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discover cleveland's neighborhoods through cle city life tours

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress has announced that it will be hosting two CLE City Life tours on Saturday, November 29th and Saturday, December 27th.

"Cleveland Neighborhood Progress is pleased to offer citywide bus tours to introduce (or re-introduce) you to some of the coolest and most unique places to live in Northeast Ohio," the website states. "Join us and see why Tremont and Ohio City receive so much publicity. We’ll  show you why University Circle is considered the most intellectual square mile in the nation. And you’ll understand why demand is so high for Downtown living options. All this and more!"

The cost of the tour is $12. You can register here.

there's life beyond beer in ohio city, say brewery district leaders

These days, news not only frequently breaks on Facebook and Twitter, but social media can be used for crowdsourcing ideas about a neighborhood's future, too.

Sam McNulty, owner of a half dozen restaurants and bars on the increasingly flourishing West 25th Street, announced on his Facebook page last week that he and his business partners are purchasing the former Orange Blossom Press Building. Now they're looking for suggestions as to what kind of tenant should go there, and they're specifically not seeking a bar/restaurant.

That's right, the people who have made their money selling you $5 pints and touting Ohio City's beer-driven renaissance say there's too much of a good thing.

Here's what McNulty -- who might be considered Ohio City's unofficial baron of beer and prince of pints -- wrote to his followers on Facebook:

"so we bought another building in ohio city ... our good neighbors and dear friends at orange blossom press had a great 30+ year run and decided to retire. when they told us the bittersweet news, we immediately put on our city planning hats and started thinking about what use would be best for this neighborhood that we love dearly and want to leave more fun than we found it.
 
so the four of us partners, mark, Michael, and Andy agreed that ohio city has enough restaurants and bars. we all know so many people want to move to ohio city but can't find cool housing and so that's a definite need, but this building wouldn't work for that use ... so that left us with some sort of exciting retail use or dynamic office tenant or.....?

here are the basic details on the building:
1935 west 25th street
-approximately 4,300 square feet first floor
-approximately 3,00 square feet basement
-probably the best foot/bike/vehicle traffic of any location in the city

we're open to any and all suggestions. feel free to send a direct message if you'd like as well. here's to bringing a great new neighbor to this great neighborhood!"


Got suggestions? Contact Sam McNulty via his Facebook page. And you can drop us a line, too -- we're interesting in knowing what you think Ohio City needs.

small box celebrates grand opening of three container stores


The Small Box Cleveland project has now achieved critical mass, with three retail tenants officially open for business. Now the retailers and organizers behind the project are ready to celebrate, and you're invited to join the festivities.

The Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation, Cleveland Browns, Banyan Box and The Wardrobe are hosting a grand opening party on Thursday, November 6th from 4:30-6 p.m.

Small Box is a marketplace featuring shops made from converted shipping containers. The creative project is located at West 6th Street and St. Clair Avenue. Small Box also features a unique green space called The Lawn.

The grand opening event will feature live music by the Shivering Timbers, shopping, snacks and refreshments. Find out more information here.
 

larchmere merchants celebrate completion of streetscape with 'unblock the street' party

Anytime orange barrels get rolled away, it's a cause for celebration, right? The merchants on Larchmere certainly think so. After a summer filled with jackhammers, construction workers and blocked-off streets, they're finally ready to celebrate the completion of a new $3m streetscape.

That's why they're holding an "UnBlock the Street" party on Thursday, November 6th from 3-7 p.m. According to the press release, merchants, residents, artists, ODOT, Perk Construction and Mayor Frank Jackson will be on hand to celebrate.

"This $3m project includes a newly paved asphalt road, refurbished storm sewer basins, curbs and sidewalks, permeable paver and logo sidewalk bricks, new honey locust trees, benches, trash cans, and colorful chair-back-styled bike racks designed by Tom Hubbard," says Harriett Logan of Loganberry Books in the release. "The street is looking good! We’ll have music with a live DJ, nibbles, raffles, face painting, and community camaraderie.  Come celebrate with us!"

The ribbon cutting and formal ceremony takes place at Larchmere and East 127th at 4 p.m. There will be kids activities and free hot dogs at Shaker Quality Auto body (12916 Larchmere) from 3-7 p.m. For those who want to keep on celebrating, the after-party is at Felice (12502 Larchmere) beginning at 7 p.m.

museum of contemporary art boasts impressive first-year numbers

In an Art Daily feature titled "MOCA Cleveland releases metrics of strong inaugural year in new building, Uptown," the art publication shares impressive numbers from the museum's first year in its new building.

"In the first year in their new building, MOCA delivered significantly expanded audiences and benefits," says the article.
 
Among them:
 
55,997 visitors took advantage of MOCA’s offerings, up 284 percent from recent years
 
650+ new members, tripling membership in MOCA’s new home
 
The numbers also show how MOCA’s impressive new building at the corner of Mayfield Road and Euclid Avenue acts as a beacon to draw people to University Circle and Uptown.
 
