Heights Observer readers suggest new businesses for the Heights

Each year when FutureHeights conducts its annual Best of the Heights Awards survey through the Heights Observer, the last question asks readers to suggest businesses that they would like to see open up shop in the Heights. Because it is an open-ended question, the responses vary widely. Some suggest specific businesses by name, others suggest an idea for a particular business district or location. Still others suggest ideas for activities that they would like to have access to in the Heights, whether they can be provided by a for-profit business or not.

In this year’s survey, readers suggested several new food-related businesses that they would like to see locate in the Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 10:25 AM, 03.07.2017

CLE Urban Winery is Best New Business

In the 2017 Best of the Heights Awards contest, readers of the Heights Observer honored outstanding businesses in Cleveland Heights and University Heights by voting, Jan. 15 through Feb. 15, for their favorites in 12 categories. In all, 195 businesses were nominated.

CLE Urban Winery (2180B Lee Road), producer and retailer of handcrafted wines, edged out finalists Greedy Girl and Zoma Ethiopian Restaurant to win Best New Business.

Owner Destiny Burns said that winning the award was exciting, humbling and validating. “I feel like we are connecting with the community. My vision for this place was a community space, and that is really what it is becoming and it’s wonderful to see,” she said.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 10:30 AM, 02.28.2017

Taylor Road ceramic shop opens

In December, Asya Palotova, a designer and ceramist, opened a unique new store and studio at 2114 South Taylor Road in Cleveland Heights.

Called Gleena Ceramics, the store features tableware, including cups, plates, saucers and vases, designed and produced by the store’s owner, Palatova, a former art director at Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Palotova’s products are available in stores in 16 states, and online, and have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, House Beautiful, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, InStyle and Martha Stewart Weddings, among other magazines.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 2:34 PM, 02.28.2017

Heights company helps local businesses thrive in digital age

Two Cleveland Heights residents operate Local Biz Guru, a company that helps small businesses improve their online presence, to thrive at a time when online shopping has surpassed in-store shopping.

“Our entire business is predicated on helping local businesses be found online,” said Nachum Langsner, who owns the company along with Aaron Garfunkel. Langsner and Garfunkel started the business in August 2016. Prior to that, both men worked for a dental-supply company. In 2008, the company asked Langsner to build a website. “I had to very quickly learn how to do that,” he said. “But it turned out to be a great hands-on learning experience, and the project went very well.”

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 4:44 PM, 02.27.2017

New owner takes over Coventry Panini's

The Panini’s restaurant franchise on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights has a new owner, Michael Mercer, who purchased the restaurant last November.

Mercer, 58, lived in Cleveland Heights for much of his life; as a child, he lived on Demington Drive for many years. His father, Robert Mercer, started the children’s hospital at the Cleveland Clinic.

Mike Mercer attended Roxboro Elementary and Junior High schools, and Heights High. At Kent State University, he majored in business and law enforcement, then worked for the Department of Safety and Security in the Cleveland Public Schools for eight years.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 10:48 AM, 02.14.2017

Bakery expands the Fix brand on Lee Road

Robert and Allison Craig are the co-owners, along with Eric Rogers, of Sweet Fix Bakery, at the corner of Lee and Silsby roads. The bakery occupies the space that previously housed Rogers’ restaurant, Black Box Fix, which moved to 2195 Lee Road and is now called the Fix Bistro.

Rogers originally intended to open Sweet Fix Bakery himself, but changed his plan when Robert Craig, Rogers' wife's cousin, expressed an interest in opening a bakery.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 12:14 PM, 01.31.2017

Japanese martial arts school opens in Cleveland Heights

After 30 years of renting space from local universities and gyms, The Cleveland Kendo Association decided it was time to establish a permanent location for its dojo. On Dec. 1, it opened a school in Cleveland Heights, at 2110 South Taylor Road.

The Cleveland Kendo Association provides expert instruction in the Japanese martial art of Kendo, which descended from traditional swordsmanship (kenjutsu) and uses bamboo swords (shinai) and protective armor (bōgu). "Ken" is from the character meaning sword; the character for "Do" includes the meaning of way or path—which translates as "the way of the sword."

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 9:27 AM, 01.24.2017

Atma Center celebrates 20 years

Cleveland’s longest-running yoga studio, the Atma Center, is celebrating 20 years of health, education and community service in 2017.

Its director, Beverly Singh, worked at the Cleveland Clinic before opening the Atma Center on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. She had become seriously ill; her internist suspected Grave’s disease, fibromyalgia and lupus, and prescribed several medications.

While starting the regimen of prescriptions, Singh took a crash course of daily yoga from a friend, who flew all the way from Australia to teach her. After three months, Singh was off several of her medications and had reduced her dosages of the rest. She was sold on the healing power of yoga, and started teaching in her living room to share its benefits with others.

The Atma Center focuses on accessible stretches, breath techniques and meditations, and on the therapeutic benefits of yoga. Group classes, private sessions and workshops consistently prove the studio’s motto of providing “Yoga for Every Body.”


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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 10:50 AM, 01.17.2017

Signage and merchandising workshop is set for Jan. 27

FutureHeights and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will host a Signage and Merchandising Workshop for Businesses on Friday, Jan. 27, from 9 to 11 a.m., at the Small Business Development Center, located on the second floor of the Lee Road Library (2340 Lee Road).

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:33 AM, 01.03.2017

FH's Best of the Heights awards return in 2017

Since 2005, FutureHeights—a nonprofit that inspires and facilitates collaboration and empowerment in our community—has conducted the Best of the Heights awards to recognize the unique attributes of locally owned Heights businesses, and their contributions to the local economy.

