabling the brewery to meet increasing demand.
“Our current system is a 2.5 barrel system,” said Brian Benchek, owner of the BottleHouse. “We have been doing things on the current system no sane brewery would ever dream of doing on such a tiny system. Every month we sell more beer than the previous month, and we have reached a point where we simply can’t brew any more without setting up cots and moving in.”
This holiday season, three Cleveland Heights business districts are all planning events for the same day, Saturday, Dec. 13.
Cedar Fairmount, Cedar Lee, and Coventry Village merchants encourage residents and visitors alike to shop local, and are sponsoring special appearances and activities throughout the day and into the evening on Dec. 13. In addition, several Cedar Fairmount businesses are planning evening events on Friday, Dec. 12.
As part of Cedar Fairmount’s festivities, Santa and his helper will appear at Dave’s Market 2–4 p.m., and carolers will stroll the sidewalks. Visitors can register for a free holiday drawing at participating merchants.
The Cedar Lee district will offer a special screening of the Cleveland holiday classic “A Christmas Story” at 11 a.m. Tickets are specially priced at $1 each, and audience members are urged to donate canned goods or other nonperishable food items, to benefit the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
Changes are coming to the Cedar Taylor Business District, including streetscape improvements and expansion of Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa. One of the biggest changes is the renovation of what used to be called the CT Building, at the southwest corner of the intersection of Cedar and Taylor roads. In 2013, New York-based CPR Properties purchased the building, which houses 25 apartments, and six retail stores on the street level.
CPR—which stands for Community, Preservation and Revitalization—invests in apartment buildings in neglected areas of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and renovates them. According to its website, the company is motivated by the “desire young people have to live, work and create communities in authentic places with robust historical connections.”
Find something for everyone on your list at the many independent merchants in the Heights. Most will gift wrap or ship your items, too. Here are some of our favorites:
The independent business owners of Coventry Village say that shopping small is how they built a neighborhood. In a single quarter-mile stretch, Coventry Village hosts more than 40 independently owned businesses.
This holiday season, Coventry Village Special Improvement District (CVSID) invites everyone to meet the independent business owners of Coventry through a special spotlight feature on its website and Facebook page.
The Coventry business owners gathered recently for a group photo, in which they appear in the following order:
Top row (from left): Iline MacLellan (Grums), Christina Attenson (Attenson Antiques), Larry Collins (City Buddha), Leanne van Beers (SpyngaFlows), Steve Presser (Big Fun), Tommy Fello (Tommy's), Tom Gathy (Heights Hardware), Andy Gathy (Heights Hardware), Bob Yanega (Gateway Heights Church), Doug Hayslip (Sunshine Headquarters Too), Vince Manzano (Heart & Sole).
Front row (from left):Kathy Blackman (Grog Shop/B Side Liquor Lounge & Arcade), Suzanne DeGaetano (Mac's Backs Books), Debbie Duirk (Inn on Coventry), Rob Love (Record Revolution), Laurie Klopper (Blush Boutique), Jessica Morris (Houde School of Acting), Cosmin Bota (Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt), Adrian Bota (Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt), Bill Gresham (La Cave Du Vin), Eddy Maddox (Eddy's on Coventry/Eddy's Barbershop), Sarah Belzile (Phoenix Coffee), Chelsea McLean (Avalon Exchange).
A stroll on the sidewalks of the Cedar Fairmount Business District will get you in the spirit of the holidays with twinkling lights, holiday greens, and decorated windows filled with lovely ideas for gift giving.
The merchants of Cedar Fairmount have stocked their stores with an abundance of gifts for the holidays, and all of the merchants are offering gift cards: consider a yoga or Pilates lesson; a manicure, pedicure or haircut; or a gift basket from Dave’s Market.
As you stroll Cedar Fairmount on Dec. 13, don’t miss Santa and his helper at Dave’s Market from 2–4 p.m. Cleveland Heights Church carolers will be singing on the sidewalks of Cedar Road and Fairmount Boulevard, and they invite everyone to join them.
Cedar Lee merchants invite you to share good cheer on Saturday, Dec. 13 at the Holiday Stroll on Lee.
Residents, customers and visitors can enjoy a vast array of festivities, shopping and merriment at 21 participating destinations along Lee Road. Experience a performance by violinist Ariel Clayton at Marotta’s, enjoy a champagne tasting at The Wine Spot, and discover hand-crafted inspiration at the Heights Arts Holiday Store. Revive, Abrash and Simply Charming will all feature accessories, jewelry, scarves and other wares that are perfect for gift giving. Purchase gift cards, find selections perfect for holiday gatherings, and celebrate the season with your family on Lee Road.
