Monday, July 25, 2016

Hard Rock Cafe Cleveland Closes; Crews Remove Giant Guitar from Outer Facade

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 11:54 AM

After 20 years, the Hard Rock Cafe Cleveland is officially no more. This morning crews were seen removing all signs of the former downtown staple after it closed Sunday. (There is still the Hard Rock Cafe at Northfield Park and Hard Rock Rocksino, of course, for all your Hard Rockin' needs.)

But the giant guitar, a staple of the riverfront for years, was on its way down and by end of the day will be gone forever.

  • Courtesy Shiri Akrish

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California Delegate with Norovirus Still at Kalahari

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 10:12 AM

The Los Angeles Times reports that, after an initial wave of Norovirus contractions among the California delegation at last week's RNC, another delegate was diagnosed Saturday.

The latest diagnosis brings the total number to "at least 16." While most of the delegation flew home Friday, the sick delegate was forced to remain at the Erie County resort.

Local News Channel 5 reports that the delegate began "feeling queasy" at the Convention Thursday night but is "feeling much better" now. It remains unclear if she'll return home Monday.

Kalahari, meanwhile, won't rent out the rooms in which the guests with Norovirus stayed until they are professionally cleaned. That process could take 5 days.

The Norovirus interlude was salt in the wound for the 550-person California delegation, who already had the misfortune of staying at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky. Despite its lavish amenities and indoor water park, the resort was the most remote of all the delegation hotels, a full hour (without traffic) from the RNC downtown.  

Scene can personally attest that the commute was a pain in the ass
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Hard Rocking Singer-Guitarist Zakk Wylde Explores His Milder Side on 'Book of Shadows II'

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 10:10 AM

Hard working singer-guitarist Zakk Wylde has already had one helluva 2016. The year isn’t half over yet, and he’s toured as part of both the Hendrix Experience Tour and Steve Vai’s Generation Axe Tour.

Now, Wylde comes to town in support of Book of Shadows II, the follow-up to 1996’s Book of Shadows. Speaking via phone from his Los Angeles home, he says fans still respond favorably to guitar heroes (and we consider him to be one), even though we live in a time when electronic dance music and overproduced pop reign supreme.

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Video: Cleveland Police Thank Cleveland After the RNC

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 10:03 AM

The Cleveland Police Department wanted to thank everyone for a great, mostly uneventful RNC week in the city, so they put together this video. It's a nice little cap to a week we'll never forget.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Alt-Rockers Jane's Addiction, Dinosaur Jr. and Living Colour Show They're Still Relevant

Posted By on Sun, Jul 24, 2016 at 1:36 PM

Jane's Addiction's Perry Farrell - JON LICHTENBERG
  • Jon Lichtenberg
  • Jane's Addiction's Perry Farrell
When Jane's Addiction, Dinosaur Jr. and Living Colour, all of whom shared the stage last night at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, formed way back in the mid-’80s, hair metal and classic rock still ruled commercial radio. Anything punk or post-punk stood little chance of finding its way onto commercial radio or into mainstream rock venues.

In their own unique ways, these three acts introduced the concept of alternative or modern rock. While each band has struggled in the wake of the success it achieved in the '80s and '90s, all three still have vital live shows, something they put on display last night before a near-capacity crowd.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

First Look: Woodstock BBQ in Lakewood

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 4:53 PM

Before speaking to the media about Woodstock BBQ, owner Robert Togliatti said he wanted to have his ducks in a row. That’s probably why you haven’t read – or likely even heard – much about his new restaurant despite the fact that it will open its very conspicuous Lakewood doors in less than two weeks.

Woodstock began life as Smōk, with initial estimates targeting a late 2015 opening. But given the amount of renovations that Togliatti had planned for the former Trio’s Bar (13362 Madison Ave.), that timeline turned out to be tremendously optimistic.

“If you saw it before, this place was a real dive,” he says.

Togliatti purchased the 100-year-old building a year and a half ago and has since poured a ton of time and money into the renovation project – and it shows. The overall space is bright, open and welcoming, the exact opposite of its dive bar days. The main spaces, connected years ago by the previous tenant, flow easily from barroom to dining room. A façade of accordion-style windows opens up and folds away, uniting the sidewalk patio to the interior. The building's exterior was restored to its original brick shell and the structure’s first real kitchen was installed.