82 percent of MOCA’s visitors are coming to University Circle specifically to visit the Museum
 
70 percent of MOCA’s visitors are eating at a surrounding restaurant
 
24 percent are shopping while in the area
 
Read about the rest here.


new data reveals that travel and tourism is on the rise in cle

According to The Economic Impact of Tourism Study, organized by the research firm Tourism Economics and coordinated by the Ohio Tourism Division, Northeast Ohio tourism is up significantly
 
Visitor volume to Cuyahoga County has jumped to 14.9 million visitors in 2011, compared to 13 million in 2009. Those visitors generated $6.7 billion in related business activity, which constitutes a 12-percent jump in the same time period.
 
The travel and tourism industry is Cuyahoga County’s fourth largest employer, with tourism supporting 1 in every 11 salaried jobs. In 2011, tourism employment accounted for more than 60,946 individuals, generating $1.8 billion dollars in wages.
 
Tourism in Cuyahoga County contributed more than $886 million in taxes, with $265 million for state taxes and $194 million in local taxes in 2011.
 
“The tourism industry is a major contributor to the economic vitality of our region,” Positively Cleveland’s President/ CEO David Gilbert said. “Visitors to our region buy local products and services, support area amenities, generate tax revenues and sustain jobs.”
 
More on the way
 
With $2 billion in visitor-related development underway throughout Northeast Ohio, numbers are increasing in both business and leisure travel. Visitors to Downtown Cleveland are expected to double in 2013, equating to a projected six million visitors.

Read the rest of the report here.

cleveland is best example of 'market city,' says smithsonian

In the Smithsonian blog, Sarah Rich describes "What Public Spaces Like Cleveland’s West Side Market Mean for Cities," a lead-up of sorts to the Public Markets Conference to be held in Cleveland next week.

Rich writes that, "Markets have long been an important organizing principle for infrastructure, traffic patterns, and human activity in a city, but in many places, the grand buildings that once housed central markets have gone neglected, and the businesses inside are long shuttered. Where public markets are still in operation or have been revived, however, it’s hard to find a stronger example of the power of placemaking."

These places are Market Cities, where public food sources “act as hubs for the region and function as great multi-use destinations, with many activities clustering nearby… Market Cities are, in essence, places where food is one of the fundamental building blocks of urban life -- not just fuel that you use to get through the day.”

"There are a number of good examples of market cities in the U.S., but one of the best is Cleveland, where the century-old West Side Market has become a key engine in the city’s revitalization. The market building itself is one of Cleveland’s finest architectural gems -- a vast, red-brick terminal with stunningly high vaulted ceilings, book-ended with massive, arched windows."

"The West Side Market is now just one (albeit sizeable) node in a buzzing network of food-related endeavors -- restaurants, farmers’ markets, urban farms -- which are assembling into a whole new identity for the Rust Belt city."

Read the rest of the report here.


travel writer visits cleveland, compiles list of quirky finds

A travel writer makes a visit to the North Coast and compiles a list of her quirky finds.

"Last month I traveled to northeastern Ohio -- around Lake Erie. The region is shaking its reputation based on the Cuyahoga river catching fire many years ago. Old images are hard to kick, but like other rustbelt cities, Cleveland and its environs is rejuvenating, regentrifying and reclaiming, with lively neighborhoods, farm-to-table restaurants, and a renewed pride in culture and history. 

"Here, a few of my images representing some of the quirky happenings of summer in Ohio. The photos speak for themselves, I think."

Stops include the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, West Side Market, Big Fun, Melt Bar and Grilled, Polka Hall of Fame, and the Duct Tape Festival.

Read it here.

cooking light dubs west side market a hidden gem

Here in Cleveland, we all know what a treasure and luxury it is to have the West Side Market available to us for all of our culinary needs. Now the readers of the health conscious food magazine Cooking Light know it as well. Recently, the 100-year-old public market was recognized as one of the mag's favorite “Hidden Gems & Delicious Destinations” in the country.

“In this beautiful, 27,000-square-foot hall, shoppers find ethnic specialties like kielbasa and smoked sausage, barrel-aged sauerkraut, and potato-filled pierogi. But these days, they also come for grass-fed beef, farmstead cheeses, local honey, and handmade pasta," touts the foodie mag.
 
We have known this all along but in order to give the accolades more weight; Cleveland’s own Michael Symon pipes in as well: “The West Side Market maintains all of the integrity and uniqueness that it always has, even after 100 years,”
 
Check out the full series in addition to the West Side Market piece here.

flee to the cleve: symon picks hometown faves

Where does chef Michael Symon send out-of-town visitors when they come to town? The New York Post asked and he answered, ticking off a list of 10 can't-miss stops.
 
#1 West Side Market
 
“One of the most special places where I bring all my chef friends when they visit," Symon says in the article. “Regardless of whether I bring in chefs from New York or San Francisco or another country, it just blows them away.”.
 
#2 Great Lakes Brewing Co.
 
“Microbreweries are very hot right now; this has been there [almost] 30 years and is arguably one of the best."
 