FutureHeights asks residents to cast their votes for their favorite businesses by nominating them for an award in a variety of categories, such as Best New Business and Best Interior Décor. After a one-year hiatus, FutureHeights is bringing the program back with the theme Show Heights Businesses Your Love.

Beginning in January, residents can show their love for Heights businesses by voting for them in 12 categories.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 12:00 PM, 01.03.2017

Coventry Village embraces the holiday spirit with two December events for families

The Coventry Village Special Improvement District (SID) invites everyone to get in the holiday spirit and visit Coventry Village for two fun, free, family-friendly events planned for December.

On Saturday, Dec. 10, noon to 11 p.m., the popular Coventry Village Holiday Festival returns.

This year, Coventry Village will reward visitors for shopping local by offering $10 in Coventry Cash for every $50 shoppers spend on a single receipt at a participating merchant location. The Coventry Cash shoppers earn during the Holiday Festival can be spent in January at participating district businesses.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:47 PM, 12.02.2016

V&E Hann seeks to give free furnace to a needy family

On Jan. 31, Verne & Ellsworth Hann Inc. will give away a furnace, including installation, to someone in need. Chris Hann, vice president of the Cleveland Heights-based heating, cooling and plumbing company, is asking for nominations from the community.

“We want to share our good fortune by giving something back to the community that’s been so good to our family all these years,” he said. "We're calling it a 'Helping Hann.'"

Nominations are being accepted on the company website ( through the end of January, for individuals or families who live in the extended Heights area. The winner will be selected based on a range of considerations, such as age, physical disabilities, financial challenges and military service.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:43 PM, 12.02.2016

CH resident's company makes unique bike-repair tool

Brandon Hirokawa first became interested in bicycles in 1987, when he was living in New Orleans, where he was born and raised. “I was a national-class swimmer, but everyone was growing over 6 feet tall,” he said. “I stayed at 5 feet 6 inches tall, and I had to find a new sport.”

One of his father’s friends raced bikes, and he suggested that Brandon give that a try. He liked biking, and now, almost three decades later, he is the owner of Hirobel LLC, a company that produces frame clamps that bike shops can use in repairing aero carbon-fiber bicycles.

Hirokawa, who’s 43 and lives in Cleveland Heights, explained that carbon-fiber bikes now make up more than 20 percent of the bike market. While most bikes are made of alloy or metal, the carbon-fiber bikes are lighter in weight. “They are made of carbon, which is similar to fiberglass, and they wind up being very light,” explained Hirokawa. However, they can also be damaged when they are being repaired.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:36 AM, 11.30.2016

Cedar-Taylor Garage closes after 78 years on Cedar Road

Cedar-Taylor Garage & Autobody, located just south of the intersection of Cedar and Taylor roads in University Heights, closed on Oct. 28. The car repair shop had been in business at that location since 1938.

The garage’s most recent owners were Bill Tammarino and Mark Stanos, who bought the shop in 1986. Al Kus was the original owner of the business, and Bill Decapite was its second owner.

Tammarino, 61, said he and Stanos decided to close the shop because the auto-repair business has “changed a lot in the last 30 years.”

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 2:54 PM, 11.07.2016

Cookie and cupcake shop opens on Lee Road

On Oct. 29, Simply Michele’s Cookies & Cupcake Boutique opened at 2265 Lee Road, in the space previously occupied by Shawn Paul Salon (which moved to larger quarters in the Heights Rockefeller Building). The Cleveland Heights bakery is the latest location in a chain of three; the other two are in Garfield Heights and Warrensville Heights.

Simply Michele’s sells cupcakes and cookies, as well as ice-cream sandwiches and other products made from vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. In the summer, it will sell milkshakes as well. The bakery also offers Garrett’s Popcorn, made in Chicago, and assorted pastries, cheesecakes and mini-cakes, and custom cakes that are made-to-order.

Owner Stacey Michele Stoudemire, 43, bestowed her middle name on her bakeries. She grew up in Cleveland and moved to Cleveland Heights with her family when she was 16. Stoudemire graduated from Heights High in 1990.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:42 PM, 11.01.2016

Heights businesses plan family-friendly Halloween events

As fall arrives and temperatures drop, many young Heights residents can think of only one thing—Halloween, with all of its thrills and chills, is almost here!

This year, three Cleveland Heights business districts will host family-friendly, Halloween-themed events, welcoming residents to get in costume and trick-or-treat in safe, walkable areas, all while enjoying neighborhood establishments.

The Cedar Fairmount Business District will host its 2016 Halloween & Fall Festival on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 5–7 p.m. The event will feature trick-or-treating, entertainment by Musical Mark and Whipples the Balloon Clown, a visit from police dog Argos, and merchant and restaurant specials throughout the district. Attendees can also participate in cupcake decorating at Luna's Cake Shop, for a small fee. Event visitors should look for orange pumpkins on the doors or windows of participating merchants. Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District, City Architecture, Cedar Road Buffalo Wild Wings, Kiefer Realty Group and Osborn Engineering are sponsors of the event. Learn more at the event's Facebook page.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 12:27 PM, 10.11.2016

Mayfield Lee Business District is attracting shops and services

Over the past year or so, several new stores have opened near the intersection of Mayfield Road and Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. Though that area along the south side of Mayfield Road has never been a major commercial district in the city, it may be turning into one. Among the businesses are clothing stores, hair salons, barber shops and manicurists.

Coco Merci, which opened in January 2016, is located at 1623 Lee Road. The store carries both men’s and women’s clothing. “We pretty much carry upscale items, for a party or a special event,” said Thomas Von Bolden, who runs the store, which is owned by his sister, Tamia Bolden, a medical consultant.