Though the owner and his crew did almost all of the work, nothing looks like it was cobbled together to save money. The walls are clad in blonde wood. The tabletops are built from pallet wood and mounted atop bases fabricated from jet-black plumbing conduit. Light fixtures, though made from electrical supplies, are hip and appropriate for the space. Items inherited with the space include a towering cigar store Indian and an old telephone booth. A circa 1900 cash register sits atop the backbar. Woodstock will seat 60 diners indoors and another 15 on the front patio.

Togliatti might be the third guy to open a barbecue joint in Cleveland this year, but he likely began working on the concept long before any of them. This is a plan years in the making, he says, one cultivated from many miles of travel.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in Memphis, a lot of time in Nashville, and a lot of time in Kansas City, and everywhere I went I sought out barbecue places,” he explains. “I didn’t choose barbecue because it’s hot, I chose it because I love it. It’s pretty simple – it’s not over-cheffed food – and that’s the fantastic thing about it.”

One thing that Togliatti says he has gleaned from his years on the road is that every barbecue restaurant has its own style – and that’s not even getting to the food. Some of the best barbecue he’s ever had was from a carry-out-only joint, while others are a bit more elaborate. His will be somewhere in the middle.

“I like the easy vibe of barbecue restaurants,” he explains. “There’s all different levels and styles of places. This is a bar with barbecue. We’re still going to keep it super-simple, but we’re also going to have a full bar, appetizers, sides and desserts.”

Pitmaster Tommy Chambers will be smoking brisket, pulled pork, turkey, rib tips and sausage year-round on a pair of Old Hickory pits in an open-air smoke shack behind the building, Lakewood’s only outdoor commercial smokers. The menu will likely rotate daily, with three meats and three sides available on any given day. Starters will include smoked chicken wings, smoked cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos, barbecue loaded nachos, and barbecue loaded french fries. Sides will include spicy slaw, broccoli salad, mac and cheese, collard greens and plenty of sweet and hot pickles. Dessert is sweet potato pie. Everything will be made onsite except for the sausages, which are coming from Fresh Butcher Deli in Broadview Heights.

Togliatti says that he scrapped the original name for a couple of reasons.

“I was originally going to call it Smōk, but it was hard for me to even type and it was hard for people to say,” he quips. “People were pronouncing it like ‘smock.’ Plus, there are a lot of other barbecue places called Smoke. We’ve got all this wood, so Woodstock just worked.”

Togliatti might be new to the restaurant business, but he isn’t new to Lakewood. In fact, he has lived and worked within four blocks of the restaurant for nearly two decades, he says.

“Everybody in the neighborhood is excited. It’s obviously taken a lot of money and it’s taken a lot of time, I just hope we’ll be busy. As long as the food and service is good, we should be fine. The key is to keep the menu very simple and execute very well. The food has to match all the work I’ve done on the building.”

Look for Woodstock to open in early August.

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Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Can't Live Up to Title

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 3:39 PM

Opening at the Cedar Lee Friday, Absolutely Fabulous: the Movie stars Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley as characters they originated in their hit BBC tv series back in the 90s, a British sitcom with enough cultural cache that it was abbreviated, by fans, as Abfab. 

Now the ladies are back in action. PR agent Edina "Eddie" Monsoon and her best pal, fashion magazine editor Patsy Malone, have both have eclipsed 60. They resist the passage of time and the dwindling of their respective careers by hob-knobbing with models and industry luminaries, and consuming vast quantities of drugs and alcohol while they're at it. The recurring joke is that no one much likes Eddie — even low-level celebs high-tail it in the opposite direction when she approaches — and her attempts to stay cool and relevant hinge on the supposition that she ever was (on which supposition I'm not equipped to comment.) But she's hard up for cash, and she sees a golden opportunity for money and fame when global fashion icon Kate Moss abandons her publicist. 

But Moss falls from the balcony of a fashion soiree and Eddie is blamed. Fearing prosecution, Eddie and Patsy flee to the French Riviera, aided by Eddie's hip granddaughter Lola (Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness), and intend to find an old flame to marry, steal his fortune and begin their lives anew. Eddie's daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha) and parodically dumb and fashion-very-far-forward personal assistant Bubbles (Jane Horrocks) reprise their roles from the series as well.

Presumably, this will be regarded as a must-see for fans of the BBC series, and one can see how the lead characters would have thrived in a short-form sitcom setting. The film, however, is an odd beast. The humor often relies on physical gags and preposterous turns of events, sort of in the unsteady comedic vein of film adaptations of SNL skits. Though Saunders and Lumley continue to draw laughs in individual scenes, this attempt to extend and grow a beloved brand might not do either.
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