Cleveland Scene - July 3, 2024

Page 1


REWIND: 1979








































IN THE EARLY MORNING OF November 3, 2021, Ben Chronister woke up, as usual, enmeshed in his life with his wife Danielle.

They made inside jokes. They ate leftovers. They discussed plans and projects to come—namely, Danielle’s plan to segue from forensics to teaching at MC2 Stem High School downtown. The couple had relocated Downtown from Cleveland Heights for both a sense of convenience and progress.

“She had, like, 85 million browser tabs open in her browser,” Ben recalled on Thursday. “She always had a bunch of things going on.”

A half an hour later, around 8 a.m., Danielle was clipped by a Mack dump truck as she was crossing East 21st and Chester Avenue. Her body hit the truck’s sideview mirror as it was turning right. She fell under its tires. She died almost instantly.

Last Thursday, two-and-a-half years after Danielle’s death at the age of 33, friends and family of hers joined City Hall officials and traffic safety advocates on the corner just feet away where she was struck that November. Flanked by Danielle’s portrait, those present spoke in the former CMSD teacher’s honor and to commemorate a “Watch For Pedestrians” sign to be installed to ideally prevent any further deaths.

Such a commemoration, with its funeral tones and emotionally tinged advocacy, seemed to pair fittingly with the city’s slow rollout of its Mobility Plan, a five-year mission to re-do certain Cleveland streets as to better protect cyclists and walkers . Not, as advocates urged on East 21st and Chester, just for drivers.

As for the advocacy portion, Chronister seemed a bit perplexed as to why such a sign—memorializing his late wife and alerting reckless drivers— would be needed in a society so embroiled in car culture already.

“We should not need to ‘increase awareness’ or ‘get out the message’ that driving cars and trucks into

pedestrians is bad,” Chronister said at a podium from behind sunglasses. “There is no one over the age of five who is confused on this issue. Cars hitting people is bad. We all get that.”

“So why are we even here?” he added. “Because while everyone agrees that people being hit by automobiles shouldn’t happen, it still does. And much more often than you might think.”

Last year, some 550 Clevelanders were hit by cars while walking or biking, a Crash Report by Bike Cleveland found. Nine were killed. In his speech, Bike Cleveland director Jacob VanSickle said with alarm that nine Clevelanders had “already been killed so far this year.”

Besides the Memorial Street Program that led to the city’s installation of Danielle Chronister’s sign, Cleveland’s Mobility Team, represented Thursday by team director Calley Mersmann, has

touted a range of solutions—inprogress and potential—to achieve the city’s Vision Zero mark of bringing that nine down to zero.

In her speech and in an interview afterwards, Mersmann reiterated that City Hall was going about modifying city streets in the right way despite the urgency culled by a reminder of Danielle’s death. Speed tables are being installed, she said. Clevelanders are opining as to where to put bike lanes.

All ideas which will be presented to City Council when the Mobility Plan wraps up in “early 2025,” Mersmann said.

But why are there still no buffered bike lanes downtown? Why can’t lanes be quickly painted? Why aren’t more 35 MPH streets converted, like Lake Avenue, into 30 or 25 MPH?

“Citywide, some things are happening, but the real challenge is doing those at scale, at priority locations where we know there are

concerns,” Mersmann told Scene, hinting at the point of the Mobility Plan. “And that is the piece that we’re really trying to build up capacity: to do those types of one-off things at a meaningful level.”

When pushed back, Mersmann clarified that the administration was working in a timely, concerted manner. After all, most quick-tobuild bike lanes—like those in California created after traffic deaths—take at least five years, from conception to install.

“We’re trying to line up the budgets, we’re trying to go through procurement to get the supplies, we’re trying to get the contracts in place to design protected bikeways and then be able to install them,” she added. “And all of those [things] are new in the history of the city.”

That whole gap between lifesaving urgency and political reality was what pushed Patty Knilans into the world of cyclist safety activism. Knilans, who spoke Thursday, had

Photo by Mark Oprea
Ben Chronister, Bob Wood and Laura Wood, former husband and parents of the late Danielle Chronister, spoke at the commemoration of a sign alerting drivers to pedestrians.

lost her husband, Randy, in June of 2019 after the then 67-year-old was killed by a drunk driver while riding his bike in Avon Lake.

Like Chronister, Danielle’s parents, Bob and Laura Wood, Knilans was jolted. She helped form the Northeast Ohio Families for Safe Streets chapter, which, other than pushing for safer streets and lowered speed limits, urges harsher sentences for drunk drivers who kill—the maximum of which is eight years in prison.

“You can get in your car under the influence and kill someone, receive no more than eight years as a penalty,” Knilans said, “but if you use a gun while robbing someone but you don’t kill them, you are looking at a maximum of eleven years.”

She paused, then added with vehemence: “Why is our legal system so tolerant of drunk driving?”

Knilans’ frustration matched the Woods, who traveled from Toledo on Thursday to once again talk about their daughter’s death. When asked about her activism, Laura Wood urged the public to acknowledge car-caused fatalities, a discussion the American public has been immune to for decades.


“I know we’re not alone. We’re not alone,” she said. “So, if we can save another family from this [pain], it’s well worth sticking my neck out, talking a deep breath, saying, we can do this for her.”

Councilman Brian Kazy, former Law Director Ken Silliman, and stadium economics experts Brad Humphreys and Victor Matheson— offered lots of opinions and facts but one seemed to come with agreement: That erecting a $2.4 billion Brook Park dome and surrounding village, saying goodbye to the lakefront, would not carry the perks to Clevelanders some have been touting.

Namely, Cleveland plus Domed Stadium equals Wealthier City.

At Recent Panel, Sports Stadium Financing Experts Warn Against Massive Public Subsidies for Cleveland Browns

If you were to pick out any average Browns fan or Northeast Ohioan off the street, you’d probably get a mixed bag of answers to what’s become an increasingly controversial question: What should come of Cleveland Browns Stadium?

Let the Haslams relocate to Brook Park with a $2-billion dome (with half coming from the taxpayers of Ohio, Cuyahoga County and other sources). Focus on renovating the current one to the tune of $1 billion (again, with the Haslams asking for half the tab to be picked up by the public). Forego costly renovations and instead do the best we can with the current stadium?

Two weeks ago at the Cleveland Public Library a panel of experts on stadium builds and sports politics gathered for two hours to discuss the hard facts and real-world implications of those possibilities. The panel—comprised of Ward 16

“There’s zero evidence in 30 years of peer-reviewed academic research that a professional sports team in a city generates any substantial jobs, raises wages, raises income, raises property taxes,” Humphreys, an economics professors at the University of Alberta, said.

