Monday, April 30, 2012

Cleveland Ranks Low on List of Fashionable Cities

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 2:22 PM

We just spotted these guys at the Champps in Westlake.
  • We just spotted these guys at the Champps in Lyndhurst.

Just when we were finally mustering the brass to go outdoors in those white skinny Levi's we bought last spring, here comes some coastal fashion maven with a statistical analysis about the lack of high style among Clevelanders. It's hopeless at this point. Forever khaki'd. has complied the numbers on this, the “The Most and Least Fashionable Cities in America.” In an effort to put hard data around a concept as subjective as fashion sense, the site dispatched teams to 50 major American cities, where they sorted out your garbage for the ratio of tossed out Gap outlet receipts and Kohls bags.

In the finally tally, Cleveland actually didn't do as bad as we initially thought (hope for the white Levi's?): we're ranked 12th from the bottom, the basement space belonging to Buffalo, NY. Cleveland also tops the list in terms of Ohio metro areas: Cincinnati was 5th from the basement, and Columbus was 9th.

Not surprisingly, topping the charts are the usual suspects, LA, NYC, Miami and Dallas. We've attached the whole chart after the jump.

Continue reading »

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The Akron Family Whose Phone Number Was 867-5309 Back When "Jenny" Came Out

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 1:28 PM


A fun piece of local history from the ABJ today: the paper caught up with the Shambargers, a family who lived in West Akron during the early 80s and whose phone number would be blasted out forever and ever across America by Tommy Tutone.

Yes, the Shambargers' phone number was 867-5309.

Charles Shambarger, the dad, is now retired and in Nebraska, but he'll never forget the flood of phone calls from folks eager to ask one question: Is Jenny there?

“It started out as an isolated phone call here and there,” he said. “We’d get a phone call: ‘Is Jenny there?’ I’d say, ‘No, I’m sorry, you have the wrong number.’ Maybe a couple of nights later, I’d get another phone call: ‘Is Jenny there?’ ”

And then it got worse, and the family had no idea why. They didn't know WMMS was spinning the track every five minutes or so, and they didn't know that Tutone's song featured their digits in an easily remembered pop chorus.

They contacted Ohio Bell to have the prank calls traced, assuming a single dastardly mastermind was behind the calls, which came day and night. Ohio Bell informed them the calls were coming from all around the country.

Daughter Amy Shambarger, 39, of Denver, was a 9-year-old pupil at St. Sebastian when Jenny entered her life.

“What I remember is my parents being irate over the number of phone calls we were getting from people we didn’t know,” she said. “We eventually figured out there was a song out with our number. We hadn’t heard it.

“My mom kept calling the radio station to get them to stop playing it. And, of course, that didn’t help.”

After a month, the family gave up and changed their number, sadly with no song to help them remember the new digits.

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Dear Abby: Cleveland Sports Are Driving My Son to Beat the Dog

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Think the day-in and day-out beatdowns of being a Cleveland sports fan don't have real consequences? Check out this letter from "A Good Dad in Cleveland" to Dear Abby.

See, his son loves sports, but he also beats the dog. Seems he has problems dealing with disappointment, and the dog is on the butt-end of Little Junior's anger when his teams don't win. And he'll hate Pops if he sends him to counseling, and they can't get rid of the dog. What the hell should this guy do?


First of all, stop writing letters to Dear Abby. That's a good start.

Second, if the perpetual disappointment of being a Cleveland sports fan really caused folks to beat dogs, there would not be a single dog alive in all of Cuyahoga County, so there's probably something else going on. That's just our expert opinion, but we're not Abby, so what do we know?

Hopefully someone kept the dog far far away from Junior when the Browns drafter John Hughes this weekend.

Abby's response, which basically mirrors ours, can be found here.

(Via Deadspin)

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Delay More Than Worth It as BottleHouse Brewery Primed to Open in Heights

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 9:49 AM


When Cleveland Heights residents Brian Benchek and Dave Schubert first landed the space that would ultimately become the BottleHouse Brewery (2050 Lee Rd., 216-214-2120), it had been vacant for a decade. Formerly a cold-storage facility for Zagara's Grocery, the 6,200-square-foot building had a date with a wrecking ball.

