April 01, 2018

19 Things You Should Be Exploring in Lakewood This Weekend

This inner-ring westside suburb has always had an eclectic vibe, thanks to its bevy of independent shops and eateries; locally owned small businesses; and abundance of cheap, character-laden dive bars. Although the city has certainly evolved over the years — many of the grittier drinking establishments have closed or been transformed into nicer places, thanks to Lakewood's booming restaurant scene — the community itself remains as vibrant (and diverse) as ever, thanks to an influx of twentysomethings and young families.

This inner-ring westside suburb has always had an eclectic vibe, thanks to its bevy of independent shops and eateries; locally owned small businesses; and abundance of cheap, character-laden dive bars. Although the city has certainly evolved over the years — many of the grittier drinking establishments have closed or been transformed into nicer places, thanks to Lakewood's booming restaurant scene — the community itself remains as vibrant (and diverse) as ever, thanks to an influx of 20-somethings and young families.

 

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Yuzu
13603 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 440-799-8343
It's safe to say that Yuzu dreams up the most creative theme nights in the city; Disney Princess Trivia Night or Blink-One-Eighty-Tuesday, anyone? Still, these lighthearted gatherings are a good way to check out Yuzu's izakaya-inspired menu, which features rice bowls, ramen and Korean fried chicken as well as yakitori. As an added bonus, Yuzu also has a dedicated menu for pooches — including an oh-so-fancy dog biscuit flight and dog beer! — which means you can party with your furry friends as well as your human ones.
Photo via Yuzulakewood/Instagram

Yuzu

13603 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 440-799-8343

It's safe to say that Yuzu dreams up the most creative theme nights in the city; Disney Princess Trivia Night or Blink-One-Eighty-Tuesday, anyone? Still, these lighthearted gatherings are a good way to check out Yuzu's izakaya-inspired menu, which features rice bowls, ramen and Korean fried chicken as well as yakitori. As an added bonus, Yuzu also has a dedicated menu for pooches — including an oh-so-fancy dog biscuit flight and dog beer! — which means you can party with your furry friends as well as your human ones.

Photo via Yuzulakewood/Instagram
 Mahall’s
13200 Madison Ave, Lakewood, 216-521-3280 
Going to Mahall's is like stepping back in time. That's a good thing: Although the 1920s-era alley received some updates in the past few years, the bowling is still as old school as it comes. What's new (and welcome) is how Mahall's has become a much-needed westside entertainment destination. The complex now regularly hosts all sorts of events: DJ nights and dance parties, comedy shows, and concerts from local and touring pop, punk, indie and emo bands. Plus, the bar has a small but mighty beer list and food menu that's perfect for late-night noshing.
Photo via endmike/Instagram

Mahall’s

13200 Madison Ave, Lakewood, 216-521-3280

Going to Mahall's is like stepping back in time. That's a good thing: Although the 1920s-era alley received some updates in the past few years, the bowling is still as old school as it comes. What's new (and welcome) is how Mahall's has become a much-needed westside entertainment destination. The complex now regularly hosts all sorts of events: DJ nights and dance parties, comedy shows, and concerts from local and touring pop, punk, indie and emo bands. Plus, the bar has a small but mighty beer list and food menu that's perfect for late-night noshing.

Photo via endmike/Instagram
Bottlehouse Brewery
13368 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-926-0025
The westside iteration of Bottlehouse Brewery opened in 2016 in the former Sullivan's Irish Pub and Restaurant. As with the Cleveland Heights location, patrons can bring in their own food, and hunker down in the tasting room to sample the Bottlehouse's own unique sour beers, meads, cider and other assorted IPAs and ales. For those who might need a caffeinated pick-me-up, Rising Star Coffee Roasters recently made their adjacent pop-up shop permanent. 
Photo via mrwonkawilly/Instagram

Bottlehouse Brewery

13368 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-926-0025

The westside iteration of Bottlehouse Brewery opened in 2016 in the former Sullivan's Irish Pub and Restaurant. As with the Cleveland Heights location, patrons can bring in their own food, and hunker down in the tasting room to sample the Bottlehouse's own unique sour beers, meads, cider and other assorted IPAs and ales. For those who might need a caffeinated pick-me-up, Rising Star Coffee Roasters recently made their adjacent pop-up shop permanent.