“What professional sports are good at,” he added, “is moving economic activity around to different parts of the city.”

With Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam’s stadium lease with the city to end in 2028, time is closing in on a decision that’s divided Clevelanders, just as it seemed to divide attendees at Thursday’s panel: Ask for public dollars to bankroll a projected $1.2 billion upgrade of Cleveland Browns Stadium where it is, or use (more) public dollars to construct a $2.4 billion football neighborhood 14 miles south in Brook Park, across from the airport and where the old Ford plant once stood.

The Haslams have been vague on their intentions after it was announced, in April, they secured the rights to buy 176 acres of land east of I-71 big enough for a ballpark village to stand. The move, seen by Thursday’s panelists as a

chess ploy, has nevertheless prodded local politicians, from Mayor Justin Bibb to Councilman Kazy, to ensure that Cleveland doesn’t lose—with some PTSD—the Browns to a southwest suburb. (Bibb has said his preference is for the Browns to stay downtown, and has argued the city has put forth what, is in their opinion, a good deal for the city and the team).)

It’s what seemed to beckon Kazy, who was the face of Council’s emphasis of the 1996 Art Modell Law that attempts to protect cities from billionaires seeking to pick up their team and leave, to gather three experts on stadium deals to espouse the starry-eyed Clevelander’s wish for a shiny new domed megapalace. Like Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Or Jerry’s World in Dallas. Or Los Angeles’ behemoth that is SoFi Stadium.

Sensing some in the crowd yearned for a Taylor Swift-level echelon of concerts, or say another Rolling Stones stopover, Matheson was quick to shut down the perception of huge change with some hard data. From 2002 to 2022, he and Humphreys found, Cleveland Browns Stadium hosted 12 concerts. Detroit’s dome hosted 38. Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, 31. (And two Super Bowls, in 2006 and 2012.)

The bottom line for the two visiting professors, who speak regularly against city-subsidized stadium deals, was evident: the billions of dollars that go into inviting a Swiftie World Tour doesn’t produce a sound return in investment. They quoted a Chicago economist: “It would be better to

drop [money] from a helicopter than invest it in a new ballpark.”

“So if you said, ‘Well, look. There’s so much more you can do with an indoor stadium,” Matheson said. “Well, yeah: one more concert [a year] here. You might get a men’s basketball Final Four. And a Super Bowl—but you’ll get one.”

For Silliman, the former chair of the Gateway Economic Development Co. who recently published a 600page memoir-slash-stadium exposé on Cleveland’s own chaotic history with sports stadiums, the more sensible route was to convince the Haslams, the city and its denizens to reframe Cleveland Browns Stadium in the historical vein of Fenway Park in Boston, or Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Which meant, he said, doubling that dollar stream Cuyahoga County residents have been using for stadium upkeep since 1990. The tax on booze and cigarettes. The tax on concerts and shows. The tax on parking lots and car rentals.

“You know, our sin tax has never been adjusted for inflation,” Silliman, who was an adviser to former Mayor Mike White in the 1990s, said. “If you were to double the annual amount available for each sports facility that would take it from $4.5 million per facility, to about $9 million.”

Silliman, like Kazy himself, reminded everyone in attendance that he was first and foremost a Cleveland sports traditionalist.

And believed that, in reality, most Clevelanders had more practical priorities than the Haslam Brook Park renderings. (Only five percent of members of the Cuyahoga County

Attorney General Merrick Garland, flanked by ATF Director Steven Dettelbach and U.S. Attorney Rebecca Lutzko, at the announcement of Cleveland’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center.
Mark Oprea

Progressive Caucus thought the public wanted to or should pay for a new stadium in the first place.)

“If you ask the average ticket buyer at Cleveland Brown Stadium,” Silliman said, cracking a smile, “they would say, just give us a team that’s consistently competing for the playoffs.” – Mark Oprea

Every Shell a Fingerprint: Northeast Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center Will Help Crack Down on Illegal Firearms, Feds Say

In late June, in a nondescript federal building off Hinckley Parkway, two dozen law enforcement officers from the Cleveland Division of Police, DEA and other agencies gathered to announce the latest regional effort in battling violent crime.

The packed house was more than just symbolic. These two dozen badged men and women were there to usher in the Northeast Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center, a ballistics and forensics lab that links together city, state and federal law enforcement to more effectively solve gun-related crimes.

Like Cincinnati’s CGIC, as it’s commonly abbreviated, or the one in Columbus, which opened in September, Northeast Ohio’s will be set up to treat illegal firearms more like forensic items than mere tools created to intimidate or kill.

“Every shell is like a fingerprint,” Cuyahoga County Sheriff Harold Pretel told Scene at the press event. “Every shooting carries a fingerprint that could be matched with a shooting. It’s akin to finding the burglar’s fingerprint in separate houses. Same burglar, different houses.”

Such a center, as speakers Wednesday noted, can greatly truncate the amount of time it takes to get a shell casing from a crime scene analyzed, stored in a database and linked to murders or thefts in previous cases.

Or, in some incidents, be used to foreshadow—and even prevent— future crimes from occurring. A robbery in Cleveland Heights could involve the same Glock that was used, days earlier, in a double homicide in Lorain.

“Sometimes these violent crimes are committed by and involve the same actor, and sometimes they involve the illegal sale from the same or of the same recycled gun,” U.S. Attorney Rebecca Lutzko told press. “Either way, such crimes happen without regard to where one county line or one city limit ends and the next begins.”

There are 60 CBICs set up around the country currently, and all provide forensics data to officers at the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives. And all have boasted decent numbers. Cincinnati’s CBIC, after launching July of 2021, led to 217 illegal gun recoveries and 475 arrests in less than a year in operation.

But CBICs, as Attorney General Merrick Garland griped about on Tuesday, carry an aura of political symbolism for right-wing Republicans who see both the ATF and its gun-gathering strategies as overreaches against the right to bear arms. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia representative who’s long called to “eliminate the ATF,” pushed federal legislation last year to “end [the Bureau’s] war on law-abiding gun owners and the Second Amendment.”

It’s a mindset that’s suffocating to Garland, who lamented the recentlyproposed $1 billion cuts to federal law enforcement—which would decimate the ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office—in the spending bill proposed by the Republican-controlled House. (President Biden wants a seven percent increase in ATF spending.) Especially when, he said, CGICs are not cheap, but do result in noticeable reductions in crime.

“This effort to defund the Justice Department and its essential law enforcement functions will make our fight against violent crime all the more difficult,” Garland told press on Tuesday. “It is unacceptable.”

