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Monday, February 10, 2020

Update: Jill Scott's Concert at MGM Northfield Park Postponed Until June

Posted By on Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 10:22 AM

Update: Due to what the promoter says are "unforeseen circumstances," the Jill Scott concert scheduled for Friday, Feb. 21, at MGM Northfield Park is postponed. The new date is Friday, June 12. All tickets for the original date will be honored.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Chef Michael Herschman to Open Mojo World Eats in Lopez Space Jan. 22

Posted By on Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 9:37 AM

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Update: Lopez closed its doors on New Year's Day to ready the space for Mojo, a revival of sorts for chef-owner Michael Herschman. That restaurant will open Wednesday, January 22. See below for original story regarding the changeover. Check out a first look at the menu here.

(Original Story 12/23/2019): After roughly 40 years in business, Lopez will cease to exist in Cleveland Heights. The pioneering Mexican eatery began life in 1980, when owners Brad Friedlander and Craig Somers opened the spot at Lee and Washington. For the past 15 years, Lopez lived across from the Cedar Lee Theatre, the last three years of which were under the ownership of longtime chef Michael Herschman.

All that (well, most of it anyway) ends in the New Year, says Herschman, who is pulling the plug in order to revive a Cleveland classic.

“On the first of the year we are closing, remodeling, rebranding and reopening as Mojo World Eats and Drink,” says Herschman.

For those of us who were dining out in Cleveland 20 years ago, the name Mojo conjures images of a dimly lit Tremont bistro that ushered in, along with one or two other spots, the small-plate movement. Herschman’s Pacific Rim-influenced fare was creative, delicious and audacious given that small plates still struggle in this conservative meat-and-potatoes town.

Like the original, Mojo will present a lengthy menu loaded with globally diverse and appealing options. The current working catalogue approaches 40 different items, most of which take inspiration from Pacific Rim, Mediterranean and Latin American cuisines.

Fans of Mojo might recall electric dishes such as crunchy tofu with red chile glaze, green curry coconut mussels, and chilled red curry beef noodles. Those items will make a triumphant return along with dishes like tostones with lemon creme fraiche, mini cassoulet with duck and beans, chilled octopus tacos with pickled peppers, five spice tempura shrimp, smoked brisket poutine, and Herschman’s rightly famous sweet and spicy calamari.

There will be nightly pasta, fish and steak specials, as well as a small selection of Lopez holdovers for loyal fans. Those items include smoked brisket burrito, lobster and rock shrimp enchiladas, braised pork enchiladas and chicken fajitas.

When it opens in mid-January, Mojo will feature an expanded wine and cocktail program plus a completely reworked interior. Diners can look forward to a brighter, more contemporary and streamlined dining room with new seating, layout and bar.

“This is probably something I should have done a year ago,” adds Herschman. “My wife, who is one of my biggest influences, keeps telling me that I have to be making my food.”

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Monday, December 30, 2019

Cuyahoga County Library's 20 Most-Borrowed Books of 2019

Posted By on Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 5:59 PM


The Cuyahoga County Public Library has once again shared its list of the 20 most-borrowed titles of 2019, and it's about what you might expect. The full ranking, led by Delia Owens' debut, best-selling novel Where the Crawdads Sing:

1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
2. The 19th Christmas by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
3. Child's Play by Danielle Steel
4. A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci
5. Blue Moon by Lee Child
6. Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich
7. The Night Fire by Michael Connelly
8. The Guardians by John Grisham
9. Spy: A Novel by Danielle Steel
10. Bloody Genius by John Sandford
11. The Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox
12. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
13. Killer Instinct by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
14. What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
15. A Mrs. Miracle Christmas by Debbie Macomber
16. Stealth by Stuart Woods
17. Criss Cross by James Patterson
18. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
19. The Dark Side by Danielle Steel
20. One Good Deed by David Baldacci

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Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil Cancels Upcoming MGM Northfield Park — Center Stage Concert

Posted By on Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 3:02 PM

  • Courtesy of Live Nation
Due to what a press release describes as “circumstances beyond the artist’s control,” Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil has cancelled his concert scheduled for Friday, Jan. 10, at MGM Northfield Park — Center Stage.

Refunds are available at the point of purchase. Fans who purchased tickets at or will automatically be issued a refund.

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Denison UCC, Homeless Advocates Call on Council to Support Cold Weather Plan

Posted By on Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 2:56 PM

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The Denison United Church of Christ (UCC), which has been operating as an overflow homeless shelter in partnership with the Metanoia Project on the city's west side, has issued a statement in response to the City of Cleveland and its recent code-enforcement actions.

