About 500 VIPs swilled back beer and wine on Thursday night for the grand opening of the Corner Alley
at East 4th Street and Euclid Avenue. Celebs who noshed on prime rib, roasted turkey, and jumbo shrimp ranged from Cleveland City Council President Martin Sweeney and Republic Bank VP Mike Dostal to the alley's general manager, Adam Kleinhenz, and owner Nick Kostis of next-door neighbor Pickwick & Frolic/Hilarities East 4th Street.
To officially break in the 12 state-of-the-art lanes, complete with nifty touch-screen scorecards and pastel-colored balls, luminaries like Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman, Sherwin-Williams attorney Rob Olsen, and developers Ron Lam and Michael Auger lined up for the inaugural bowl. But before anyone rolled a ball, emcee Christy Harst -- onetime mouthpiece for former Mayor Jane Campbell -- announced that the alley would have eternally good business luck if 3 of the 12 bowlers threw strikes. "We can get three of them to knock down all the pins, right?"
Wrong. Of the 10 men and 2 women handpicked for the first toss, three of the dudes found the gutter. Another settled for a 7-10 split. Only Yvette Ittu scored a strike. More shocked than anybody else, the Downtown Cleveland Partnership VP played the gender card. "Give all the credit to Lady Luck," Ittu gasped as she picked her jaw off the floor. Alley management has taken note. Ladies' Night, anyone? -- Cris Glaser