Officers at Cleveland’s CGIC, which will open in July, will be host to a National Integrated Ballistic Information Network unit, or NIBIN, where forensics officers will work. Bullet casings from crime scenes are observed under digital microscopes, where discreet markings are captured and noted in its database. Fingerprints are taken off the guns themselves. A 3D model is created of both bullet and casing.

ATF Director Steven Dettelbach swore by the practice, which is currently used at 14 NIBIN units across the state. He recalled one gun obtained by Cleveland police last year that was “linked to 14 different shootings” across the city.

“The strategy works,” Dettelbach said. It’s part of what’s given Sheriff Pretel more confidence in decreasing violent crime around the county and in downtown.

“We need to keep the pressure on so that negative elements will not feel comfortable engaging in disorder downtown,” he told Scene. “And that’s really it. Sometimes it’s crime displacement. But at the end

of the day, it’s a disruption of the cycle of violence.”

A disruption for “bad actors who felt very comfortable coming downtown with their firearms that they committed other crimes with,” Pretel added. “And well, now they’re getting caught with those firearms.” – Mark Oprea

Crowds, Booze, Vandalism, Staffing: Cleveland Suburbs Shift Pool Policies for Non-Residents in Midst of Summer Heat Wave

The need for new rules regarding non-resident access at Parma Heights’ Greenbrier Commons water park had been brewing for a while following June’s heat wave, which led to longer lines and strain on lifeguards.

Then, on June 8, a poolgoer from out of state brought some alcohol to the pool. The police were called. The poolgoer was asked to leave.

“So it was creating a lot of issues,” Parma Heights Mayor Marie Gallo told Scene on Monday. Covert booze and unruly visitors amidst mid-June overcrowding, she said, “created a very negative experience for our residents and non-resident seasoned passholders.”

Starting July 1, Greenbrier Commons will no longer sell day passes for out-of-towners and nonresidents—”drop-in” passes—unless they’re invited to come swim by a Parma Heights resident themselves. That move, a press release Monday added, was to also ensure that Greenbrier staff members “are treated with the utmost respect.”

Parma Heights’ curtailing of who can cool of in its public pool system reflects a greater reaction from city pools and water parks as municipalities deal with the combined impact of a nasty summer heat wave and a national lifeguard shortage.

In the past month, a handful of cautious city halls and parks & rec departments have shifted entry rates, cut hours or turned away nonresidents in a bid to try and keep public pools as inviting, relaxing places to be.

In Lakewood, which is eyeing a massive redesign of its Madison Park, one has to show proof of local address to get into Becks or Foster pools. (Or come with someone who has one.) In Medina, summer memberships were upped, for the first time since 2016, by nearly a quarter—to $170 and $445 for a three-month pass for those out of the school district—out of stress on staff from non-residents.

And in Berea, Mayor Cyril Kleem upped police patrols and installed cameras at the city’s Coe Lake and tightened curfew hours due to “persistent incidents of vandalism and rowdy behavior” a statement on the city’s website read last week. Coe Lake used to be open 24/7; as of mid-June it’s off limits starting at 10 p.m.

Such rollbacks come as Cleveland continues to eye its own city pool comeback optimistically. After raising their lifeguard hourly pay up $4 to $15 per hour, City Hall announced on June 11 that all operable outdoor pools would be open this summer -- except for deep ends -- despite the effects of the national staff shortage.

Which is also why Gallo supported the policy change at Greenbrier. Parma Heights, she said, holds to a strict one-lifeguard-to-35guest guideline, one that would be thrown a loop if non-residents were given the same preference as Parma Heightsers. (Although non-residents can still purchase season passes, Gallo said.)

With Greenbrier receiving $100,000 in upgrades, from new filters, pumps and chairs for its two pools, Gallo asserted that the policy rewrite wasn’t intended to disgruntle univinted guests—but more so, like that repair money spent, to show locals that City Hall isn’t letting its amenities crumble.

“The last thing we want is a negative experience for those people waiting in line to get in,” she said.

A major refresh along those lines is why Willoughby is seeking its own master plan to construct a new aquatic park. One, Willoughby’s Parks & Red chief Judean Keller told Scene, that includes all of the amenities hot in a post-pandemic list of things to do. A new dog park. A pickleball court. A splash pad. A more promising route, Keller said, than spending taxpayer dollars to repair its 59-year-old Municipal Pool, which has seen a quarter million in repair costs in the past decade. Namely, fixing cracked pool edges that leak thousands of gallons of wate.

“Well, we just want to offer amenities for our residents,” she said. “I believe with all of the health perks, where people can get out and exercise—it’s more beneficial.” –Mark Oprea

GET OUT Everything to do in Cleveland for the next two weeks

WED 07/03

Back to the Future

This musical based on the film of the same name about a certain Marty McFly who transports himself back to 1955 in a time machine comes to the State Theatre tonight at 7:30. Performances continue through July 11.

1519 Euclid Ave, 216-771-8403,

Salute to America

Tonight at 8 at Blossom, the Blossom Festival Band performs as part of a “star-spangled celebration” that’ll feature marches, Broadway favorites and an Armed Forces salute. The event concludes with fireworks.

1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111,

Walnut Wednesday

Walnut Wednesday is one of summer’s great traditions. Today from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Perk Plaza at Chester Commons — at East 12th and Walnut streets — food trucks gather to serve up lunch to area residents and employees. Follow the Downtown Cleveland Alliance on Facebook for weekly updates on vendors, entertainment offerings and more. The series continues through Sept. 7. Admission is free, but the food will cost you.

THU 07/04

Guardians vs. Chicago White Sox

The Guardians take on the Chicago White Sox, MLB’s worst team, today at 1:10 p.m. at Progressive Field in the last of a three-game series. The White Sox took three of four games from the Guardians when the two teams played in Chicago in May, but those losses lit a fire as the Guards then went on a winning streak. Don’t expect the White Sox to be as competitive this time around.

2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, mlb. com/guardians.

Light Up the Lake: 4th of July Fireworks

This free Fourth of July celebration will begin at dusk over Lake Erie from the Port of Cleveland. Organizers suggest viewing from Settlers Landing, Flats East Bank, Superior Viaduct, Voinovich Bicentennial Park, Kirtland Park, Gordon Park, Edgewater Park, Whiskey Island and other parks throughout the city. The fireworks will last about 20 minutes. 1100 West 9th St.,

FRI 07/05

The Association of International Champions Presents A Capella Rocks

Ten active world champion a cappella champions will perform at this special concert showcasing rock classics sung with barbershop quartet harmonies. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at Connor Palace. 1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

GlamGore: Red, White & B**bs

This extra special edition of GlamGore celebrates celebrate all things un-American, filthy, trashy, and foul. It all goes down at 9 p.m. at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights.