“We really want people to get a different perspective on clothing, and we have clothing so that people can get a different kind of view,” Von Bolden said. “We know how to make sure that our customers’ attire is different and bold, and we really want them to embrace the modernity of evolving fashion.”

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 12:04 PM, 11.01.2016

Cleveland Cuts sets up shop in the Rockefeller Building

Growing up with a dad who owned a salvage yard, and with a large farm in the family, Dee Coker was repairing or making metal items from an early age. He learned to repair parts by straightening them or to forge new ones when necessary. Those early skills led him to an interest in making knives.

About a year and a half ago, Coker forged a new partnership with his personal trainer, Al Stokes Sr. They already had another close bond; Coker is Stokes’ pastor. The two knew they could work well together and compliment each other. At first Coker made the knives and Stokes made the wooden items they sold: cutting boards, the knife handles, rolling carts. They now each do both the metal and woodwork; Stokes handles the custom etching.

The pair began selling their wares on Etsy and locally at spots such as the Cleveland Flea. Then the opportunity arose to open a brick-and-mortar store in the iconic Rockefeller Building at Lee and Mayfield roads. By mid-August, the two had outfitted a calm, light-filled space at 2495 Lee Road, called Cleveland Cuts. There, they offer a selection of their knives, cutting boards, and the rolling carts and tables they also create. They carry a few additional items to complement their stock, including aprons and knife rolls, and they expect to include some locally produced, shelf stable food items, which will enable them to craft customized gift packages.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 11:59 AM, 10.25.2016

Lee Road Ethiopian restaurant plans fall opening

A new restaurant specializing in Ethiopian food is due to open this fall in Cleveland Heights. Zoma Ethiopian Restaurant will be located at 2242 Lee Road, between Mama Joyce’s Soul Food Café and Heights Uptown Barbershop. Co-owner Zeleke Belete said he is working toward, and hoping for, an opening sometime in October.

Belete, who has never worked in a restaurant before, has always loved Ethiopian food and thought it would be a great idea to open an Ethiopian restaurant in Cleveland. Initially, he looked for potential spaces in Ohio City, Tremont and Lakewood. He ultimately chose Cleveland Heights as the location for his restaurant because he thought it was “the best spot, compared to what else was available.”

“There’s a lot of foot traffic in this area, and there are a lot of other restaurants, so I thought it would be a great space,” Belete said.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:52 PM, 09.30.2016

Noble eatery makes changes but stays in the family

Doyle Fayne, the longtime owner of Moran’s Bistro, located at 2548 Noble Road (at the corner of Noble and Roanoke roads), has stepped aside to turn over the day-to-day operation of the establishment to his daughter, Shawnnell, and her husband, Michael.

Shawnnell and Michael Thomas have already put their stamp on the business, now called Mike’s Corner Deli.

The young entrepreneurs have created a fresh, bright look inside, and offer a new menu of over-stuffed sandwiches, wraps and paninis. Early morning patrons can enjoy a breakfast sandwich, as well. Sweeter options include a banana split.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:25 PM, 09.30.2016

Revive hosts Q&A with Guatemalan fair trade community educators

When making a well-informed and ethical retail purchase, a consumer may run through a mental list of questions such as: Where was my item crafted? Who created my item and how does my purchase make an impact?

On Thursday, Sept. 22, from 6–8 p.m., Revive Eco-Boutique, 2248 Lee Road, hosts an event to help answer these questions through a Q&A and discussion in partnership with Mercado Global.

Olga Morales and Aurora Maricela Mátzar López, Mercado Global’s Community Based Education program coordinators, will travel from Guatemala to Cleveland Heights to share and discuss how local onsite action and partnerships throughout the world, including with Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University and Case Medical Center, have helped improve the lives of more than 450 women by furthering their education and skills set.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:25 AM, 09.20.2016

Ohio Fair Trade Expo comes to JCU on Oct. 1

The Ohio Fair Trade Expo and Teach-In is coming back to John Carroll University (JCU) on Saturday, Oct. 1. Thanks to the generous support of Ben & Jerry’s in University Heights, and others, this year’s event will be free to the public. 

Registration for the event begins at 9:30 a.m. at JCU’s Dolan Center, where the fair trade marketplace begins. Attendees can expect to leave the expo with an abundance of donated fair trade goodies.

Dana Geffner, executive director of the Fair World Project (FWP), will kick-off the event as keynote speaker at 10 a.m. FWP, an independent arm of the Organic Consumers Association, seeks to protect the use of the term fair trade in the marketplace, expand markets for authentic fair trade items, educate consumers about key issues in trade and agriculture, and advocate for policies leading to a just economy.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 3:12 PM, 09.01.2016

On the Rise expands seating, kitchen and menu

On the Rise, on Fairmount Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, has undergone an expansion to double its size, expand its menu, and offer much-needed seating to customers.

On the Rise originally opened in December 2001. It was strictly a bakery until four years ago, when it added sandwiches to the menu. They became very popular with On the Rise's customers, but created seating problems for those who weren’t taking the sandwiches to go.

"When it was summer, people could sit outside on the patio," said Adam Gidlow, who owns On the Rise with his wife, Jennifer Gidlow. "But in the winter we simply did not have many seats inside, and people had nowhere to sit."

When Fairmount Letters, the stationery shop that was next door to On the Rise, closed about two and a half years ago, Gidlow saw that as an opportunity to solve the seating problem. He could expand both the bakery’s size and menu.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 2:58 PM, 09.01.2016

Cedar Fairmount's Appletree Books to double in size

Appletree Books will soon nearly double in size. The bookstore, located at 12419 Cedar Road in the Cedar Fairmount Business District of Cleveland Heights, is taking over the adjacent space formerly occupied by Sundaez Tanning. Renovations began in June, and the plan is for the expanded Appletree space to open in October.