#3 Velvet Tango Room
 
“It was so ahead of its time,” he says. “It’s been open 18 years; they were doing all the cool things long ago."
 
#4 ABC the Tavern
 
Symon recommends this bar for its cheap drinks and great burgers.
 
Also mentioned: Banyan Tree, Beachland Ballroom, Big Al's Diner, Greenhouse Tavern, Happy Dog and Superior Pho.
 
Read the entire list here:

cle fashion week focus of the fashion world

Who knew that Cleveland was the center of focus in the fashion world?
 
"The Cleveland Fashion Week is one of the largest fashion events in the country attracting designers from the U.S. and Canada who audition to participate in the event," reports Pittsburgh based Moultrie Observer.
 
Becca Nation, a textile artist and designer who grew up in the Pennsylvania town of Moultrie, plans to unveil the line “Knotty Girl” during Fashion Week Cleveland 2012.
 
“The staff of judges loved Becca’s unique designs, color, and avant-garde style requesting that she showcase her line in the events grand finale runway model black tie event on May 12th.
 
Read more about Becca Nation in the full Moultrie Observer article here.

photo essay of trip through cleveland


"US Route 6 is the longest contiguous transcontinental route in the USA," says the blog site Stay on Route 6. "Running from Provincetown, MA to Bishop, CA (and before 1964 to Long Beach, CA), Route 6 goes through 14 states. This is your guide along all of its original 3,652 miles. From Revolutionary War sites to pioneer settlements and western mining towns, Route 6 offers an in-depth lesson in US History, charms of yesteryear and comforts of modern times."

For this post, the writer takes readers on a visual trip through Cleveland, with stops along the way in downtown, Asiatown, University Circle, Little Italy, Lakewood, and Detroit Shoreway,

Check it out here.

cleveland's warm-hearted cash mob concept goes viral

Clevelanders are becoming familiar with the cash mob experience, which encourages consumers to converge and spend at locally owned stores. But the warm-hearted initiative is spreading to other parts of the nation, reports Reuters.

"After the original Cash Mob in Cleveland, [Andrew] Samtoy's Facebook friends in other cities picked up on the idea and organized their own gatherings. Samtoy can rattle off a list of friends from Los Angeles to Boston who were the ‘early adapters' of the Cash Mob phenomenon," the article reports.
 
“Flash mobs have been blamed as a factor in looting during urban riots. But now a group of online activists is harnessing social media like Twitter and Facebook to get consumers to spend at locally owned stores in cities around the world in so-called Cash Mobs.”
 
The concept of a cash mob is simple, you are required to spend at least $20 at the chosen location (usually a small independently owned local establishment) and meet three people you have never met before, according to Samtoy, the concept’s founder.
 
“The 32-year-old dreamed up the Cash Mob idea last year after spending time in Britain during summer riots that unleashed looting in cities including London, Manchester and Birmingham.”
 
Read the full inspirational story here.

galleria grower gets nod in the new york times

There once was a time when Cleveland’s Galleria at Erieview was a bustling shopping mall. These days it is closed on the weekends and is down to just a handful of retailers, food vendors, and a couple of businesses according to a recent article in The New York Times.
 
The article lauds efforts by the Galleria's director of marketing, Vicky Poole, to utilize existing unused space to benefit the greater good, planting herbs in retail carts and small plots lettuce, strawberries, basil, and spinach elsewhere, which are in turn sold to visitors and used in the mall’s catering business.
 
"The shift to gardening began with the carts that used to sell jewelry or candles, where Ms. Poole, the director of marketing events, had herbs planted in the disused retail carts inside the mall. She learned how quickly aphids proliferate indoors (solution: release 1,500 ladybugs into the mall)," the article states.
 
Since the mall made these changes in how it operates, there has been an influx of visitors prompting new retailers to open in the mall. “This has been sustaining us throughout these hard years, but now we’re looking at the potential of turning things around,” Ms. Poole is quoted in the piece.
 
Read the full New York Times story here.

guide book written for new arrivals and those who'd like to rediscover cleveland

A new Cleveland-centric book joins the slowly growing bookshelf of info-packed guides to our fair city. Written and self-published by Cleveland State University urban planning grad Justin Glanville, New to Cleveland: A Guide to (re)Discovering the City is targeted both to new arrivals as well as those who'd like to rediscover their city.
 
Readers will find general information about various Cleveland neighborhoods, including listings of restaurants, stores and cultural institutions. But also advice on where to send your kids to school, insights on the Cleveland real estate market, and the best neighborhoods for students, artists, professionals, retirees and those who want to live car-free or car-light.
 
The 250-page book includes more than 50 full-color illustrations by local artist Julia Kuo. The book is also printed in Cleveland.
 
The guide book is only the second to be written specifically about present-day Cleveland, the other being Avalon Travel's Moon Cleveland, penned by Fresh Water editor Douglas Trattner.
 
There will be a launch party from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at Happy Dog.
 
Books are available online and at this weekend's Bazaar Bizarre.
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