2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588,

Guardians vs. San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants make their one-and-only visit to Progressive Field today to take on the Guardians in the first game in a three-game series. Fans who attend the game will receive a free shirt as part of a Free Shirt Friday promotion, and there is a Triston McKenzie bobblehead giveaway tomorrow. Tonight’s game begins at 7:10. 2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, mlb. com/guardians.

SAT 07/06

Beachland Flea

Expect to find vintage clothing and vinyl records at today’s flea that takes place at 10 a.m. at the Beachland. Admission is free.

15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124,

Rhapsody in Blue

Banjo man Béla Fleck joins the Cleveland Orchestra tonight at Blossom as it marks the centennial of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with a new banjo transcription of the tune. The night will also include performances of pieces by Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber and William Grant Still. The concert begins at 7. 1145 W Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the 1975 film that still draws an exuberant, costumed crowd that likes to throw rice and dry toast and sing along to the songs in the movie, still draws big crowds to local showings. Expect a throng to show up for tonight’s screening that takes place at 9:30 p.m. at the Cedar Lee Theatre. Tickets cost $12. 2163 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights, 440528-0355,

Pahua performs at the Transformer Station. See: Wednesday, July 10.

SUN 07/07

Revival 69: The Concert That Rocked the World

This documentary film captures John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the Doors, Alice Cooper and other musicians performing before 20,000 fans at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival music festival that took place in September 1969. Notably, it features John Lennon’s first public performance with the Plastic Ono Band. Tonight at 6:30 at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, the movie makes its Cleveland theatrical premiere. 11610 Euclid Ave., 216-421-7450,

MON 07/08

Memorial Monday

Every Monday through Sept. 30, Fort Huntington Park hosts food tracks and live music between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for this special event. Admission is free, but the food will cost you. West 3rd St. and West Lakeside Ave.,

TUE 07/09

Lyrical Rhythms Open Mic and Chill

This long-running open mic night at the B Side allows some of the city’s best rappers and poets to strut their stuff. The event begins at 8 with a comedy session dubbed 2 Drinks & a Joke with host Ant Morrow. The open mic performances begin at 10 p.m. Tickets cost $5 in advance, $10 at the door., $5. 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-932-1966,

WED 07/10

City Stages: Pahua

Picked by Spotify to be an ambassador for its EQUAL Global Music Program, which combats gender inequity in the music industry, this Mexican DJ, producer, percussionist and singer performs tonight at 7:30 at City Stages, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s free outdoor summer concert series that takes place in front of the Transformer Station in Hingetown. 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350,

THU 07/11

Summer on the Square

This bi-weekly series of community events takes place every other Thursday throughout the summer on Shaker Square’s green space. The family-friendly

events will showcase some of Cleveland’s finest artists and local businesses. The events are free. 13000 Shaker Blvd., Shaker Heights,

FRI 07/12

Brad Williams

At 4’4,” diminutive comic Brad Williams hasn’t let his height become an obstacle. He prefers to think of his height (or lack thereof) as a disability that’s become the basis for all his jokes. Carlos Mencia reportedly discovered him one night and made him his opening act. Williams has also made countless appearances on shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jackass and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He performs tonight at 7 and 10:15 at the Goodyear Theater in Akron. 1201 East Market St., Akron, 330-6597118,

SAT 07/13

Rachmaninoff’s Third Symphony

Domingo Hindoyan conducts the Cleveland Orchestra tonight at Blossom as it performs Rachmaninoff’s Third Symphony, a piece that confused listeners when it was debuted back in 1936. The program also includes Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto featuring Principal Trumpet Michael Sachs and Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances. The concert begins at 7. 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111,

TUE 07/16


A talented if controversial performer, the late pop star Michael Jackson was a singular talent. This Tony-winning musical celebrates his musical legacy. Tonight’s performance takes place at 7:30 at the State Theatre, where performances continue through Aug. 11. 1519 Euclid Avenue, 216-241-6000,

Outlab: Experiments in Improvised Music

Musicians are invited to bring instruments or any sound making device (drum kit and keyboard provided) that can be used to explore collective group improvisation. Please bring your own amps if needed. The monthly session begins at 8 tonight at the Bop Stop. Admission is free.

2920 Detroit Ave., 216-771-6551,



Lake Street Dive takes a collaborative approach on its new album, Good Together


Mike Calabrese admits the jazz/pop/ rock band was “barely good” in the early days when the group of music school students from Boston started playing live.

“We all went to jazz school together, so no matter what we did, it would be jazzy,” he explains via phone from New York, where he was doing “promotional stuff” for the new album, Good Together the band performs at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9, at TempleLive at the Cleveland Masonic. Singer-songwriter Alisa Amador opens the show. “It was long extended improvisational sessions and lots of lyrics. It was really experimental. But we started touring and playing in bars and would see what people responded to. If we had some nice hooks, we could keep people’s attention and that allowed us to move away from the more improvisational stuff. Now, we’re always trying to crack that timeless pop music code.”

Songs for Good Together, started coming together in January of 2023 when the band assembled as a group in Calabrese’s basement and began writing together for the first time ever.

“We’ve always written as individuals and then brought songs to the group,” Calabrese says. “For the most part, it has been individual stuff. We forced each other to get vulnerable.”

Aside from the new approach to songwriting, Calabrese says the band didn’t intend to do anything differently with this album.

“Hopefully what’s happening to us every time we go to make a record is that we maybe change personally and get intrigued by new stuff, and that makes its way into

the songs. If you’re writing songs and making music that’s honest about what you’re going through at that time, then hopefully everything sounds a little bit different.”

The group went to Nashville to record once again with Grammy-winning producer Mike Elizondo (Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark Jr.).

“He had reached out to us years and years ago about possibly working together,” Calabrese says of Elizondo. “When it came time for us to record the record that became [2021’s] Obviously, he was interested. We liked the result so much that we called him up again for this latest one.”

With its lilting keyboard riff and spirited horns, the album’s title track really swings.

“I don’t know what inspired the lyrics per se, but originally, [keyboardist] Akie [Bermiss] had this idea for it,” says Calabrese. “He wanted it to be from the point of view of an AI machine talking to a human about being a couple. I don’t know if it maintained that, but we rolled a 20-sided die and came up with parameters for chords, tempo and time signature and jammed on it for a bit. We did that for about three or four days when we were hanging in my basement, but only three songs from the fruits of our labor made the record. When you’re rolling die for musical parameters,

you get bonkers stuff.”