Lynn Quintrell, the owner of Appletree, said that the children’s section of the old store was much too small. “We’re the only store in Cleveland Heights that sells brand-new children’s books, along with puzzles and other items for children,” she said. “And it was really cramped, so I thought I would add some space if any became available.”

When the Four and Twenty Mercantile store closed earlier this year, Quintrell decided that space was too large. But she sent a note to her landlord, saying, “Should the space next door to us become available, I would like the right of first refusal.” Then, in January, she got a letter saying that the tanning salon was closing. “It all happened sooner than I imagined,” she said. “And Sundaez had been there for 25 years!”

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 3:23 PM, 09.01.2016

Quintana's Speakeasy is a unique gathering place

A year ago this month, Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa opened Quintana’s Speakeasy at 2200 South Taylor Road in Cleveland Heights. Quintana’s became the first barbershop in the state of Ohio to have its own liquor license.

According to Alex and Dawn Quintana, owners of the barbershop, spa and speakeasy, they got the idea to open a speakeasy after a trip Dawn took about five years ago. “I went to New York with some girlfriends of mine,” Dawn said. “I stumbled upon a barbershop/speakeasy called the Blind Barber in Manhattan. That’s when I got the idea, and it stayed in the back of my mind.”

The Quintanas opened their Dream Spa 15 years ago. It offers manicures, pedicures, facials, massage therapy, body massages and many other treatments. The spa was originally located in the Cedar Fairmount neighborhood of Cleveland Heights, above the Mad Greek restaurant. In 2003, they opened a barbershop on South Taylor Road, and in 2009, they merged the two businesses, operating both of them at the South Taylor location.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 2:35 PM, 09.01.2016

Post-storm cash mob supports Zagara's Marketplace

Heights resident Justin Alcorn organized a cash mob to support locally owned grocer Zagara's Marketplace at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20. John Zagara, third generation owner, greeted three times as many Saturday morning customers as usual that day.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 2:51 PM, 09.01.2016

The Fix Bistro plans Aug. 23 opening and Aug. 13 'sneak peek'

A popular Cleveland Heights business owner is moving down the street, into the space at 2195 Lee Road that was previously occupied by Joey’s Bistro Bar Italiano. Chef Eric Rogers, owner of Black Box Fix, plans to open a new and larger restaurant, The Fix Bistro, on Aug. 23.

Black Box Fix opened at the corner of Lee and Silsby roads in March 2015. Rogers closed Black Box Fix on July 16, and plans to open Sweet Fix Bakery in its place.

“The bakery is going to sell gourmet desserts, pies and pastries,” said Rogers, who hopes to open the bakery by late September.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 08.09.2016

The Tavern Company's owner purchases Brennan's Colony

Brennan’s Colony, a Cleveland Heights institution, closed on Saturday, Aug. 6. Chris Armington, owner of the Tavern Company, and a former employee of Brennan’s Colony, purchased the restaurant and bar, which had occupied the corner of Lee and Silsby roads for close to a century.

The Tavern Company, currently located on Lee Road, also closed at the end of service on Aug. 6, and then moved across the street and down the road to the Colony space.

Prior to the move, Armington said he hoped to open the bar at the Tavern Company’s new location as early as Monday or Tuesday, Aug. 8 or 9, and hoped to start serving food by Wednesday or Thursday, Aug. 10 or 11.

Kathy Murphy, the president of Brennan’s Colony Inc., said, “It’s all come full circle.”

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 3:41 PM, 08.05.2016

FutureHeights invites community to Aug. 5 Cedar Lee Hard Hat Happy Hour

FutureHeights is planning Cedar Lee Hard Hat Happy Hour on Friday, Aug. 5, 5–8 p.m. This family-friendly event is intended to bring the community together during the ongoing construction of the Cedar Lee Business District’s new streetscape. This multimillion-dollar project—expected to last seven months—is currently in its fourth month. While everyone is looking forward to the project’s completion, it has disrupted traffic patterns and posed challenges for businesses and patrons alike. FutureHeights, a nonprofit community development organization, hopes that this event will bring residents and business owners together, to have some fun during construction.

“The event will help make shoppers aware that businesses are open during construction,” said Micah Kirman, chair of the FutureHeights Economic Development Committee, which is organizing the event. “We want to make them feel comfortable and welcome to walk through the doors of these unique, independent businesses even during construction.”

FutureHeights will sell hard hats in the mini-park outside of Heights Arts, at 2175 Lee Road. Adult hats are $3; children’s hats are free. Participating Cedar Lee merchants and restaurants will offer special promotional deals to anyone wearing or carrying a hard hat during the event.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 12:39 PM, 08.02.2016

The Fairmount expands and adds special event space

The Fairmount, the restaurant and bar located near the intersection of Cedar Road and Fairmount Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, completed a major expansion and renovation at the end of June.

It has moved into space in the Heights Medical Building that had been occupied by Luna Bakery & Café’s cake-decorating operation (before Luna expanded into part of the Subway space, when that business downsized). The new space is adjacent to The Fairmount’s original space, and the restaurant will primarily use it for private parties, wine tastings and other special events. It features a full bar and table seating, with space for about 40 people.

The Fairmount has also taken over what was essentially an interior lobby for the building, transforming the dated and underutilized area into an innovative indoor patio/atrium that seats about 25.

The original restaurant space seats about 75 people inside and 65 on the back patio. The renovations expand The Fairmount’s full capacity to accommodate about 200.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 6:19 PM, 07.29.2016

R's Kitchen shares unique relationship with neighboring M.T. Glass

R’s Kitchen, a new restaurant, is slated to open on Aug. 2 at 13441 Cedar Road, next door to the M.T. Glass bar in the Cedar Taylor Business District. While the new restaurant and neighboring bar have different owners, the two businesses already share a close relationship.