From dining to cocktails, cookies and hot chocolate, celebrate the season with a fun night out. It’s the perfect opportunity to shop small with local independent businesses, and customer appreciation is a focus of the evening. Look for giveaways, door prizes, samples, entertainment and a guest appearance from Mr. Jingeling, who will add a touch of nostalgia to the occasion.
Three Cleveland Heights business districts have holiday events planned for Saturday, Dec. 13, and have arranged for free transportation to carry visitors and residents from district to district that evening.
From 6–9 p.m. Lolly the Trolley will provide complimentary transportation between the Cedar Fairmount, Cedar Lee and Coventry Village business districts.
Everyone is invited to hop aboard and enjoy shopping, dining and strolling in all three neighborhoods on the same evening, courtesy of the merchants of all three business districts. Note that children riding the trolley must be accompanied by an adult.
Several decades ago, butcher shops were quite common. Most people went to the butcher to get their meat products. But that has all changed. During the 1970s, big grocery-store chains, such as A&P and Kroger’s, started carrying more meat products and, as a result, most butcher shops closed. There is, however, an exception to that trend: Mister Brisket. A butcher shop and deli, Mister Brisket, located on Taylor Road just south of Cedar Road, has been around since 1973 and it is still thriving.
Sanford Herskovitz, 75, founder and owner of Mister Brisket, grew up in University Heights and still lives there. He attended Heights High and earned his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree from Kent State University, and a Ph.D. in psychology from Case Western Reserve University. His parents owned Carl’s Poultry Market, a butcher shop located at East 86th Street and Cedar Road. In 1972, his father died and his mother took over the business. She remarried and moved to Toronto, and Herskovitz, who was still in grad school, took over the business. He changed the store’s name to Mister Brisket and relocated to Cleveland’s West Side. Then, in 1978, he moved to his current location.
Heights Arts kicked off its annual Holiday Store on Nov. 7, with works from more than 80 Northeast Ohio artists and an energetic new vibe, thanks to colorful new displays and wall treatments created by Heights Arts volunteers, board members and staff.
"This is a very exciting time for Heights Arts," said Rachel Bernstein, Heights Arts executive director. "Courtney Young, our new gallery manager, and CIA intern Julie Rauschenbach worked tirelessly to make this our most spectacular holiday artist showcase yet. In addition, artists we have shown in the past have been particularly prolific in providing us with new works and styles never before seen in our store."
More than a dozen Cleveland-area artists make their debut in the Holiday Store, including Gina DeSantis, ceramics; April Bleakney (Apemade), screen-printed wearables; Annette Poitau, abstract paintings; Denis Balogh, watercolors; Matt Fiorilli, glass sculpture; and Sandra Curry, jewelry.
While all items in the gallery are handmade and one-of–a-kind, two works are truly unique: a limited-edition glass vase created by Sue Berry of Superior Hot Glass, and a limited-edition ceramic wall tile created collaboratively by painter Susan Danko and ceramic artist Andrea LeBlond.
Alice Webster and Lynn Quintrell are the new co-owners of Appletree Books in the Cedar Fairmount neighborhood. Jane Kessler, now 93, founded the business and ran it for 25 years.
“It’s a destination,” a loyal customer said of the store.
Now, with imagination, enthusiasm and know-how, Webster and Quintrell have transformed this landmark into an even more enticing hangout for book lovers of all ages.
“It’s quirky, vintage and homey,” said Quintrell.
Memorabilia abounds, starting with the old but newly repainted wooden doors. The store windows are a stage set for hot-off-the-press fiction, mystery, biography, science, poetry, children’s books and cookbooks.
Gigi’s on Fairmount, a restaurant located in the Fairmount Taylor Business District in Cleveland Heights, has started a new program to benefit area nonprofit organizations. Called Magnificent Mondays, the program kicked off in July and has raised more than $1,300.
Each month, the restaurant selects a beneficiary for the program. Then, every Monday of that month, Gigi’s donates 10 percent of its gross sales to the organization.
“We’ve been so overwhelmed by the support of the community that we were looking for a way to give back,” said Gia Patsch, who came up with the idea and who owns the restaurant with her husband, Jim.
