Last week, Collinwood's Waterloo neighborhood exhaled a collective sigh of relief when the barrage of orange barrels that defined a maze of closures, one-way paths and detours for more than a year was finally removed, marking the completion of a $5.5 million streetscape and repaving project.
Area residents and businesses celebrated the milestone during the neighborhood's Oct. 3rd Walk All Over Waterloo, which is held on the first Friday of every month. In addition to showcasing a clear street, Cyclops Tattoo Studio
, 16006 Waterloo Road, held their grand opening, while Waterloo Brew
, 15335 Waterloo Road in the Slovenian Workmen's Home, opened its doors for a soft opening.
"Waterloo brew is the oldest school possible kind of beer joint. It’s an old school nationality hall bar," says Brew Owner and Cleveland entrepreneur Alan Glazen, noting that two-thirds of his inaugural customers were from the neighborhood -- and they drank every drop of the pub's signature Waterloo Brew. "We sold out on the first night." A grand opened is scheduled for Oct. 10th.
Those notable openings are flanked by a flurry of other economic activity in the quirky arts district. Loren Naji's funky new Satellite Gallery
received an occupancy permit, perhaps fittingly, on Oct. 3rd, just hours before the Waterloo Brew would begin to flow. Construction is ongoing at Brick, a ceramics co-op at 421 East 161st
Street, which is adjacent to the future Bright Coffee Bar
, 16021 Waterloo Road, also under construction. Both are slated to open in spring 2015.
"We've got a lot of things in the works," says Northeast Shore's Development Corporation's
business development specialist Alenka Banco. "The big celebration will happen in the spring."
By then, Zygote Press's Ink House
, 423 East 156th
Street will also be open. "They have their drawings and pulled all their permits," says Banco, as will the Millard Fillmore Presidential Library, 15617 Waterloo Road, wherein patrons may or may not find books, but are sure to find wood-fired pizza. The Fillmore (for short) is slated to open next month.
Other projects in the works include an ice cream shop and two eateries, one for which details are forthcoming and one at the former Key Bank Building, 15619 Waterloo Road, that will be under the wing of the Luchita's Mexican Restaurant
owners. The Reverend Albert Wagner Museum of Art got one step closer to fruition by getting a nonprofit status through the Case Western Reserve University, which paves the way for fundraising.
"We want longevity. We want the arts to be sustainable," says Banco, noting that many of the new ventures, including the Satellite, Ink House and Brick, are unique in that the artist/proprietors own the associated property. "That kind of anchor in a neighborhood is unprecedented."
"It's like using art and culture as economic development tools, as engines," says Glazen.
And you've got to support those artists, asserts Banco, who got a tattoo earlier this month from Cyclops that features a quote from Shakespeare along her arm: Journeys end in lovers meetings.
"It's absolutely beautiful," she says.