M.T. Glass provides drinks for all of the diners at R’s Kitchen, and the restaurant provides food for the bar’s patrons.

“We have a management agreement with M.T. Glass,” said Arlyn Samuels, the owner of R’s Kitchen. “We have a shared space, and we serve each other’s patrons.”

In fact, when R’s Kitchen first started serving food, on June 10, all of its seats were located next door, in M.T. Glass.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 6:35 PM, 07.29.2016

New owners to open Boss Dog Brewing in former Lemon Grass building

Two brothers, Josh and Jason Sweet, plan to open a new brewery and restaurant in the vacant building on Lee Road that was long occupied by Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine. Lemon Grass closed in March 2015, and the large space has stood empty ever since. The brothers purchased the building in June, and hope to open Boss Dog Brewing by the end of 2016.

Their plan is to sell their own beer at the restaurant, and also distribute it to other restaurants on the East Side.

Jason came up with the brewery’s name, and Josh explained, “We are both animal lovers, and we both are big dog lovers, so that's why we decided to name it Boss Dog."

Boss Dog will offer a full menu of food items as well, including appetizers, shared plates and entrees.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 6:57 PM, 07.28.2016

Gaelic Storm Lee Road Pub Crawl kicked off July 25

On Monday, July 25, Cain Park launched an interactive, community pub crawl, to coincide with a concert by the popular Celtic band Gaelic Storm, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, in Cain Park.

Participants in the Gaelic Storm Lee Road Pub Crawl are encouraged to visit the six participating Lee Road pubs and wineries—The Wine Spot, CLE Urban Winery, Tavern Company, The BottleHouse Brewery, Parnell’s Irish Pub and New Heights Grill—to obtain an official pub crawl passport and play for prizes.

Cain Park regularly partners with The Wine Spot for wine tastings at its concerts. This event is designed to help promote all the pub and winery businesses on Lee Road during the street's construction, while simultaneously promoting the concert to the Cedar Lee Business District's pub-loving patrons.

Pub crawlers have up to nine days to acquire a stamp from all six locations, and return their finished passport to the Cain Park ticket office during daily ticket office hours. The deadline to turn in a completed passport is 5 p.m. on Aug. 2. The drawing will take place at 6:30 p.m. that evening.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 07.26.2016

Pavilion offers furniture and more in Cedar Fairmount

Pavilion Home & Floral, a home furnishings and interior design store, has relocated to Cleveland Heights. It originally opened on Larchmere Boulevard in December 2015, and moved to 12433 Cedar Road, in the Cedar Fairmount Business District, in July.

“We simply needed more space, and we wanted to expand our product offerings,” said Michele Ross, one of the store’s owners.

Leslie Marceau, the store’s other owner, said that she and Ross thought the Cedar Fairmount space would be a good fit, and enable them to grow their business.

Marceau, who grew up near Toronto, has lived in Cleveland Heights for the past four years. Ross was born in Elyria and now lives in Weymouth, near Medina.

Pavilion offers furniture; custom-upholstery items; lighting; art, featuring work by local artists; and home accessories, including candles, rugs, table tops, bedding and custom pillows. Pavilion also sells fresh flowers and faux flowers.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 10:00 AM, 07.19.2016

BP names Motorcars Honda world's first carbon-neutral auto dealer

On July 13, BP will present Motorcars Honda of Cleveland Heights with its Carbon Neutral Award, making it the first automotive dealership in the world to achieve this distinction. BP created the award as part of its Target Neutral program, and will bestow the award as part of University Circle’s Wade Oval Wednesdays celebration.

BP Target Neutral is an independently advised nonprofit program that aims to reduce the carbon footprints of both businesses and individuals. Motorcars Honda gained the program’s attention after achieving the title of eighth-greenest dealership in the U.S.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 11:36 AM, 07.12.2016

Blueprint Boutique opens on Coventry

A new clothing store has opened in Coventry Village. Called Blueprint Boutique, the store opened on July 2 in the space previously occupied by Heart and Sole, at 1781 Coventry Road.

The new store sells the same brands of sneakers that Heart and Sole used to sell, along with hard-to-find brands of clothing, most of which are otherwise available only at retail stores in New York City.

“We carry a wide variety of street-wear brands, and we also have vintage clothing from the 1990s, like old T-shirts,” said Anthony Ho, owner of boutique. Among the brands that his store carries are Supreme, a specialized street-wear brand, and Bathing Ape, a New York City label.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 10:35 AM, 07.12.2016

KazStylious Secret Closet brings vintage fashion to Cedar Lee

Tucked away near the corner of Lee and Silsby roads is KazStylious Secret Closet, a vintage boutique that offers boldly colored clothes.

Tranette Thomas, 33, owns KazStylious Secret Closet and said she runs it with one primary goal: to make unique fashion affordable. She buys all of the boutique’s stock herself and also works as an in-store personal stylist. Almost all of the clothes in KazStylious are vibrantly colored. Offering colorful clothes year-round is part of Thomas’ vision.

“I believe in color,” Thomas explained. “Color brings happiness. It takes away from anyone being in a bad space. I think it brings good vibes because at the same time you’re vibrant, you’re going to get compliments. So everything that I have in my store, it has color to it. It has something unique about it. The most important thing to me is that my customers are happy. People don’t have to buy something every time they come to my store, I just have to see them leave with a smile.”

