Lee Road merchants introduce valet parking service
If inadequate parking along Lee Road had long frustrated patrons and tamped down weekend business, as merchants largely contend, availability and convenience of parking along a key Cleveland Heights business district just got a whole lot better, beginning last weekend.
In November, a group of Lee Road merchants, led by Chris Armington, Tavern Company owner, organized a plan to provide valet parking services to the commercial district. The merchants partnered with locally-based valet service, VIP Valet. That plan went into effect on the evening of Friday, Dec. 18, as four valet parking stations spanning from Cedar Lee Theatre to Brennan’s Colony were open for business.
“It’s fantastic and a longtime coming,” said Adam Fleischer, owner of The Wine Spot on Lee Road. “There’s not enough parking on Lee Road. [Parking] tickets are sometimes issued and prospective patrons end up driving around and even driving away—so we’re thrilled.”
Maxim Niyazov, VIP Valet owner, said the service parked 28 cars on Friday and 32 cars on Saturday. The four valet zone locations are: in front of Parnell's Pub and Cedar Lee Theater; in front of Dewey's Pizza and Lopez Restaurant; in front of Tavern Company and Anatolia Restaurant; and in front of The Wine Spot.
“Things went very well,” said Niyazov. "We got positive comments from the community and from all of our guests. The business owners were extremely helpful as well. They offered to store our equipment and recharge our LED lights. Many even offered our valet [drivers] complimentary coffee.”
The service begins at 5 p.m. each Friday and Saturday, and costs a flat fee of $5 for the entire evening. Patrons reported appreciating the convenience of not having to worry about feeding meters with quarters while trying to enjoy an evening of dining or entertainment. There’s also a safety element because patrons can park and be picked up at any of the four stations, alleviating the need for car owners to walk any significant distance back to their car at the end of the visit.
“Our hope is that the convenience compels more traffic along Lee Road and spurs greater economic activity for all of our merchants,” said Fleischer.
Richard Stewart is president of the board of directors for FutureHeights and president of Digizoom Media.