Find something for everyone on your list at the many independent merchants in the Heights. Most will gift wrap or ship your items, too. Here are some of our favorite stocking stuffer gift suggestions:
Buddy Biscuits, Orijen, Grandma Lucy, Primal, Crumps, and Fruitables: All-natural, healthy treats for dogs and cats ($3.50-$9.95, Animal Zen).
One "Baby & Me" Session. This informal weekly program encourages new parents to get acquainted, share experiences, find support and gain information from one another and staff members ($5.00, Family Connections).
CLE Collective Letterpress Greeting Cards: celebrating the good, the quirky and the authentic in Cleveland ($5.00 each, Heights Arts Holiday Store).
Find something for everyone on your list at the many independent merchants in the Heights. Most will gift wrap or ship your items, too. Here are some of our favorite gifts for $50 or less:
Bird Plate ($12.00, Appletree Books).
Giant Wine Glass. Holds an entire bottle of wine, for when one glass of wine is suggested/recommended ($12.50, Big Fun).
One Yoga Class ($15.00, Loving Hands Yoga and Reiki).
Chevron Mugs ($16.00 each, Revive).
Goldie Blox. Construction toys made especially for young girls—and boys, too. Voted Best New Toy (Parade Float, $19.95; Spinning Machine, $29.95; Big Fun).
Find something for everyone on your list at the many independent merchants in the Heights. Most will gift wrap or ship your items, too. Here are some of our favorite gifts priced from $50 to $150:
Children’s Package: onesie, crown headband, book and socks for babies up to six months old ($50.00, Simply Charming).
Close Encounters Chamber Music Tickets. Hear world-class musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra play chamber music in spectacular Heights homes and other unique venues ($50.00, Heights Arts Holiday Store).
Knit Poncho ($52.00, Blush Boutique).
One Reiki Treatment for You or Your Pet ($60.00, Loving Hands Yoga and Reiki).
Drop-In Play Sessions for parents/caregivers and their young children. Enjoy a family playroom with a wide variety of quality toys and a large "muscle room" for climbing, running and jumping. Each session enhances learning through play and provides opportunities for families to meet and share parenting experiences. (Three-month pass, $70; Annual pass, $140; Family Connections).
Find something for everyone on your list at the many independent merchants in the Heights. Most will gift wrap or ship your items, too. Here are some of our favorite gifts priced at more than $150:
Handwoven, 100-percent Cotton Baby Blanket by Elizabeth Mather, dyed with organic indigo in the shibori method ($150.00, Heights Arts Holiday Store).
Plaid Coat with detachable faux-fur collar ($160.00, Blush Boutique).
Firefly Bracelets, designed in Los Angeles and created by hand in Central America (by fair-trade artisans). Each Swarovski piece is set by-hand (Around $165.00 each, Simply Charming).
Find something for everyone on your list at the many independent merchants in the Heights. Most will gift wrap or ship your items, too. Here are some of our favorite items, for the person who has it all:
Swim Upstream Teak Cutting Board ($36, Revive).
Cleveland Heights Gift Baskets. Choose from the Wine Spot/Mister Brisket Basket, which includes two steaks, a great bottle of wine, cheese, and a wine spot corkscrew; Wine Spot/Restless Coffee Basket; Wine Spot/Big Fun Basket; Wine Spot/City Buddha Basket and Wine Spot/Grog Shop Basket. Can be shipped nationwide. (Prices vary, Wine Spot)
Cast and Hand-forged Steel Bottle Opener. Nothing celebrates Cleveland like opening a bottle of local craft beer with Stephen Yusko’s bottle opener ($72.00, Heights Arts Holiday Store).
The term “shop local” is nothing new for Cleveland Heights. In 2001, a group of arts lovers converted a vacant Lee Road storefront into a pop-up gallery for the holiday season. Heights-area artists and artisans offered works for sale, and the community enthusiastically gathered to purchase local, handmade art and gifts. Heights Arts has been a presence on Lee Road ever since.
This month, Heights Arts celebrates its 13th Annual Holiday Store with an opening reception on Friday, Nov. 7. More than 80 regional artists are represented in the show, with works ranging from industrial-inspired jewelry and clutches created from repurposed paintings to innovative, contemporary glassware. Participating artists also volunteer to staff the gallery during Holiday Store hours, so shoppers can meet them in person and learn more about their work.