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:11 PM, 07.01.2016

Expanded Shawn Paul Salon finds new home in Rockefeller Building

The Shawn Paul Salon has found a new home in the Mayfield Lee Business District’s Heights Rockefeller Building and is ready to grow. The salon, currently located in the Cedar Lee Business District is not only expanding its space, but also adding services, and using its new space to foster creativity, social engagement, and connectivity opportunities.  

The salon first opened its doors in the fall of 2011. Since its inaugural haircut, the salon has grown rapidly, and has been voted Best Cleveland Heights Salon and has received several Best Stylist awards.

The salon’s team of master stylists has been crucial to its success. “I am the luckiest guy alive," said owner Shawn Paul Gustafson. "I get to work with the craziest humans ever (my team), laugh all day long, and know that at the end of the day we all had fun. We are not for everyone, and that’s okay. We can get a bit too loud, openly share our political thoughts, and are obsessed with NPR. That being said, a lot of people seem to like our brand of crazy.”

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:27 AM, 06.28.2016

Inn on Coventry celebrates 35 years of business

The Inn on Coventry is celebrating its 35th anniversary this summer, and its owners, Debra Duirk and Mary Haley, are planning some special events to celebrate.

The restaurant opened on July 27, 1981. This year, July 27 is “Throwback Wednesday” at the Inn; coffee will be free (with purchase of food), and buttermilk pancakes will be available for $1 each. In addition, starting June 20, the Inn will be giving raffle tickets to diners; prizes include a mountain bike decorated with a Coca-Cola logo, and certificates good for free coffee for a year and free breakfast specials for a month. The restaurant also plans to offer 35th-anniversary Inn on Coventry T-shirts and sweatshirts as part of the raffle, and for purchase. The raffle drawing will be held on July 27.

“I really just want to thank everyone for supporting us over the last 35 years,” said Duirk. “We really just want to show our appreciation, and that’s why we are having the specials and the raffle.”

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 10:01 AM, 06.21.2016

Local couple hopes to continue Mitchell’s Chocolates tradition

Newlyweds Jason Hallaman and Emily Bean are seeking to carry on the Mitchell’s tradition for the next generation of chocolate lovers. Bill Mitchell, whose family founded Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates in 1939, announced his desire to retire from the business last year. Without children or other family members to succeed him, he sought a buyer he could trust to carry on the brand and maintain the family recipes.

A few short weeks ago, he found two. Hallaman and Bean said they were out shopping on the Eastside when they saw a display of Mitchell’s chocolates and exclaimed how much they liked them. The store clerk overheard and casually asked if they had heard the news that the business was for sale.

“We go to the same church [Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Cleveland Heights], but we hadn’t heard he was selling the business,” said Hallaman. “We dropped everything and ran over to the store on Lee Road to talk to Bill.”

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 11:35 AM, 05.24.2016

Cedar Lee finishes fourth in America's Main Streets contest

On June 3, Independent We Stand—an organization that supports independently owned and socially responsible businesses, and promotes the importance, and benefits, of “buying local”—announced that downtown Lynden, Wash., was the grand-prize winner of its America's Main Streets 2016 contest. According to Tara Mazzarella, a representative of Independent We Stand, the Cedar Lee Business District ranked an impressive fourth among the top 10 semifinalists in the national online voting competition that recognizes the important role that main street commercial districts play in the long-term success of communities.

In March, FutureHeights nominated Cedar Lee for the contest, and launched a campaign to encourage residents and others to vote online every 24 hours for the district—named one of 25 quarterfinalists from across the country—through April 24.

“This year provided a great opportunity to nominate Cedar Lee because of the $3.3 million Lee Road streetscape improvements that broke ground in May,” said Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights. “Additional funding could have helped enhance the area further, which is now undergoing planned improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists, with new crosswalks, lighting and amenities, such as bicycle repair stations. During this construction phase, it’s especially important that our community continue to patronize these local businesses."

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 11:21 AM, 06.14.2016

Scene counts Heights businesses among Cleveland's best

Scene magazine announced its Best of Cleveland 2016 list on April 27, and Heights businesses were well represented on it, placing in five of the six categories: Arts & Entertainment; Food & Drink; Shops & Services; Bars & Clubs; and People & Places. Scene publishes the list annually as "a guide to the best of all that is happening" in Greater Cleveland.

Scene named In the 216, at 1854 Coventry Road, Best New Store. In the 216 also won Best Store to Find a Piece of Cleveland for its Cleveland-proud merchandise.

“We are very humbled by the recognition,” said Jenny Goe, owner of In the 216, which features all Ohio-made products.“We have worked very hard to gather an eclectic group of artists and artisans from Cleveland and other parts of Ohio. Mostly, we are so excited that the 104 creatives represented in the shop have been awarded this honor. They are everything, and the past year would not have happened without all of them.”

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.03.2016

Dorsey & Company makes changes to enhance its expertise

Dorsey & Company, a marketing strategy and consulting firm in Cleveland Heights, has enhanced its expertise with the addition of a new strategic partner and by moving a senior associate into the role of managing director.

Peter Lawson Jones and Dorsey have just entered into a strategic partnership. “Peter brings additional depth in the government and nonprofit space that can help us to more effectively solve an even wider array of competitive and marketing issues that clients in these sectors face more and more today,” said Julius C. Dorsey Jr., president of Dorsey & Company. “With his counsel and participation in engagements of such high consequence, I know we’ll be in an even better position to provide a higher level of satisfaction to our clients across many industries.”

A seasoned public servant, Harvard-educated Jones previously served for nine years as a member of the Board of Cuyahoga County Commissioners—and served as its president for three of those years. He also served two and one-half terms in the Ohio House of Representatives, and was formerly vice mayor and councilman in the City of Shaker Heights.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 6:32 PM, 06.06.2016

New restaurant to feature authentic Greek and Indian flavors

Eustathea Kavouras, owner of Greedy Girl Ethnic Street Flavors, a new restaurant specializing in Greek and Indian street food, is working toward a summer opening at 2158 Taylor Road, next to Mister Brisket.