"When we first got here, we wouldn't even let our kids in here it was so dangerous," explains Benchek. "Everything you see here now was not here."

That explains the year-long delay in getting open. Everything, from the floors and walls to the bar and brewery, was built by Benchek, Schubert, friends and family. The result is warm-hearted room that feels more like a neighborhood coffeehouse than a city bar.

"Dave and I both lived out west and every little mountain town has a place like this with music, good beer, a little food," says Benchek. "We just wanted something like that in Cleveland Heights."

In the main room, massive hand-built wooden picnic tables can seat a dozen apiece. Off to one side is the bar, assembled from thick metal plates that long kept Zagara's forklifts from falling through the floor. A small stage is ideal for live music, to be sure, but the owners also hope it will be used by poets, speakers and best men during wedding receptions. Televisions are conspicuously and intentionally absent.

In the back warehouse, 10 gleaming copper brew kettles are the meat of the brew-on-premises operation. Home (and away-from-home) brewers come in, select a recipe from a collection of over 70, and brew with assistance from the in-house pros. A few weeks (and approximately $150) later, customers leave with 72 22-ounce bottles (a keg's worth) of their own making.

While it will be some weeks before the BottleHouse boys offer up their own brews, guests will have a choice of eight ever-changing taps and 27 more in bottles. Whiskey and beer flights will be offered, too. Beer fans also can purchase beer – in bottles, growlers, even kegs – to go.

Food will be light, including hot-from-the-skillet pierogies, chips and other local treats. Food trucks will be encouraged to roll on up to the old loading dock to feed the room.

The BottleHouse officially opens its doors on Tuesday, May 1st, but the real fun starts on Saturday. That's when they crack the seal on a firkin of cask-conditioned real ale from Heavy Seas brewery.

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Pic of the Day: Browns Draft Recap

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 9:10 AM

The Browns QB jersey got another addition this weekend. We're not even going to talk about John Hughes.


(Via Rick Uldricks)

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Food Bloggers Asked to Review Food Without Eating

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 4:51 PM


MedWish International experienced a bit of backlash this week when they invited local food bloggers to review their big fundraising party but to do it while “refraining from eating and drinking.” Reviewing food without eating it would be the trickiest of tasks for the most seasoned of critics, but the tackiness of the move is what rattled bloggers most.

Last month, the organization that collects medical supplies to deliver to the poorest spots overseas invited several bloggers to its annual Band Aid Bash. The event is tomorrow and will feature cuisine from all three of Chris Hodgson’s food trucks— Dim and Den Sum, Hodge Podge, and Nosh Box.

“The Band Aid Bash would be a great event for you to come eat some great food while networking and
building new friendships,” the bloggers were told. They were given instructions on how to RSVP for media tickets.

To bloggers responding to the RSVP, MedWish politely suggested that perhaps they could promote the event on their sites—you know, to help sell more of the $150 tickets. Some did. “I had a bad feeling about accepting the invitation in the first place because I felt like I was compromising the purpose of my blog. My blog isn’t about advertising,” says Jill Sommer, creator of Cleveland Rocks Cleveland Eats. She says she never promoted anything before but made an exception because she thinks MedWish is such a worthy cause.

The Band Aid Bash sold out—it’s even oversold, maybe thanks in part to the bloggers who promoted it. And the thanks the bloggers got from MedWish this week was a note saying that because ticket sales were so successful, MedWish would not be able to afford to give the bloggers media tickets—they could come to the party, but not eat or drink.

“We messed up,” says MedWish Executive Director Josh Kravitz. “The media passes were offered prematurely and the revocation of them was also done in error.”

To Mr. Kravitz’ credit, at least he didn’t try to blame the gaffe on an intern. Also to his credit, all Cleveland media, including the bloggers, received a press release from MedWish today inviting them again to RSVP for media passes, and it’s assumed the passes will come with permission to eat and drink.

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Video: Ohio Man Pranks Girlfriend, Probably Gets Dumped

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 2:34 PM


This is probably a good lesson in getting dumped. 25-year-old George Daoud from Dayton punked his girlfriend, and now the Internet has crowned him with the dubious honor of being the "World's Worst Boyfriend." Pretty ballsy, 'ask us.

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