this week’s feast!

For this week’s column in Feast!, I wrote about our recent visit to Lolita for happy hour and the recent influx of all the restaurant happy hours popping up all over. We actually took my parents on their inaugural visit (they liked it so much they vowed to leave Solon and venture past the bridge more often – and bring friends!). While we continue to enjoy the early bird specials around town, I just hope this isn’t a sign of potential closings on the horizon. I hate the thought of losing another quality restaurant. What will it take? I’ve converted my parents. Do I have to start making rounds to the suburbs and personally chauffeur people out to downtown, Ohio City and Tremont one by one?


  1. Michael Walsh
    Posted August 25, 2007 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I returned to Tremont recently after working there over 2 years. Then not returning over the past 2 months I had some bold realizations… Why would anyone go out of their way to come to this dingy, dirty, dark, scary neighborhood. I guess this is why i never came to Tremont before i worked there, and i probably won’t return soon. I hope there is someone concerned about this neighborhood, I’ve had two completely different views recently.

    On tuesday i walked about 2 blocks in complete darkness, around one passed out drunkard, another guy wanted some money, two people walking dogs who where not very freindly, and the same car blasting hip-hop drove by twice making me feel a bit un-easy, all this to go to a bar with 6 people in it, one drunk screaming at me to challenge him at Ms. Pac-man game. This was at 11pm, not evan 2 am when you expect to see these things.

    I was really taken back by how i felt after returning to Tremont. I really hope things aren’t as bad as i saw on a regular basis. I never really thought about it much when i worked there. Some street lights, and a police car would make things that much better. The business that are there already are fine establishments, and most of them have been in place for many years. It would be a shame to have the neighborhood crumble around them.

    I’m glad you had a plesant time at lolita, and a safe trip into tremont, but from what i’ve been seeing i wouldn’t send my parents into tremont anytime soon.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted August 26, 2007 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Michael-You can’t single out Tremont. I’m sure I can find a drunk guy walking around all of the bars in Lakewood or Downtown or Willoughby or Mentor or Westlake or Westpark or anywhere! I won’t return to the Lakewood dog park because they have vicious dogs there. Trust me the cops are down here also (I have 4 tickets to prove it) plus we’ve had hired security for years now that walk up and down Professor Avenue. I’ve been at St. Christopher’s church in Rocky River on a Sunday morning and heard somebody’s radio blaring. You’ve got to have people asking you for money right outside of your new employment.

    My point is everything you mentioned can happen anywhere. I’ve been in Tremont around 10 years now and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Sorry you hated it so much, but don’t try to convince other people to.

    Matt Harlan, Lolita

  3. Michael Walsh
    Posted August 26, 2007 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Matt, i’m not a hater of Tremont. I just happened to observe an untolerable amount of negative behaviour in a matter of 1/2 an hour. You claim to observe all these things in other places, but not all these things at one single other location. That is the diference.

    I love Lolita, the neighborhood doesnt’ bother me to come down for happy hour, but would i send my parents down for after dark diner, the answer is NO. In fact my parents are more afraid of the ‘idea’ of what Tremont is, than what it really is, from the old days, and i can’t really agrue with them from what i’ve seen recently.

    Finally Matt, i never said that i, “hated” Tremont. Please don’t put such unplesant words in my mouth. I made an honest observation about what happened to me recently and how i reacted to it. You put more negativity into my comments than where necessary. In the future this is not necessary and of course if you would like to discuss it in person you know where to find me. I’m not a negative person, i’m gratefull and appreciative toward most poeple, but i’m also honest when things are not ideal.

    thank you for your comments.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted August 26, 2007 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    I’m just responding to how I read it. Might not be how you meant it, just how I read it and other people might.

    My grandma has told me stories about the old days, she would never even think about going south of the park, the cops wouldn’t even go there. I think it’s gotten better.

  5. michelle v
    Posted August 26, 2007 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Michael – thanks for clarifying your comments, because I too was thinking you really, really hated this area, maybe b/c of the sentence dingy, diry, dark scary neighborhood. I love when you post and the insight you provide is fantastic, but I have to admit I was thinking about deleting this comment b/c I don’t want this to stop anyone from going to Tremont – or Ohio City and even downtwon (althought I wouldn never delete something just b/c someone has a different viewpoint then me so I really wasn’t going to). I just feel strongly that people have wrong perceptions of downtown, Ohio City and Tremont and these are all great areas. Yes, there is crime and some buildings may not be as pretty as others, but we can’t stay home and make it someone else’s problem. This is our city and it needs our help. I absolutely love Tremont – the restaurants, galleries and stores. My parents had this vision of how it would be and once down there they felt silly. They felt the same way about E 4th when I sent them to Lola a few months ago and they loved the area. I lived in Cleveland Heights for 4 years and was robbed twice. My parents live in Solon and there neighbor was robbed. My friend lives in Lyndhurst and his car was stolen from his driveway. Crime happens everywhere. I’m going in several directions here I realize, but my point is that Tremont is a wonderful city and people should leave the comforts of the suburbs more often and check it out. We have so many great things in Cleveland that people just don’t know about. Yes, this city has a lot of issues, especially the fact that out lake is the biggest asset and we put freeways around it. I think things are slowly starting to change but I strongly feel we all have to do our part too and support a lot of these places to show we care and that these places can thrive – much like the neighboroods of Chicago.

  6. Michael Walsh
    Posted August 26, 2007 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Michelle, Thanks for letting my comments stand. I can’t explain to you how shocked i was with what i observed recently compared to anything i saw, or felt while spending 5 days a week working in Tremont.

    I also tried to explain that the businesses in Tremont are very worthwile to visit.

    I don’t think i’m alone in my perception of Tremont, nor do i think my comments would change anyones mind about visiting the area. In a perfect world this converstaion might interest one person to visit a restaurant in Tremont, with an enlightened concern for his and his companions safety.

  7. michelle v
    Posted August 26, 2007 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Oh don’t worry, I was just kidding. I would never delete a comment just b/c it’s a different viewpost from my own. The only comments I delete are spam.

  8. rockandroller
    Posted August 28, 2007 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I echo the comments about the people driving around with their rap blasting, I have observed this on nearly every trip to Tremont, even in the middle of a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Something needs to be done about this and I don’t know what. It’s not just once, it’s repeatedly and mostly the same people circling the block time and time again, which gives the impression of gang-banging and doesn’t make me feel comfortable sitting outside at Civilizations or walking to and from my yoga or dance class, not to mention which it’s annoying as hell. This is why I visit Tremont but don’t want to live there in any fashion. The ‘burb I live in isn’t exciting but this doesn’t happen there. It won’t stop me from patronizing the businesses there, but I wouldn’t say I feel “comfortable” walking around there by myself at night, and sometimes even during the day.

  9. Michael Walsh
    Posted August 29, 2007 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    rockandroller, thanks for your perspective. i think you said exactly what i was thinking just not so blunt. The initiall thread questioned why people hesitate to go into temont and ohio city, and we both provided examples that some how have criminalized us.

    Like we both said, the businesses in tremont are worth visiting, but the area is of some concern. There is nothing wrong with this as long as people are prepared for reality.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted September 3, 2007 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with all of you. One, I love Tremont and Ohio City and all the restaurants it has to offer, HOWEVER, I would no longer go with just women. I feel safer going with a man or valet parking the car. I have had a few issues down there myself. As long as the restaurants offer valet, take advantage and don’t miss out on these eclectic restaurants.