Chris and Shelley Harvan understand that losing a loved one or a pet is a difficult part of life. Since 2003, their woodworking business in Cleveland Heights, Memento Memorials, has evolved to serve grieving families by creating handmade cremation urns, memorial sculptures and other remembrances.
Working in their home-based studio, the Harvans began by making small keepsake boxes and hand-drawn portraits. When close friends suffered the loss of an unborn child, according to Chris Harvan, "we found ourselves frustrated by the available options for cremation urns, and knew there had to be other people who felt the same way."
The grieving couple had playfully referred to their son as "The Squid" during pregnancy, and the Harvans used that as inspiration to sculpt a cremation urn out of walnut and holly that looks like a friendly, child-like squid.
Two weeks after an early-morning arson fire engulfed the bar car of the Katz Club Diner, owner Doug Katz said, “We definitely hope to rebuild,” but estimated it would be six months before his business will be able to move back into the building. “It's unknown as far as what dates or when I can reopen,” said Katz. “It’s just too early.”
On Oct. 7, fire crews responding to a call at the Katz Club Diner found the bar car on fire. Within 20 minutes, fire fighters had extinguished the fire, but the bar car sustained extensive damage. The state fire marshal soon ruled that the fire was deliberately set, and the Cleveland Heights Police Department quickly made an arrest in the case, announcing the next day that James T. Warholak, a Cleveland Heights resident and former diner employee, was in custody and charged with aggravated arson.
Commenting on the arrest, Katz said, “I’m happy that he’s in custody and he’s been indicted and there’s a process to it. It’s my want to sort of stay out of that aspect of it. I don’t want to have my life absorbed by it or taken over by that. I’d rather look at the positive side, where we’re working with the insurance company to rebuild.”
In celebration of its 75th anniversary, Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates in Cleveland Heights has partnered with more than a dozen Greater Cleveland restaurants to give away fine chocolate. Every weekend through Dec. 20, featured restaurants will be giving away limited-edition Mitchell’s chocolates.
Each Friday during the promotion, Bill Wills will announce that weekend’s chocolate giveaway restaurant locations on Newsradio WTAM 1100. The locations will also be announced on Mitchell’s Facebook page. Each restaurant patron will receive a complimentary Mitchell’s chocolate.
“It’s our way of saying ‘Thank You’ to our customers and to Cleveland for 75 years of success in doing what we love,” said Bill Mitchell, owner of Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates. “Over the years, customers kept coming back for my dad’s signature dipping chocolate—a 52 percent cacao signature dark semisweet chocolate. So, we made a special size with special packaging to give away in gratitude.”
Two days after the 2014 Heights Music Hop, which brought hundreds of people to Lee Road, two of its well-loved businesses—Cedar Lee Pub and Grill, and Sweetie Fry—announced that they are closing up shop.
At 1:51 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 13, a Cedar Lee Pub and Grill staff member posted on Twitter, “We regret to inform you we are closing permanently. Thank you all for your support. We've had some great memories.” The pub had been a music venue for the hop on Saturday, Oct. 11.
As of Tuesday morning, Oct. 14, nothing had been posted on the business’s Facebook page nor at its physical location at 2191 Lee Road. The owners could not be reached for comment.
Keith Logan, owner of Sweetie Fry, posted a letter announcing the closing of his business at its storefront at 2307 Lee Road, and on its Facebook page, on Monday, Oct. 13.
Early Tuesday morning, Oct. 7, the Cleveland Heights Fire Department responded to a call at the Katz Club Diner, located at 1975 Lee Road. Fire crews arrived at approximately 4:30 a.m. and found the bar car on fire. Within 20 minutes, fire fighters had extinguished the fire, and there were no reported injuries, but the bar car sustained extensive damage. The vicinity was briefly blocked to traffic.
Owner Doug Katz arrived at the diner, after being alerted by police, to find the bar car engulfed in flames; by daylight it was a burned-out shell.
Commenting several hours later, at 8:30 a.m., Katz said that he felt “pretty shaken up and awful.” He noted, “It’s been a year and a half, and not only is this our busiest catering week of the year, but we were [preparing the] catering here.”
Alex and Dawn Quintana, owners of Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa, are embarking on the next step in their entrepreneurial journey, inspired by a desire to provide superior customer service in a more comfortable environment, while growing their business.