For “Better Not Tell You,” Bermiss started writing a musical to Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth asked a group of sisters who could see the future to tell him what would happen to him. The sisters refused to divulge what they saw.

“That’s the subtext for that song,” explains Calabrese. “That was the inspiration for that song. It shows you how intellectual [Bermiss] is and how nerdy we are.”

The group then effectively slows things down for the ballad “TwentyFive,” which Calabrese describes as a more mature breakup tune.

“That one was prompted by some chords and melody that [bassistsinger] Bridget [Kearney] had going, but [singer] Rachael [Price] had given a song prompt for a song that is older and more mature,” Calabrese explains. “Looking back on it, you are fond of the breakup, and you can see how neither of you were the same person. It’s a nostalgic breakup song. It’s like, ‘How nice. We had that thing, but we don’t have it anymore.’ Now that we’re closing in on 40, the breakup songs take on a different tone.”

Good Together follows 2022’s Fun Machine: The Sequel, a

six-track covers EP with songs by Bonnie Raitt, the Pointer Sisters and Carole King, “Choosing covers is always an interesting process in and of itself,” says Calabrese. “We reached back to the 1990s for some things. We did it over the course of a couple of days in Brooklyn. It was very much like getting live takes and feeling it out and not using click tracks on everything. It was a super collaborative effort. Reimagining other people’s music comes with a lot less pressure. The song is the song. Hopefully, we picked good ones that people like.”

Lake Street Dive’s summer tour has yet to start and a mid-June show at Asbury Park was rained out, but Calabrese says the group is rehearsed and ready to go.

“We just did a show at a radio station for about 500 people, and that was a nice warmup,” he says. “We did Colbert last night, and that was really fun. We have the plans for the show we’re going to do. We’re ready to start getting to it.”


4129 E 49th St., Cuyahoga Heights


10oz Hand formed patty cooked to you liking topped w/ lettuce, tomato, and onion on a brioche bun. Served with homemade chips and a pickle.


841 W Bagley Rd., Berea


A 1/2 lb. Burger dusted in Mango Habanero. Topped with Sautéed Jalapenos and Pineapples, Kicked Bourbon Sauce, Pepper Jack Cheese and Bacon.


2885 Detroit Ave., Cleveland


Two juicy meat patties loaded with American cheese, Saucy Sauce, shredded lettuce and pickles. Served with a side of crispy fries.


18120 Sloane Ave., Lakewood


Sakura Farm Wagyu Beef SmashBurger with ISB beercheese, jalapeno straws, arugula, on a challah bun.


7693 Reynolds Rd., Mentor


An 8oz angus beef burger topped with grilled onions, banana peppers, melted provolone, moosey mayo, lettuce, and tomato on a toasted brioche.


19985 Lake Rd., Rocky River


Our famous 8 oz steak burger with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and special “BIG BEAR” sauce on a multi- layered bun.


921 Huron Rd E., Cleveland


Single burger patty, applewood bacon, huge onion ring, smoked cheddar, and bourbon BBQ sauce



4857 Robinhood Dr., Willoughby


Delicious hand-made patty with lettuce, tomato, red onions, sweet pickles, and roasted garlic mayo. Served on a brioche bun.



33185 Bainbridge Rd., Solon 24488 Lorain Rd., North Olmsted

12859 Brookpark Rd., Parma

7300 Palisades Parkway, Mentor


100% All beef burger, smashed and grilled to perfection and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, American cheese, and RollHouse signature burger sauce and fresh-cut fries.


6611 Eastland Rd., Middleburg Heights


Pizza Sauce, 1/2 pound Burger, Salami, Pepperoni, and melted Mozzarella Cheese topped with Lettuce, Tomato, and Red Onion on a Pretzel Bun.


5729 Pearl Rd., Parma


Angus Reserve smash patty on a brioche bun, topped with arugula, tomato, American cheese, and balsamic-Dijon aioli


6323 Wilson Mills Rd., Highland Heights 7669 Crile Rd., Painesville

8941 Wilcox Dr., Twinsburg


7oz Burger patty, Lettuce, Tomatoes and choice of cheese served on brioche bun”


5718 Mayfield Rd., Lyndhurst


The 3-0 Burger pays homage to our 30th year anniversary coming up this July and is one of the first ever burgers we had on the menu in 1994. It is an All American 1/2 burger patty, with tomato, pickle and onion, American Cheese and a “secret” sauce made by Cleveland’s own Chef Dom C. Enjoy!


28601 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere 1352 W 6th St., Cleveland


Two Smash Beef Patties, Mozzarella, and Sweet & Spicy Bacon on Toasted Buns of Charred Pepperoni, Mozzarella and House Red Sauce


1384 Hird Ave., Lakewood


Smash Burger with house sauce & american cheese. Served on a toasted brioche bun. Can come with lettuce, tomato and onion if requested. Can upgrade to a double or triple smash burger!


20253 Lake Rd., Rocky River


Brie, balsamic onions, arugula, truffle oil


21490 Lorain Rd., Fairview Park


All beef patty (brisket/chuck/short rib), Gunny burger sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles onion on a brioche bun.


21800 Center Ridge Rd., Rocky River


All beef patty (brisket/chuck/short rib), Gunny burger sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles onion on a brioche bun.


1085 Old River Rd., Cleveland


Quarter Pounder Patty topped with Grilled Onions, Lettuce, Tomato,Pickles, and our Signature RR Sauce


5633 Pearl Rd., Parma


Chuck, Short Rib & Brisket Gourmet Patty, Melted Mozzarella & Swiss, Mexican Braised Birria Beef, Our Signature Homemade Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce, Onion Ring, House Garlic Sauce, Pickles on Brioche Bun


811 Prospect Ave E., Cleveland


All beef patty, romaine lettuce, tomato, pimento cheese


4144 Erie St., Willoughby


crowley’s proprietary blend of short rib, brisket and chuck, burger sauce, sauteed onion, cheddar, house cheese, topped with iceberg lettuce and a burger sauce drizzle


4054 Erie St., Willoughby THE NUTCRACKER

Lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion, candied bacon, fig + crunchy peanut butter spread, brioche bun


35647 Vine St., Eastlake 9378 Chillicothe Rd., Kirtland


Proprietary blend of short rib, brisket and chuck double patty, government cheese, iceberg lettuce, sauteed onion, burger sauce, martin’s potato roll - voted’s best burger in greater cleveland


4506 Lorain Ave., Cleveland


Jalapeño-Bacon Jam, Arugula, Swiss American Cheese, and two 2oz Smash Patties on a Brioche Bun




18616 Detroit Ave., Lakewood


1/2 Pound Angus Beef Burger with Grilled Onions, Grilled Mushrooms, Lettuce, and Tomato with your choice of American or Swiss Cheese. Served on a Brioche Bun.


