Two new businesses set up shop on Noble Road
It used to be a grocery store, then a thrift shop. Most recently, it served as an Obama campaign headquarters, but for long intervals in between, the building remained empty. Now Fabuless Finds Resale Boutique and Hypersonic Coffee & Beverage divide the 2,000-square-foot space at the corner of Ardmore and Noble roads in Cleveland Heights.
They join a small strip including Serenity Styling Salon, Pipe’N Hot Grill, Free Styles salon, and MGW Resource Center, a nonprofit offering counseling and mentoring opportunities to teens. The newcomers’ April arrival marks a welcome resurgence in a neighborhood where many businesses have departed over the last decade.
Energetic Hypersonic owner Alanna Nicholas bubbles with enthusiasm about the neighborhood—where she resides with her husband, Keith, and their two children—and the warm welcome she’s received from other area businesses and Noble Elementary School across the street. Students troop in every day right after 3 p.m. to pick up snacks and drinks.
Born in Glenville and educated at Cleveland State University and Ursuline College, Nicholas believes in helping her community. “At Ursuline, I learned about social justice and giving,” she said. Formerly employed at Catholic Charities and the Girl Scouts, Nicholas hopes to help kick-start a revival of the Noble neighborhood.
Already, parents of special-needs students in a nearby program are frequent visitors to her comfortable shop, and the Nicholases frequently host athletes from the East Cleveland Police Athletic League, so that the young men see people they know investing in their neighborhood.
Painted in subtle blues and charcoal grays, Hypersonic features several tables which can be moved outside, as well as comfy upholstered chairs. Nicholas hosts wine tastings on Fridays from 5:30–8 p.m. and Saturdays from 4–9 p.m., with a chocolate strawberry dessert wine the best-seller so far. Other offerings include coffees, loose teas, pastries, sodas, beer, and several sandwiches. Soon the menu will expand to include coffee such as like lattes and mochas, as well as more varied sandwich choices.
Next door, sisters Sarah Sutherlin and Michelle Duhaney show similar commitment to the neighborhood in their new venture, Fabuless Finds. Sutherlin, a former mental health and vocational counselor who left Cleveland almost 30 years ago, moved back in 2011 to care for her aging parents in Warrensville Heights and decided to open a business. “We’re putting our family’s shopping addiction to good use,” she laughed, gesturing to the neat racks of men’s, women’s and kids’ clothes, as well as purses, shoes, jewelry and housewares.
“I’m a recycler,” said Sutherlin. “We’ve got to make our country green.” A customer stops in while we’re talking and purchases a small table. She’s one of several elderly “walkers” who stop by during their morning constitutional to survey the new merchandise.
“We’re about building relationships,” Sutherlin said. Already she has connected with nearby Noble Road Presbyterian Church, offering to outfit needy families at little or no cost. As a buyer for Halle’s, Sutherlin developed an eye for design and exercises it by shifting around her merchandise and changing her display window frequently.
Sutherlin’s sister and partner, Michelle Duhaney, is a lifelong Clevelander who left her paid career as a home healthcare provider to apply her skills to the care of her parents. Like Sutherlin, she’s excited to be getting to know local residents. A few have joined the sisters’ call lists: when interesting items arrive, these shoppers get a first look.
As I was walking to the stores recently for a follow-up interview, I encountered my neighbor Muhammad, headed to Mayfield Road. “Have you been in this new store? I got lots of nice clothes there,” he said. He’s visited the Hypersonic Café as well. “Nice women at both those places,” he added. When we reach the corner, Sarah Sutherlin waved out the window and called out a hello to him.
“We’re making friends here,” she told me.
Fabuless Finds Resale & Boutique
2841-A Noble Road, Cleveland Heights
Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Hypersonic Coffee & Beverage
2841-B Noble Road, Cleveland Heights
Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat. 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Kathy Ewing teaches Latin at Cleveland State University and has lived in the Noble neighborhood of Cleveland Heights for about 30 years. Her website is www.kathyewing.com