This is Kavouras’ first foray into the food business. For the past 22 years, Kavouras, 60, has been a physician assistant at various area hospitals. But, she said, she has always wanted to own a restaurant: “It’s been a dream of mine since I was 12 years old. I have been cooking all of these years, and I decided it was time to do it.”

“I was raised Greek, and I began cooking Greek delicacies with my mother and grandmother when I was 4,” Kavouras explained. “Then I spent time with an Indian family, and my adopted culture is Indian. I visited India several times, primarily learning how to cook their foods.”

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 6:11 PM, 05.31.2016

UH resident founds website for women without children

A large percentage of women in the United States and around the world are not having children, either by choice or because of circumstances beyond their control. In 2013, Time magazine ran a cover story about the changing demographic among women. According to the 2014 U.S. census, 47.6 percent of American women between the ages of 15 and 44 did not have children.

To address the needs and concerns of childless women, University Heights resident Karen Malone Wright started the TheNotMom website. It gets more than 10,000 visits and 35,000 page views each month. On Oct. 6 and 7, she’ll host TheNotMom’s second international conference at the new Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 6:05 PM, 05.31.2016

Culture comes to Cedar Lee corner

A new Cleveland Heights store opened in mid-April, at 2150 Lee Road, on the southwest corner of Cedar and Lee roads. Called Culture Footwear and Apparel, the store is located in the space that had been occupied by Abrash Gallerie for 11 years. Abrash closed on Sept. 7, 2015.

Culture sells a variety of urban apparel for both men and women, including sporting clothes and athletic boots and shoes. The Cleveland Heights store is the third Culture location to open in Greater Cleveland within the past year. The first Culture store opened last June in the Fifth Street Arcade in downtown Cleveland, and a second store opened in April, at 16832 Chagrin Blvd. in Shaker Heights.

Morad Ali, a 33-year-old who grew up in Westlake and currently lives in downtown Cleveland, owns all three stores.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 1:19 PM, 04.30.2016

Ten Thousand Villages launches campaign to plant 10,000 trees

Ten Thousand Villages in Cleveland Heights, a fair trade retailer at 12425 Cedar Road, will participate in a nationwide campaign to plant 10,000 trees in national forests. The program, which starts April 21 and runs through May 1, invites customers to donate $1 to plant a tree through the Arbor Day Foundation.

Ten Thousand Villages in Cleveland Heights, one of more than 390 Ten Thousand Villages shops throughout the U.S., hopes its customers will contribute, to help plant 150 trees on behalf of the Heights community. Ten Thousand Villages corporate offices based in Akron, Pa., will donate 1,000 trees.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:40 AM, 04.17.2016

CH residents open fitness club on South Taylor

A new fitness club opened on Jan. 15 at 2086 South Taylor Road, next to Cafe Tandoor, near Cedar Road. Called CrossFit I/O, it’s owned by two Cleveland Heights residents, Michael and Jodi Meilstrup.

At CrossFit, members work out with other members. “You work out as a team,” Jodi said. “We work out in a way that our bodies naturally move, to become stronger and more fit. You use your entire body for almost every exercise. For example, if you are rowing, you use your legs, your back, your stomach and your arms.”

The CrossFit chain was started in 2000, and there are now more than 13,000 affiliates around the world. “I believe that a new affiliate opens every nine days,” Michael said.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:52 AM, 04.05.2016

CH couple opens Amish furniture store on Fairmount

A new furniture store has opened in Cleveland Heights. Called Eastwood Amish Craft Furniture, the store is located at 3451 Fairmount Blvd., at the corner of Fairmount and Taylor Road.

The space was previously home to Paysage, which also sold furniture and home-décor items.

The Eastwood store is different from other furniture stores in the area. Amish craftsmen from Ohio make all of the furniture the store sells. In addition, customers can request that the craftsmen create specific, customized furniture items, made to their specifications.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 2:05 PM, 03.28.2016

Cleveland Candle Company opening on Coventry

The Cleveland Candle Company, a business that is currently located in Mentor, plans to open a second store at the end of April on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights. In addition to selling a large variety of candles, the store also invites customers to create their own candles, choosing the scents, size and shape.

David Gin, co-founder and president of the company, owns the store along with Linda Turner and Tanya Bratten. Gin, who is 30 years old, was born in Chicago and spent many of his younger years in Indiana. He attended Indiana Wesleyan University, where he majored in finance and marketing. In 2011, he created a company called Real Frût to produce gourmet fruit juices. The company won the Best Juice in Cleveland award from Cleveland Magazine in 2013.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 2:01 PM, 03.28.2016

Big Fun turns 25 in April

On Friday, April 1, Big Fun will mark its 25th anniversary.

Owner Steve Presser said that he is delighted that his store has been around for 25 years. “It’s unusual in this day and age to have any longevity,” he said. “With the Internet and everything else, it’s become very hard for retail stores to survive. But fortunately, we have made it! And the idea is for people to come into the store and shop and have the experience.”

In celebration, on April 1, the iconic toy store, located at 1814 Coventry Road, will offer 25 percent off the price of every item in the store, and customers will be invited to enjoy slices of cake.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:03 AM, 03.01.2016

Cleveland Running Company moves to Lee Road

Cleveland Running Company, formerly located on Van Aken Boulevard in Shaker Heights, is relocating to 2246 Lee Road, between Meadowbrook Boulevard and Kensington Road. The store's owner, Jeff Fisher, is planning a mid-February opening.