Photo via mrwonkawilly/Instagram
Cleveland Vegan
17112 Detroit Rd, Lakewood, 216-221-0201
It's a testament to how far Cleveland has come that there's an all-vegan restaurant flourishing in Lakewood's main corridor. Cleveland Vegan's inventive menu encompasses a diverse array of breakfast and lunch dishes, delights including mocha overnight oats, raw walnut tacos and a healthy beet burger, as well as fortified smoothies and lattes, tea and coffee, and even decadent desserts. The shop has even started offering a personal chef service that provides six meals and one dessert per week, either via door-to-door service or at the cafe.
Photo via Clevelandvegancateringandcafe/Instagram

Cleveland Vegan

17112 Detroit Rd, Lakewood, 216-221-0201

It's a testament to how far Cleveland has come that there's an all-vegan restaurant flourishing in Lakewood's main corridor. Cleveland Vegan's inventive menu encompasses a diverse array of breakfast and lunch dishes, delights including mocha overnight oats, raw walnut tacos and a healthy beet burger, as well as fortified smoothies and lattes, tea and coffee, and even decadent desserts. The shop has even started offering a personal chef service that provides six meals and one dessert per week, either via door-to-door service or at the cafe.

Photo via Clevelandvegancateringandcafe/Instagram
My Mind’s Eye
16010 Detroit Rd., Lakewood, 216-521-6660
Home of one of the best used LP bins and some of the most loyal customers in town, My Mind's Eye is the area's go-to record store for punk, metal, blues, rock and soul — and most things in between. Plus, owner Charles will special order (almost) anything he doesn't have in stock — after he turns you on to something else that's cool, obscure and in your sonic wheelhouse, of course.
Photo from Scene archives <a

My Mind’s Eye

16010 Detroit Rd., Lakewood, 216-521-6660

Home of one of the best used LP bins and some of the most loyal customers in town, My Mind's Eye is the area's go-to record store for punk, metal, blues, rock and soul — and most things in between. Plus, owner Charles will special order (almost) anything he doesn't have in stock — after he turns you on to something else that's cool, obscure and in your sonic wheelhouse, of course.

Photo from Scene archives
Museum of Divine Statues
12905 Madison Ave, Lakewood, 216-712-7094
Northeast Ohio has no shortage of unique or under-the-radar museums. Lakewood's Museum of Divine Statues might take the cake. Housed in the former St. Hedwig's Church, the museum has a mission to "preserve Catholic history by rescuing, restoring and displaying ecclesiastical statues and other sacred artifacts in a reflective and respectful museum setting." Accordingly, visitors can see all sorts of Catholic ephemera &#151; including statues lovingly restored by Lou McClung, who owns the nonprofit museum &#151; during its weekend afternoon hours.
Photo via greg_is_downtown/Instagram

Museum of Divine Statues

12905 Madison Ave, Lakewood, 216-712-7094

Northeast Ohio has no shortage of unique or under-the-radar museums. Lakewood's Museum of Divine Statues might take the cake. Housed in the former St. Hedwig's Church, the museum has a mission to "preserve Catholic history by rescuing, restoring and displaying ecclesiastical statues and other sacred artifacts in a reflective and respectful museum setting." Accordingly, visitors can see all sorts of Catholic ephemera — including statues lovingly restored by Lou McClung, who owns the nonprofit museum — during its weekend afternoon hours.

Photo via greg_is_downtown/Instagram
Pier W
12700 Lake Ave, Lakewood, 216-228-2250
There's a reason why Pier W has remained one of the area's most beloved upscale dining destinations: Patrons can get first-class service, seafood and steaks &#151; and a first-rate view of downtown Cleveland &#151; without completely breaking the bank. Just a word of warning: Although its bar happy hour tends to be jammed &#151; its prices and tasty menu selections make it a go-to destination &#151; during nicer months, Pier W's relaxing deck happy hour isn't to be missed.
Photo from Scene archives <a

Pier W

12700 Lake Ave, Lakewood, 216-228-2250

There's a reason why Pier W has remained one of the area's most beloved upscale dining destinations: Patrons can get first-class service, seafood and steaks — and a first-rate view of downtown Cleveland — without completely breaking the bank. Just a word of warning: Although its bar happy hour tends to be jammed — its prices and tasty menu selections make it a go-to destination — during nicer months, Pier W's relaxing deck happy hour isn't to be missed.

Photo from Scene archives
The Griffin Cider House & Gin Bar
12401 Madison Ave, Lakewood, 216-767-5444
Many places call themselves "English-style pubs." The Griffin Cider House & Gin Bar is the real deal. An offshoot of the locally brewed Griffin Cider Works, this intimate pub carries the company's tart (and powerful) ciders, as well as a selection of bottled ciders and beers, and a generous selection of gin. Their food selection is limited but dynamite &#151; their filling Scotch eggs and Cornish pasties are the perfect things for soaking up a strong pint (or three). 
Photo via sincideremilie/Instagram

The Griffin Cider House & Gin Bar

12401 Madison Ave, Lakewood, 216-767-5444

Many places call themselves "English-style pubs." The Griffin Cider House & Gin Bar is the real deal. An offshoot of the locally brewed Griffin Cider Works, this intimate pub carries the company's tart (and powerful) ciders, as well as a selection of bottled ciders and beers, and a generous selection of gin. Their food selection is limited but dynamite — their filling Scotch eggs and Cornish pasties are the perfect things for soaking up a strong pint (or three).

Photo via sincideremilie/Instagram
Lakewood Public Cinema  
15425 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, 216-226-8275
Who needs pricey movie theaters when Lakewood Public Cinema exists? Every Saturday at 6 p.m., the Lakewood library opens its doors to the public and plays a classic movie, for free! Smartly, their version of "classic" is wide ranging and diverse, and caters to movie buffs of all ages. In the upcoming spring and summer session, selections being lensed include Am&eacute;lie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, and The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Photo via photosbyhil/Instagram

Lakewood Public Cinema

15425 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, 216-226-8275

Who needs pricey movie theaters when Lakewood Public Cinema exists? Every Saturday at 6 p.m., the Lakewood library opens its doors to the public and plays a classic movie, for free! Smartly, their version of "classic" is wide ranging and diverse, and caters to movie buffs of all ages. In the upcoming spring and summer session, selections being lensed include Amélie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, and The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Photo via photosbyhil/Instagram
LBM
12301 Madison Ave, Lakewood, 216-712-4692
Back in the day, Lakewood's bars tended to lean toward the no-frills, shot-and-a-beer variety. Times sure have changed, as evidenced by new(er) kid on the block, LBM, which is billed as "your friendly neighborhood Viking cocktail bar." In the hands of other proprietors, this conceit could be cheesy. At LBM, however, the Viking theme works like a roguish charm, in the form of an affordable, adventurous cocktail menu with unique spirits and concoctions. Who won't feel like conquering the night after sipping on drinks dubbed the Wayward Souls and Crimson Seeds?
Photo by Emanuel Wallace <a

LBM

12301 Madison Ave, Lakewood, 216-712-4692

Back in the day, Lakewood's bars tended to lean toward the no-frills, shot-and-a-beer variety. Times sure have changed, as evidenced by new(er) kid on the block, LBM, which is billed as "your friendly neighborhood Viking cocktail bar." In the hands of other proprietors, this conceit could be cheesy. At LBM, however, the Viking theme works like a roguish charm, in the form of an affordable, adventurous cocktail menu with unique spirits and concoctions. Who won't feel like conquering the night after sipping on drinks dubbed the Wayward Souls and Crimson Seeds?

Photo by Emanuel Wallace