Cleveland Coffee Shops and Bars are Great Alternative Showcases for Local Art

Artist Paul Sydorenko’s “Cave Ghosts” have been on exhibit at Six Shooter Gallery.
Artist Paul Sydorenko’s “Cave Ghosts” have been on exhibit at Six Shooter Gallery.

For ages, alternative venues such as coffee shops and restaurants have offered wall space for emerging and established artists. Here are some places where you can open your third eye while you drink your red eye, red ale or red wine.


16021 Waterloo Rd.

John Farina and Adam Tully of Maria Neil Art Project have a revolving roster of heavy hitting artists on exhibit at Six Shooter Coffee in Collinwood. The most recent solo exhibition by Paul Sydorenko brought joy to our eyes as we grabbed our cuppajoe before heading out to work. Sydorenko's cave ghosts (pictured) are an example of an artist having fun experimenting with colors and shapes, landscape and storyline. This month will bring the wild works of Brooklyn, New York, artist Leandro Castelao, whose graphic design work looks exactly like how jazz sounds.


2180 West 11th St.

Loop has been featuring notable art for some time. Current artist Kristina Kuhn is exhibiting some pretty wild optic art-inspired work. Artist-to-watch Aja Joi Grant held an exhibition of her mind-bending photography there previously, as has Alena Rosa Reyes, whose dreamlike images are completely captivating.


1031 Literary Rd.

With the Lit reopening its doors as the Literary Tavern, art, again, is gracing its walls. We were delighted to drink in the artwork by world-renowned painter Stephen Kasner while enjoying a fine adult beverage.


3000 Bridge Ave.

We first took note of Kelli Finnegan's ethereal photography transfers at the Ohio City location and she's now one of our artists to watch. This month, owner and artist Carl Jones is the featured artist at Phoenix Coffee House's multiple locations.


17450 Engle Lake Dr., Middleburg Heights

We caught wind through a bartender friend that Jamie Hall Klann has been gathering artists for exhibitions in breweries across the city, including the Middleburg Heights Fat Head's Brewery. Inside the Brewery/Outside the Box Art Showcase Vol. 2 will open August 18 in the barrel room. The exhibition will include artwork from a variety of artists using assorted media.


5300 Riverside Dr.

It's impossible to get through the gate at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport unless you have a ticket, but the RTA level is home to the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Gallery, where the latest featured artist series is Crooked River Contrasts, centered around the history of the Cuyahoga River. Included is the outstanding historic photograph of Cleveland Press reporter Betty Klaric by Herman Seid. "Betty Klaric Raises a Toast of Oily Cuyahoga River Water" is a powerful artwork that punctuated Klaric's reportage on environmental issues. More contemporary photographers are Christina Sadowski, Jim Roetzel, Ian Adams and Michael J. Zaremba.


2271 Lee Rd.

For a while there, the Wine Spot had been the impromptu gallery for Cleveland Institute of Art students. Currently, the ink and watercolor works by Ohio-born artist Brandon Lee Wise are on display from the film SOMM, one of our favorite movies to watch while drinking wine and eating stinky cheese.


4193 Pearl Rd.

This Old Brooklyn establishment has some serious cold brew and fun permanent installations, but it also holds an Art Jam where artists of all walks are invited to display their wares. The vibe is relaxed and fun. We already love it.


4138 Pearl Rd.

We were super pumped to find artist Rebecca Yody's work hanging at Old Brooklyn Cheese Company. The artist is also featured at the 818 Studios in Tremont.


13200 Madison Ave., Lakewood

Dylan Glover has been curating works at the Mahall's Apartment Gallery for about a year with predominantly local artists. The exhibitions are monthly with featured artists such as James Quarles, Michael Marefka, Anne Meike, Haley Morris and Eric Alleman. Coming up on July 5 are John Gott and Dan Corrigan with a show titled "Travel Agency."

We can't wait to drink it all in.