Shaker Square & Larchmere

edwins restaurant and leadership institute celebrates one year of changing lives

Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute, the French restaurant at Shaker Square that employs ex-convicts and gives them on-the-job training and a foothold in the industry in an upscale restaurant, celebrated its first birthday on November 1st.

Founder and chef Brandon Chrostowski sees many reasons to celebrate with the success the restaurant has seen in its first year. Forty-four students have graduated from the program and 40 have gone on to work in fine dining establishments in the region. In the first class, 100 percent of the graduates had jobs within 30 days of graduation and 85 percent of the graduates still were working in their jobs six months later.
Edwins took in $1.4 million last year, which covered roughly 73% of the school portion of the restaurant’s model, which teaches its student employees virtually every aspect of running a restaurant. Edwins also has a long list of sponsors and supporters who believe in second chances.
Goals for Edwins’ second year include 75 graduates with 80 percent job retention after a year; 81 percent of total expenses covered by restaurant sales and diner contributions; and a less than five percent recidivism rate.
Chrostowski says the restaurant has learned some lessons in the first year as well. Smaller classes of 12 to 15 accepted every six weeks instead of 55 students starting all at once result in a higher graduation rate. “You’re going to get better results with a smaller class because you’re going to get to know the students more,” explains Chrostowski.
Housing, transportation and childcare are the biggest issues for Edwins students to overcome. Those issues are being resolved through the kindness of patrons and friends. A group of Ruffing Montessori School parents and teachers recently walked in to Edwins to offer their help. That group now provides childcare five days a week. Chrostowski was able to secure 30 beds on E. 130th Street and St. Clair Avenue for those employees who need a place to stay. And he recently brought on a case manager to help with additional support needs.
“We’re all working as hard as we can for each other to get on with the next phase of their lives,” says Chrostowski, who also credits his staff of three managers with providing guidance and support. Chrostowski is always looking for volunteers to help continue Edwins’ success.
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.
what it will take to bring millennials like me back home
Young people born in Cleveland in the 90s don't feel a sense of nostalgia for the city's heyday. Instead, they see an increasingly vibrant city as a place of opportunity, provided we stay on our current path.
7 craft food startups that are making it in the 216
Using the local food scene as a launch pad, craft food startups are growing quickly. We caught up with a fresh batch to learn the recipes behind their success.
q&a: ronn richard, president of the cleveland foundation
In this candid, wide-ranging interview, the leader of the Cleveland Foundation discusses its centennial gifts, the Greater University Circle Initiative, the Transformation Plan and more.
secondhand to first rate: 10 upcycling shops worth checking out
Cleveland is full of hole-in-the-wall second hand stores. From vintage two-wheelers to hulking industrial-age machines and bins of repurposed art supplies, we take you on a tour of the coolest trash-to-treasure finds in the city.
$11m buckeye square building offers supportive housing for chronically homeless
Housing First, a coalition of more than 40 public and private organizations throughout Northeast Ohio, was formed in 2006 to end "long-term and chronic homelessness" in Cuyahoga County. With the recent completion of Buckeye Square, an $11.3 million building that offers 65 affordable, furnished studio apartments for low-income individuals and families, the group is closer to its goal of building 1,271 units of permanent supportive housing.

“Housing gives residents security and stability to combat other issues and get back on their feet," said Marc McDermott, Vice President and Ohio market leader for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., the Housing First Initiative leader, in a release." All of the partners that made Buckeye Square possible are changing lives, and the model’s success in Cleveland proves that housing makes all the difference.”

The coalition has seen a 73 percent drop in chronic homelessness since the program began, which it cites as evidence that the strategy has been successful.

Buckeye Square, which officially opened this week, is located at Buckeye Road and E. 116th Street. The building offers shared laundry facilities, a community room with kitchen, a computer lab, resident parking, a 24-hour staffed front desk, outdoor space and on-site social services.

Supportive housing is aimed at helping the chronically homeless get back on their feet. Support services are provided to help them become more independent and reintegrate with their neighborhoods. Enterprise leads Housing First projects by assembling capital, working with local leaders and offering expertise. Cleveland Housing Network has acted as lead developer, while EDEN has served as co-developer and property manager. FrontLine Service helps provide supportive services to residents.

Buckeye Square was built using Low Income Housing Tax Credits as well as HOME funds and other grants. Enterprise furnished a predevelopment loan of $572,600.

Housing First also recently obtained a grant from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency to create a mobile health clinic that will serve all of its buildings.
reps from prior convention host cities offer tips on how best to leverage the big show
Tampa Bay successfully hosted the Republicans in 2012, and Denver hosted the Democrats four years before that. Fresh Water decided to reach out to representatives from each city to see if our fair city could glean some best practices on how to pull off a successful -- and inclusive -- convention.