I am a Clevelander. I was born in Cleveland. I live in Cleveland. I will have a family in Cleveland. I will die in Cleveland. I am a Clevelander.
When everyone was leaving Cleveland as quickly as possible, I remained. When everyone was making fun of Cleveland, I remained. When everyone was counting Cleveland out, I remained.
The Republican National Convention will be here in 2016. LeBron James is back. The food scene is one of the best in the country. The entrepreneurial spirit is more than alive. Demand for housing IN CLEVELAND is outstripping supply. And, oh, yeah, the Browns currently have a winning season, giving fans some real, palpable hope.
Calling it a resurgent is putting it lightly. Cleveland is back.
the food. the city. the resurgency.
I am simply a grilled cheese lover from Cleveland so, yes, I am biased. However, these, respected publications are most definitely not.
Cleveland, a City Repurposed / New York Times
If there had to be a slogan to describe Cleveland as it is today, “what’s old is new again” would undoubtedly be it. In the last few years, locals and businesses in this Midwest metropolis have been repurposing historic buildings from its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and turning them into restaurants, stores and draws for both residents and tourists. Many of these structures had sat empty for a decade or more before restoration efforts began infusing a vibrancy into this once-somewhat-downtrodden city.
Where the locals eat and drink in Cleveland / Thrillist
Among the uninitiated, conversations about Cleveland can be grim: The city was rocked by recession. Some magazine article said there was a lot of crime. They unfairly inducted Led Zeppelin into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but not Gin Blossoms. It goes on. But, thanks, in part, to a massive revitalization effort and the stalwart, stubbornly prideful folks who call it home, it’s also rebounding in an astounding way. Cleveland is now a destination food city… and nobody seems to know.
Cleveland is a city that rocks to food / SF Gate
Cleveland has been on the rebound even before LeBron James news / Los Angeles Times
“The GOP and LeBron are going to grease the skids on a process that’s already started,” said Richey Piiparinen, a senior research associate at the Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University. “People are realizing it’s not your grandpa’s Rust Belt anymore.”
Old City Soda. Brewnuts. La Banana Frita. forty.one. Randy’s Pickles. Bearded Buch. Philomena Bake Shop. Cleveland Kraut. Chagrin Valley Soap. The Cute Little Cake Shop. Pour Cleveland. Cookie Love Bake Shop. Kernels by Chrissie. Coquette Patisserie. Lilly Handmade Chocolates. Piccadilly Artisan Creamery. Cleveland Bagel Co.. Popsmith…and so much more.
In addition to the many phenomenal and award winning restaurants in and around Cleveland, way too many to list here, there are many entrepreneurs and complimentary businesses popping up each and everyday. The above list is just a smattering of the great establishments that are helping make Cleveland, and the area, the entrepreneurial destination that it has become. I admire and envy all of these brave souls, restaurateurs and shop keepers alike, who put their lives and livelihood on the line each and every day to follow their dreams. They are not only enriching their own lives but also the lives of the people around them. They are helping make this city something special. They are helping make this city a destination. They are the reason this one time “Mistake On The Lake” is back and better than ever. They are the reason…
I am a Clevelander.
Long. Live. Cleveland.
FYI: All photos taken by yours truly.
Update: It would appear that Michael Symon agrees with my sentiments: