People & Places

Best Slice of Cleveland 

Parkview Nite Club

Back in 1934, when the Parkview first opened on the little hillside overlooking Lake Erie and the downtown skyline, Cleveland was still a workingman's town, and the cozy corner bar was a lunchtime destination for broad-shouldered guys from nearby factories. Now, of course, the factories are empty, and Cleveland blue-collars are about as scarce as Nehru jackets. But while the Parkview's lunch menu is full of modern dishes that would have left Uncles Stosh and Tony scratching their heads -- a grilled portobello sandwich? A smoked-salmon BLT? -- the cooks haven't completely abandoned the old ways. Daily noontime specials rotate through a comforting collection of hometown favorites like meatloaf, city chicken, or cabbage and noodles with kielbasa. At dinner, there's what may be the city's definitive walleye fish fry. And for Sunday brunch, dig into cloud-light buttermilk pancakes, properly greasy home fries, and Bloody Marys garnished with pickle spears instead of celery. But the best thing about the Parkview is the people: a group as diverse as the city itself, ranging from sports fans to blues fans, from hipsters to cops, and from toddlers to their grandmas and grandpas. The demographics are so random, in fact, that an out-of-towner would be likely to guess that these folks couldn't even agree on a radio station, let alone a restaurant. Yet here they are, in complete accord, eating, drinking, and laughing together within the inclusive walls of this little Cleveland institution.
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