Pastor Nozomi Ikuta said that the church is in the process of appealing both a Cease Use notice, which was taped to the door of the church by the fire department on Christmas Eve, and a Dec. 20 Building and Housing notice. The cease use letter said that the church would have to change its official use — currently as a house of worship and assembly — if it planned on continuing to provide shelter to those most in need.

On Dec. 26, the city released a statement outlining a chronology of events and noting that if Denison UCC were to apply for a temporary residential use (R1) permit with the Dept. of Building and Housing, it would not affect its operations as a worship space.

Despite these attempts to paint the controversy as a standard dispute that adhered to a standard schedule, the yuletide code-enforcement flanking maneuvers created the impression that the city — presumably at the behest of Councilwoman Dona Brady — was trying to shut down the shelter. The efforts would be directly in keeping with a rich tradition of anti-homelessness tactics in Cleveland.

The church's statement Monday thanked community members for their outpouring of support and asserted its legal right to shelter the city's most vulnerable.

"Our partnership with the Metanoia Project is a protected and essential expression of our faith," the statement read, "and we remain committed to fulfilling that mission while ensuring the safety of those whom God calls us to serve."

Further, the statement called on city leaders to work with the faith and nonprofit communities to safeguard those experiencing homelessness during the winter months. "We renew our request that the City of Cleveland work to put in place an effective and compassionate long-term cold weather plan that honors the safety, dignity, and value of every child of God."

The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) has reported that more than 500 concerned residents have sent letters to City Hall expressing support for Denison UCC's operations as a shelter and said that it had received commitments from Councilmen Basheer Jones, Kerry McCormack and Matt Zone to discuss a cold-weather plan.

In response to a News Channel 5 story on the subject, NEOCH posted on Twitter that Metanoia's partnership with St. Malachi Church and Denison UCC was, in fact, an existing cold-weather plan. If council members were truly interested in supporting a "compassionate and effective" plan, the easiest thing to do would be to support the work of Denison UCC, and to work with them (not against them) to ensure that the facilities were safe and sound.

In the meantime, Denison UCC's website now has images of the city's cease use notice on its landing page. "Merry Christmas from the City of Cleveland," the site's text reads. Several of those following the story have made monetary donations to the Metanoia Project "in honor of Councilwoman Dona Brady.

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In Real Life’s Conor Michael Smith to Perform at Stella’s on New Year’s Day

Posted By on Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 2:37 PM

  • Courtesy of Platform PR
After they won the 2017 season of ABC’s reality television music competition Boy Band, Brady Tutton, Chance Perez, Drew Ramos, Sergio Calderon and Conor Michael Smith formed the boy band In Real Life. The group released its first album, She Do, this past summer. It features all their singles from the past two years, including "Crazy AF" and "Tattoo (How ‘Bout You)."

Since their formation, they've performed on Total Request Live, Live with Kelly and Ryan, Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Despierta America. They also just wrapped their first headlining tour.

Smith, who’s originally from Shaker Heights, has just announced he'll play a solo show at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Stella’s Music Club.

General admission tickets cost $10, and meet-and-greet tickets go for $50.

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Stanley Kubrick Classics Coming to Cleveland Cinematheque in January

Posted By on Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 1:03 PM

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Four films by director Stanley Kubrick will screen at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque in January as part of its series, “A Kubrick Quartet.” Admission to each film is $12, ($9 for all Cinematheque members and those 25 and under.)

Jan. 4, 5:00 p.m.
The Killer's Kiss (1955)
Kubrick’s second feature is a strikingly photographed noir melodrama about a young boxer who protects a nightclub dancer from her vicious boss (Frank Silvera). The climactic fight in a warehouse filled with mannequins is chilling, surreal, and unforgettable.

Jan. 11, 7:15 p.m.
The Killing (1956)
In Kubrick’s first masterpiece, ex-con Sterling Hayden brings together a bunch of petty thieves to rob a racetrack. This lean, steely thriller boasts a tricky structure full of flashbacks and cross-cutting.

Jan. 19, 6:30 p.m.
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Kubrick tracks the rise and fall of an opportunistic Irish rogue (Ryan O’Neal) through the armies and drawing rooms of 18th-century Europe in this funny, opulent, chilling, and moving period epic—one of the great movies.

Jan. 25, 6:45 p.m.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
In his penultimate film, Kubrick fixes his steely gaze on young Marine recruits as they progress from dehumanizing basic training to the hellish battlegrounds of Vietnam.

Barry Lyndon will be screened in a new digital restoration. The other three will be screened on 35mm film. (Descriptions above courtesy of the Cinematheque.)

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