They recently closed a deal to purchase the building that formerly housed AJ’s Beauty Salon, conveniently located next door to their current space at 2200 South Taylor Road, and are set to more than double the size of their spa, from 900 to 2,000 square feet.
On Friday, Oct. 3, Bitcoin Boulevard US businesses along Lee Road will host the worldwide release of the documentary “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” at the Cedar Lee Theatre. Distribution rights to the film were purchased by Los Angeles-based Gravitas Ventures, which recently opened an office in downtown Cleveland.
“The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” follows the stories of digital currency entrepreneurs and startups that are helping shape this emerging technology. The film will open with a red carpet event, including a Q&A with the movie’s participants and production team. There will be pre- and post-parties hosted by Lee Road merchants, and incentives at the various Bitcoin Boulevard US participating retailers throughout a week of screenings.
Cleveland Heights resident Nikhil Chand, founder of CoinNEO, successfully led merchants in the Cedar Lee district in becoming Bitcoin Boulevard US, the nation's first organized business community accepting bitcoins as a form of payment from customers.
Following a summer marked by both tragedy and resilience, Brennan’s Colony received the title of Best Cleveland Heights Business in the 10th annual Best of the Heights Awards, held Sept. 23. Voters also honored the Lee Road restaurant and bar in naming it the Heights’s Best Bar, Pub or Tavern.
“It’s an overwhelming testament to the amount of support the community has provided us, but most importantly it’s a testament to what Jim Brennan was able to do in his lifetime and in his years of service at the corner of Lee and Silsby, and I would be remiss to think that this award wasn’t directly for him,” said Aran Keenan, Brennan’s Colony manager.
The Best of the Heights Awards is an annual recognition of outstanding Cleveland Heights and University Heights businesses.
Marotta’s, the slender Italian restaurant located on Lee Road between Silsby Road and Meadowbrook Boulevard, opened a new patio in late August. Located behind the restaurant, the patio seats about 30 people. It has a beige roof and zip-out windows, and also features a natural brick retaining wall, LED lighting and Brazilian hardwood fences. The covering makes the patio usable most of the year, with the exception of the snow-filled winter months.
In addition to increasing the restaurant’s seating capacity, the patio is also enabling Marotta’s to expand its offerings. The restaurant is now presenting live music and hosting wine tastings on the patio. Singer-songwriter and pianist Harry Bacharach will perform there on Friday, Sept. 12, 7–10 p.m., and violinist Ariel Clayton will perform later in September. Owners Alicia Marotta Linihan and Brian Linihan are also making the patio available for private events and parties.
After 25 years in the Noble Nela neighborhood, Lenora’s Healthy Hair Clinic relocated in February to 2207 Lee Road, in the Cedar Lee Business District, where it continues to offer healthy hair care with a "clinical" approach. The salon offers the services of seven licensed cosmetologists, a manicurist and an esthetician. Owner Lenora Cruz-Price regularly consults with, and refers clients to, dermatologist Faith Durden as part of her salon’s focus on healthy hair.
Cruz-Price describes her salon as a “teaching salon with a clinical approach” and said relocating it was important, to accommodate the business’s multicultural client base and to expand availability of its services to other communities.
Cruz-Price sees “multicultural beauty environments” as the newest trend in hair salons, and says of the trend, “It’s about time.”
The once-vacant Pontiac building on Mayfield Road has a new tenant, and, if the Gile family can bring its full vision to fruition, it will soon have several more. Built in the 1950s, the spare modern structure had served as a car dealership and then an auto sales office, before former owner Lee Seidman donated it to University Hospitals in 2010. It then sat vacant, awaiting a new use.
The Giles, owners of Motorcars Honda and Toyota, purchased the building in June and quickly set to work envisioning a future for it that includes not only an auto-oriented business—a mobility van-conversion outlet—but also smaller-scale restaurants and retail space that would enhance the neighborhood.
On March 20, 1962, George Fratantonio moved his barber shop from Taylor Road, where it had been located for 22 years, to the Fairmount Circle Medical Building on John Carroll Boulevard, almost directly across from John Carroll University. Now, more than 52 years later, the barber shop is still in the same location, and it is still owned by the Fratantonio family.
Over the years, Fratantonio’s Barber Shop has become an institution in the Heights, and it has had many famous customers, including Art Modell, back when he owned the Browns; former U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum; and former Ohio Governor and U.S. Senator George Voinovich.
