Society Lounge Team Claims Former Hodge's Space for Casual Downtown Bar

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For months, Joseph Fredrickson was on the hunt for a space that offered him and his team the sorts of features that Society Lounge, which is going on eight years, did not. With the former Hodge’s property, he believes he found it. Just days ago, he signed a lease and began the work of building that bar.

“We die in summertime at Society because we have no patio and we have a high threshold of entry because the cocktails aren’t easy to make and take a team to bang out,” he explains. “This will be low-threshold, where you can get a High Life and a burger for under 10 bucks. And it will have a lot of fun and playfulness that we don’t normally dip into because it’s more refined at Society.”

Sixth City Sailor’s Club, the working name for the place, will be a downtown neighborhood cocktail bar. The business will take advantage of the wonderful courtyard patio that for years has served as a gathering space for downtown residents and workers.

Fredrickson says that quality and hospitality will still be front and center, but the attitude will be casual, unpretentious and fun thanks to slushie drinks, draft cocktails and quick turnaround. Guests can expect a lively nautical theme.

As for the food, the team will work with a consulting chef to create a menu, perhaps along the lines of Cleveland-style comfort foods with riffs on Polish Boys, pierogis, and build-your-own burgers. Down the road, Fredrickson would like to see the business function all day long, from coffee and breakfast in the morning on through lunch to late-night cocktails.

His ambitious goal is to try and get the doors open in about a month, but admits that the early days might feel more like a pop-up than a finished product.

“The whole point of doing this right now is to mitigate losses,” he explains. “We know that profitability is out the window for 2020. We know that Society Lounge isn’t the ideal place to be if you’re nervous about being inside. Patios seem to be the thing that people are most comfortable with right now and this gives me the opportunity to build the bar that I always wanted to.”

About The Author

Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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