1270 W. Bagley Rd., Berea


1/3lb patty blend of ground beef, ground chuck and ground short rib topped with American cheese, Cleveland Mayonnaise Co. Chipotle Mayo, shredded lettuce & diced sweet onion on a brioche bun served with fresh cut fries $8. Add a Brew Kettle White Raja for $4


20130 Center Ridge Rd., Rocky River


1/3lb burger blend of ground beef, ground brisket, & ground short rib topped with American cheese, shredded lettuce, diced sweet onion and Cleveland Mayonnaise Co. chipotle mayo on a brioche bun served with French fries and a Brew Kettle White Raja $12


7548 Fredle Dr., Concord

25 Pleasant Dr., Chagrin Falls


Creekstone Farms Black Angus, brie, caramelized onion jam, arugula, rosemary aioli, bacon, brioche


7085 Engle Rd., Middleburg Heights


Our signature soup turned burger with cheddar & pepperjack, jalapenos & tortilla strips. Served with lettuce,tomato & onion on a toasted brioche bun & small side of Tortilla soup for dunking.


7635 Broadview Rd., Seven Hills 14510 Cedar Rd., Beachwood

27175 Lorain Rd., North Olmsted 36041 Main St., Avon 34725 Euclid Ave., Willoughby 7414 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland


Swensons’ quarter pounder with cheese topped with bacon, fried egg, and potato puffs with hot sauce on the side.



25517 Eaton Way., Bay Village


Qtr pound patty, candied jalapenos, crispy onion straws, chipotle bbq sauce, and pepper jack cheese, served with a small side of fries


1104 Rowley Ave., Cleveland


1/2# burger patty, grilled salami, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, banana peppers, Italian dressing, seeded bun


36200 Euclid Ave., Willoughby THE PICKLE BURGER

Angus Beef Patty, Homemade Pickle Salsa, American Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, on a Brioche Bun


20920 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland


4 oz beef patty smashed to a crispy perfection. American cheese, carmelized onion, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles smash sauce


12117 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland


Fresh Mozzarella, Panko-Breaded Roma Tomatoes, Grilled Hot Peppers, Basil, & Balsamic Drizzle


108 E Main St., Lagrange THE BIG DADDY

Our hand crafted beef burger with Guinness batter onion ring, bacon, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese & our house Bulldog Bourbon BBQ sauce


12112 Madison Ave., Lakewood


One all beef patty, sautéed onions, A1 sour cream, two potato cheddar pierogis, topped with more cheddar.


107 Front St., Berea THE BOOZY BURGER

Brioche Bun | Ground Beef + Chorizo Blend | Candied Bacon | Beer Cheese | Caramelized Red Onion


38257 Glenn Ave., Willoughby


4oz burger patty/ pulled chicken/ house buffalo/ lettuce/ tomato/ feta/ brioche bun


7524 Father Frascati Dr., Cleveland


Smash Patty, American Cheese, Mayo, Lettuce, Grilled Pickle


2258 Professor Ave., Cleveland


Smoked Mozzarella, Lettuce, Tomato, Caramelized onions and Garlic Aioli


795 Broadway Ave., Bedford


1/2lb Sirna Angus Burger with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Dill Pickles, and your Choice of American, Pepper Jack, Swiss, or Provolone Cheese

pizzA 216 KiTChEN + TAphOUSE

401 Euclid Ave., Cleveland


1/2lb Sirna Angus Burger with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Dill Pickles, and your Choice of American, Pepper Jack, Swiss, or Provolone Cheese


230 W Huron Rd. 2nd floor., Cleveland


Beef burger topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions American cheese served with shake sauce


Beef patty topped with lettuce, tomatoes, Mexican cheese, with black bean and corn salsa.


2407 Lorain Ave., Cleveland


Two smash patties, white cheddar, house pickles, caramelized onions, and bacon jam on a Leavened sesame seed bun.


18514 Detroit Ave., Lakewood


Two flame broiled patties, cheddar cheese, bacon, two onion rings, and house made lemon/Cajun mayo



1261 West 76th St., Cleveland.


Third pound steak burger patty, caramelized onions, garlic and herb sautéed mushrooms, Gouda cheese, crispy onion straws, roasted garlic aioli, and fresh arugula. All on a grilled brioche bun.


2621 W. 14th St., Cleveland


8oz Steak burger topped with crispy hash brown patty, sunny side up egg, jalapeño infused bacon and cheddar cheese on a potato bun served with chips and pickles.


29325 Euclid Ave, Wickliffe


Hand pattied burger topped with fried jalapenos, bacon, pepper jack cheese and a chipotle ranch sauce

Swensons’ quarter pounder with cheese topped with bacon, fried egg, and potato puffs with hot sauce on the side. Introducing...

Try one at any of our Cleveland locations

Avon Brooklyn North Olmsted University Heights · Willoughby · Seven Hills

Sizzle Stop

An adventurous Korean BBQ feast awaits at One Pot on Coventry

“I KIND OF FEEL LIKE A KID in a candy shop, where I can have anything I want,” says a tablemate. It’s hard to argue with that sentiment when you’re gazing at a menu packed with dozens and dozens of colorful food pictures, all there for the asking. Like that proverbial kid in the candy shop, the near-limitless choices are at once thrilling and a bit overwhelming. “This is definitely a ‘choose your own adventure’ kind of meal,” adds another.

When One Pot opened this spring on Coventry, it brought with it the next wave of Korean barbecue. The sleek décor, impressive tabletop technology and all-you-can-eat arrangement is the sort of setup that’s been available elsewhere in this country for years. Korean BBQ has always been an enjoyable and delicious feast, but at One Pot and places like it, the entire experience is elevated and transformed into a lively celebration.

After pulling the plug on Taco Roosters, Hang Zheng gutted the interior and replaced it with a retrofuturistic dining room devoted to Korean BBQ and Asian hot pot. The restaurant is sleek, attractive and vividly hued, with tangerine-colored booths, smoldering neon and an array of Bearbricks, adorable bear-shaped figurines from Japan. Every table in the spacious dining room is equipped with built-in burners for barbecue grills and hot pots.

Tables can elect to order BBQ, hot pot, or both. The price is $29.99 per person for either one ($19.99 at lunch), but only $5 more person for both. While the table shares one large, central grill for BBQ, each diner gets his or her own hot pot to manage. Both are all-you-can-eat affairs. Even at $34.99, the value is exceptional, especially considering the quality, variety and level of service that comes with it. First comes the soup, a choice of nine different broths. We ordered Korean kimchi, pork bone, Thai tom yum

and the house spicy Szechuan. Each was flavorful enough to enjoy on its own. There are a few vegetarian broths as well.