“They’re re-doing the building we were in,” explained Fisher. “Our space was being downsized, and it was priced more than we could afford.”

Fisher said he decided to move the store to Cleveland Heights, where he once lived, because he has always liked the city. “I really like that it has all of these walkable neighborhoods,” he said. “And it’s got a great mix of people. I’m looking forward to running in Cain Park next summer.”

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 1:28 PM, 02.12.2016

Three new businesses bring new life to Cedar Lee corner

The Douglas Fine Arts Building, on the northwest corner of Cedar and Lee roads in Cleveland Heights, is seeing an influx of new businesses. Lucky Sparrow Tattoo opened on Feb. 4, and two takeout restaurants are coming soon. Tarita’s Wet Burritas is slated to open by the end of February, and the owner of Fresh & Meaty Burgers hopes to open his restaurant no later than early April.

Lucky Sparrow Tattoo has opened at 2128 Lee Road (216-505-5885), in the space previously occupied by Heights Guitars. The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 8 p.m., and accepts walk-ins as well as advance appointments.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:52 AM, 02.09.2016

Luna expands in Cedar Fairmount and beyond

Luna Bakery and Café recently underwent an expansion—its second since opening in June 2011. The restaurant, located in the Cedar Fairmount Business District, took over a portion of the space previously occupied by The Mad Greek. This expansion adds 500 square feet to Luna, enabling the café to add about 25 new seats.

When Luna originally opened, it could seat only about 15 people inside, though a patio offers additional seating in spring and summer. In the winter of 2011, the restaurant added a back room, increasing the number of indoor seats to about 35. With its latest expansion, the restaurant can now accommodate about 60 people inside.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:30 AM, 01.26.2016

Rudy's Pub opens on Lee Road

Rudy’s Pub, which had been on Van Aken Road near Warrensville Center Road in Shaker Heights for nearly a decade, has re-opened in the Cedar Lee neighborhood of Cleveland Heights. The restaurant is now located 2191 Lee Road, in the space previously occupied by the Cedar Lee Pub, which closed temporarily in October 2014, and then closed permanently in 2015.

Quintin Jones and Amanda Elfers, who are engaged to be married, own the pub. They closed the Shaker Heights location in October 2015 because of all of the construction and redevelopment going on in that neighborhood. Then, a couple of their regular customers told them about the Cedar Lee Pub space. Jones and Elfers came by, thought it would be a great spot for their restaurant, called the building’s owner and rented the space.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 10:23 AM, 01.19.2016

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.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 2:23 PM, 12.22.2015

CLE Urban Winery to open on Lee Road in 2016

A new winery is slated to open in May 2016 on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. Called CLE Urban Winery, it will be one of the first federally bonded wineries in the Cleveland area to produce, serve and sell its own handcrafted wines exclusively.

When owner Destiny Burns turned 50 last year, she felt at a crossroads. “I decided it was time to come home to Cleveland,” she said.

She started looking for places where she could open her own winery. When she saw the space at 2180 Lee Road, she decided it was perfect and contacted the building’s owner. Studio You, a ceramic business, had occupied the space several years before. The space includes an area that had served as a garage.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 5:12 PM, 12.30.2015

Heights-based NatureVation leads outdoor adventures

In 1999, Cleveland Heights resident Elaine Price took an “adventure vacation” in Santa Fe, N.M. Even better than the hiking, biking and rafting was the fact that all the planning and logistics—from lodging to meals to the itinerary—were taken care of for her. While on the trip, Price found herself wondering why there was nothing similar in the Great Lakes region. “Our nature is just as great as theirs,” she reasoned. “We should be doing this there.”

The idea stayed with her until, in 2013, Price and her husband, Gordon Landefeld, founded NatureVation (a combination of the words “nature” and “innovation”), a nature tourism company that leads local adventures for individuals and groups.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 4:55 PM, 12.30.2015

Jeanology clothing store is reborn on Taylor

Clarence Allen had always loved shopping at Jeanology, the clothing store at 2110 South Taylor Road that originally opened in 2006. In 2012, he stopped by and noticed that the owners had not been re-stocking the store. “I asked the owner, and he told me he was thinking about closing,” Allen said. Over the next two years, when Allen would drive by the shop, “it looked abandoned,” he recalled.

The store officially closed in December 2013. Then, in November 2014, Allen saw a “For Rent” sign on the front of the store. “I called the number on the sign,” Allen said, “and the owners of the building said they wanted to rent the space.” So Allen called Andrew Jackson, who had been the owner of Jeanology. “He asked me what my plans were,” Allen said, “and I told him I wanted to get Jeanology re-opened.”

Allen teamed up with a longtime friend of his, Rick Steele, and the two took over the ownership of the store in January 2015. Under their leadership, the store re-opened on March 5.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 9:57 AM, 12.22.2015

'Wonderful' new gift shop opens on Lee Road

A new gift shop has opened in the space previously occupied by Simply Charming in the Cedar Lee neighborhood. Called S’Wonderful Gifts, the store opened on Nov. 17. It offers a wide variety of items, including jewelry, plush animals, ceramics, watches, purses, soaps and nail polish.

Bill Wort, 61, the new store’s owner, has spent most of his life working at museum stores. He grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, and worked at several museums there over the years. In 2007, he moved to Sarasota, Fla., where he ran the store at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Then, in December 2011, the Cleveland Museum of Art hired him to run its shop while the museum was undergoing renovations. He left after about a year.

“I have wanted to open a gift store for some time,” said Wort, who lives on Scarborough Road in Cleveland Heights. “I was looking for a place with foot traffic. Living in the area, I knew about Simply Charming, and my wife shopped there a lot.”

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 9:56 AM, 11.24.2015