The shop’s current owner is “Sonny” Fratantonio, George Fratantonio’s son, and the manager is Mark Vanek, 34, who has worked at the shop for 13 years. The shop also employs three other barbers: Joe Dauria, Maria Petralia and Jo Ann Medaglia.
Sunshine Headquarters Too is something of an institution on Coventry Road. The store has been there since July 14, 1972, and, in many ways, still reflects that old hippie sensibility that was so prevalent on Coventry back in the 1970s.
The store carries a wide variety of clothing, ranging from leather vests and suits to fur coats. Its extensive jewelry collection includes body-piercing jewelry, watches and spiked bracelets. Sunshine also sells wallets and other accessories, including theatrical contact lenses, and novelty items such as swords, knives and throwing stars.
In addition, Sunshine carries vaporizers, e-cigarettes and hookahs, and the store makes custom-blown glass items. “We make anything from wedding goblets to smoking pipes,” said Doug Hayslip, who has owned the store for more than 30 years.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have discovered the benefits of Pilates at White Cloud Studio in the Cedar Fairmount Business District. Troy McCarty, owner and lead instructor, works with several Cavs players weekly, supported by staff members Raudel Napoles, Or Sagi-Woodson and Laurie Guenther. Members of the Cavs who train at White Cloud include Alex Moore, who oversees the Cavaliers Performance Team; Derek Millender, assistant strength and conditioning coach; Anthony Bennett, power forward; Matthew Dellavedova, point forward; Scotty Hopson, small forward; Sergey Karasev, small forward; and Carrick Felix, shooting guard.
According to McCarty, the Cavs are always looking for new ways to supplement their workout regime: “Pilates is a favorite of more established players—think Kobe Bryant and even our very own (once again) Lebron James. Pilates offers them a new form of exercise that focuses on the core and its relation to the rest of the body.”
Less than a month after the tragedy that took the life of Jim Brennan on June 30, his neighborhood restaurant, Brennan's Colony, reopens its doors Tuesday, July 22 at 4 p.m.
According to the Brennan's Colony FaceBook page, the restaurant will initially serve drinks only, but patrons are encouraged to bring in food from any of the surrounding local restaurants. On the evening of Friday, July 25, the restaurant plans to reopen the kitchen with a limited menu. Those interested in learning more about the menu options can consult the restaurant's FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brennans-Colony.
The North American Bitcoin Car Giveaway Tour (NABCGT) will visit Lee Road’s Bitcoin Boulevard US on July 19 and 20. The tour, which is hosted by Kryptoz Inc. and BitPages.co, is yet another way in which Lee Road businesses expect to benefit from becoming early adopters of the digital currency.
Between June 6 and Dec. 6, participants can obtain free entries in the giveaway of the Bitcoin Car—a brand new 2014 Kia Soul—or $10,000 in Bitcoins by “liking” the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KryptozCom, and signing up at www.bitpages.co.
The Bitcoin Car will be on display outside of the following Bitcoin Boulevard US locations on July 19, from 5 to 10 p.m.: Revive, 2248 Lee Road; The Tavern Company, 2260 Lee Road; Shawn Paul Salon, 2265 Lee Road; The Wine Spot, 2271 Lee Road; Mitchell’s Chocolates, 2285 Lee Road; and Sweetie Fry, 2307 Lee Road.
Despite the fact that book sales have been plummeting for the past few years, Cleveland Heights is home to two successful independent book stores, Appletree Books on Cedar Road near Fairmount and Mac’s Backs on Coventry. And, as of this month, Appletree has new owners: Jane Kessler, who is 93 years old and has owned Appletree since 1990, sold the store to Lynn Quintrell and Alice Webster.
Quintrell, who has lived in Cleveland Heights for 30 years, has worked at Appletree for the past eight. She plans to close the store for two weeks in August so she can make what she calls “cosmetic changes” to the interior.
Antrobus Designs, a jewelry store at 2247 Warrensville Center Road in University Heights, is unique. Owned by Peter and Melissa Antrobus, the store sells handcrafted and custom-designed jewelry, most made by Peter. It also carries jewelry created by other local artists.
The store originally opened across the street, above Geraci’s Restaurant, in the spring of 1999. It moved to its current location in May 2008.
Peter, 56, grew up in Wilmslow, England. When he was 14, he saw a television documentary about a silversmith. “I immediately decided that was what I wanted to do,” he said. Two years later, he left school and began a three-year apprenticeship with a goldsmith.