The natural inclination is to go nuts when ordering – and how can you not when there are so many tantalizing meat, seafood, vegetable, rice and noodle options.

But diners will find that the tabletop fills up fast, piled high with foods waiting to be cooked, dinner plates, cooking tongs, snipping shears, serving utensils, water glasses, side plates filled with sauces and so on. Ordering additional items is as easy as flagging down a server or using the QR code assigned to the table. After putting in our order, we made our way to the well-stocked condiment bar. What diners lose in the way of a typical banchan spread they gain in a staggering selection of sauces, garnishes and spices. Our hands-down favorite is the house special sauce, but there is also shacha, hoisin, peanut-sesame, chile garlic and others. Add-ons include kimchi, fresh chopped garlic, jalapenos, chopped nuts, dried red pepper flakes and scallions.

ONE POT 1825 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Hts. 216-673-3888 I

By the time we got back to our table, the food started arriving. Before long we were grilling paperthin slices of pork belly, ribeye and beef belly, which cook in seconds on the hot grill. Marinated meats like beef bulgogi and garlic chicken spit, spatter and smoke a little more, but the in-table exhaust manages to capture most of it. There was also jumbo head-on, shell-on shrimp, zucchini, radish, watercress and bok choi. Most items are appropriate for either the grill or hot pot; it just depends on one’s personal preference. Some, like udon and ramen noodles, go into the soup. With an adventurous group, there really is no more entertaining way to dine. Guests take turns manning the grill, adding raw ingredients, flipping vegetables, removing cooked items. Hot-off-the grill foods are dipped in sauce, paired with rice and washed down with icy shots of Soonhari soju ($13/bottle). It’s loud, it’s lively, it’s a wee bit chaotic at

times, but it sure as heck beats a tepid burger on the sofa.

During our meal, the griddle grate was swapped out three times, our hot pots were topped off with broth whenever needed, and empty plates continually cleared away. I appreciate the straightforward menu that lacks any appetizers, pricey up-sell items like wagyu beef, or anything else that detracts from the main event.

In addition to the soju – including fruit flavors – there is beer, wine, cocktails, milk tea and fruit tea with boba. The beauty of having places like One Pot alongside our beloved legacy Korean restaurants is that we have options to suit our mood. When an AYCE blowout seems like too much fuss, we can take comfort in a quiet meal at one of our favorite mom-and-pop places.

Photo by Doug Trattner


First Look: Westsiders, opening this week in Rocky River

MANY OF THE BEST restaurants

to leave us in recent years lived in that grey area between fine-dining and neighborhood bistro. Places like Black Pig, Greenhouse Tavern and Flying Fig, for example, managed to combine compelling chef-driven food with an easy-going atmosphere that pulled diners in for regular visits.

That’s the sweet spot that partners Constantine Katsaros and Jack Messer are aiming for with Westsiders, which opens next week in Rocky River. The restaurant, set in the former home of Bomba Tacos on Detroit Road, will endeavor to bring the “downtown experience” to the near-west suburbs.

“Fun, upbeat and accessible,” is how Messer describes the vibe. “We’re not fine-dining, we’re modern-premium. We just want to be in this space that’s elevated but not pretentious.”

Katsaros and Messer opened Landmark Smokehouse on the Cleveland-Lakewood border in 2018. Since then, they’ve learned a lot about what it takes to succeed in an evershifting landscape. Not long after opening their barbecue eatery, they overhauled the service model by shifting from a fast-casual arrangement to one with table-service. They built a bar, added some stools, and stocked the shelves with bourbon. While the timing was unfortunate given what was around the corner in 2020, the move laid the groundwork for the next four years.

When Bomba closed in late 2023, the owners scrambled to secure the spot. They were confident that Rocky River was hungry for an independent restaurant with elevated food, a top-notch beverage program, and the type of energy that seems attainable only in or near the city center.

“Everybody is always heading to West 25th – even when they’re local to this area,” Katsaros explains. “What can we do here so you don’t have to go all the way downtown to get that vibe and have that experience.”

Commanding a prime “end cap” spot in a well-maintained shopping plaza, the spacious property has received a comprehensive makeover since last fall. Designer Lindsey Katsaros combined custom fixtures and furnishings with salvaged architectural features to create a polished, sophisticated but comfortable

environment. A large wrap-around bar abuts a roomy lounge area with leatherwrapped banquettes, solid wood hightops and cushy barstools. A dining room with booth, banquette and table seating is perfect for long, leisurely meals with wine. A front room offers a similar blend of casual but luxe seating appropriate for both small and larger groups. Salvaged Art Deco-era panels from Higbee Co. serve as ornamental but functional dividers throughout the dining room.

Chef Chris Suntala, who returned home to Cleveland after a decade working in top New York City kitchens, has crafted a menu of “New American” dishes with equal parts finesse and broad appeal. The roster will be concise but flexible, with both weekly specials and seasonal adjustments.

“I take a very Italian approach to my food; the fewer ingredients you have in it the better,” says the chef.

While in New York, Suntala worked for Hillary Sterling at Ci Siamo, a restaurant in Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Sterling is renowned for her matchless pasta dishes and Westsiders diners can look forward to similar regional Italian gems. The chef is eager to share dishes like ricotta cavatelli and tagliatelle Bolognese, made from scratch like his former boss.

There will be shareable starters, vegetarian-friendly dishes and hearty mains big enough to share. Black Pig fans might recognize a slow-braised pork collar entrée while vegans can enjoy grilled radicchio with beets, fennel and lentils. The chef says he’s relying on some back-of-the-house efficiencies to keep prices in check to foster regular visits.

“What we we’re shooting for is to have those options available for the people who live in the neighborhood who want to pop in for a quick salad, but we also want to be able to provide that nice, sit-down experience where you can eat, drink and have a really good time,” the chef says.

In addition to Landmark, Katsaros and Messer also run Twist Social Club since taking the bar over from Katsaros’ uncle John, who passed away in 2014. The team hopes to import some of the nightclub vibe that attracts service industry pros and keeps the joint

jumping long into the night, they say.

“We want to have that energy and feel like you can be here late night and not just in a restaurant,” notes Messer.

In addition to a late-night bar menu and flexible lounge seating, Westsiders will feature a beverage program built on creativity, efficiency and affordability. GM Jacob Bender describes a shift taking place in the spirits world that swaps slow, serious and pricy bespoke cocktails for drink menus that are fun, freewheeling and fairly priced.

“I think people have gotten away with over-charging for drinks,” he says. “There’s been a price-prohibitive element associated with going out and having a good time, which has led people to seek out alternatives.”

Like his counterpart behind the swinging door, Bender says that tricks of the trade behind the stick will lead to savings – and, ideally, more rounds – on this side of the bar.

“We live in a time – at least in bigger primary markets – when expedience and service belie technique and labor on the back end,” he explains.

To drink, there will be local beers, creative cocktails, wines by the glass and bottle, and many NA options.

In addition to lunch and dinner service, Westsiders will roll out a festive weekend brunch, another tactic designed to keep locals from decamping to other parts of town.

“Part of why our name is Westsiders is because we want to be proud of showcasing this type of restaurant on the west side,” adds Katsaros. “We feel like this is what we have to be proud of on this side of town.”

First Look: Scorpacciata Pasta Co., Opening on Larchmere

Peter Reuter, a graduate of Johnson and Wales culinary school, launched Scorpacciata Pasta Co. in the Market Hall at Van Aken District in 2018. A couple of years later he opened a second stall, Scorpacciata Pizza. The two businesses thrived until late last year, when Reuter closed them to focus on the buildout of his new brick-and-mortar restaurant on Larchmere.

That restaurant, Scorpacciata Pasta Co., opens this week following a weekend

of private events.

Having a full-service restaurant has always been the plan for Reuter, who prides himself on doing absolutely everything from scratch. His pizza dough is naturally fermented and he makes every single piece of pasta in-house, including extruded products like linguini and fettuccine. He’s thrilled to begin pairing those products with appetizers, salads, wines and cocktails, he says.

The former Larchmere Tavern space has been reshaped into well-tailored Italian bistro that seats about 92. A front sidewalk patio will accommodate another 20. There is a 10-seat live-edge wooden bar, some communal seating in the lounge area by the bar, and a dining room with wide open views of Larchmere thanks to a wall of glass.

Windows also provide a view into the kitchen, where pizza and pasta is made by day and salads and charcuterie boards are assembled during service.

The menu offers half a dozen pasta dishes like gnocchi in gorgonzola cream sauce, orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe, and linguini with clams. Reuter played around a little with the pizza selection, offering new specialty pies like the mortadella with pistachio pesto. The biggest difference fans will observe is that all pizzas have been trimmed down to 12-inchers as opposed to the small and large options previously available.

“We want people to eat more than just pizza, to try and share a pasta, get some clams, have some charcuterie,” says Reuter.

To start there are sausage-stuffed peppers, beef and pork meatballs, Little Neck clams in a white wine and butter sauce, and the aforementioned charcuterie boards starring Marchant Manor cheeses.

Down the road, Reuter plans to roll out some entrees, such as a grilled steak, some fish and chicken.

To drink, there will be half a dozen whites and reds by the glass, more by the bottle, beer and cocktails. A window in the bar opens directly to the patio, making ordering a drink a breeze for alfresco diners.

Courtesy Photo

LIVEWIRE Real music in the real world

FRI 07/05

Amos Lee

Transmissions, singer-songwriter Amos Lee’s 11th studio album and first new collection of original songs in more than two years, features elegant ballads such as “Beautiful Day” and “Hold on Tight,” a soulful number about unity and strength in numbers. On tour in support of the album, Lee performs tonight at 6:30 at House of Blues. 308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583,

Third Eye Blind

The band known for ‘90s hits “How’s It Going to Be” and “Semi-Charmed Life” comes to Blossom as it brings its Summer Gods Tour to town. Altrockers Yellowcard open the show, which begins at 6:30 p.m. 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111,

SAT 07/06

Summer of Love

Formerly of Styx and Beatlemania on Broadway, singer-songwriter Glen Burtnik brings his Summer of Love Concert to Cain Park in Cleveland Heights. Expect to hear classic ‘60s tracks such as “Happy Together” and “Love the One You’re With.” The concert begins at 8 p.m. 14591 Superior Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-371-3000,

SUN 07/07

53 Thieves

This band that consists of two producers from the U.S. and two vocalists from the UK comes to the Beachland Ballroom tonight at 8. Songs such as “Coastal” possess a ‘70s vibe with soft Sade-like vocals and fluttering synths. The atmospheric music should evoke a chilled-out vibe. Rachel Ana Dobken opens. 15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124,

Killer Queen

The tribute act to the great British glam rock Queen performs tonight at 7:30 at MGM Northfield Park — Center Stage. The band formed in 1993 and frontman Patrick Myers enjoyed playing the classic rock band’s music so much, he has kept at it. 10705 Northfield Rd., Northfield,

Justin Timberlake brings his latest tour to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. See: Sunday, July 7. |Charlotte Rutherford

330-908-7793, mgmnorthfieldpark.

Alexander Star and Sons of Mystro

Emmy-winning singer-songwriter

Alexander Star teams up with Sons of Mystro for this tour that brings them to Cain Park in Cleveland Heights. A duo, Songs of Mystro famously use the violin instead of their voices to make their music. The concert begins at 8 p.m. 14591 Superior Rd., Clevelans Heights, 216-371-3000,

Justin Timberlake

Tonight at 7:30, the pop superstar who recently made headlines for picking up a DUI in the Hamptons returns to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Earlier this year, Timberlake released his latest album, Everything I Thought I Was, an album that features a mix of ballads (“Memphis”) and dancefloor fodder (“F**** Up the Disco”). Expect Timberlake to capably deliver the material with highly choreographed dance routines.

1 Center Court, 216-420-2000,

TUE 07/09

Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers Spirit Trail 25th Anniversary Tour

The singer-songwriter brings his tour marking the 25th anniversary of his 1998 album Spirit Trail, a collection of roots-y tunes that enables him to show off his piano playing, to the Goodyear

Theater in Akron. The show begins at 7:30 p.m., and every ticket holder will receive a copy of the Spirit Trail: 25th Anniversary Edition reissue at the show. 1201 East Market St., Akron, 330-6597118,

Lake Street Dive: Good Together Tour “Better Not Tell You,” a groovy tune that’s the latest single from this group’s new album, Good Together, references Shakespeare. It accurately represents just how sophisticated the band’s funk/pop/rock tunes are. The group performs tonight at 8 at TempleLive at the Cleveland Masonic. 3615 Euclid Ave., 216-881-6350,

WED 07/10

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo

These two Rock Hall inductees struck gold when they began working together in 1979 on Pat Benatar’s debut album, In the Heat of the Night, which yielded the huge single “Heartbreaker.” Their streak continued with tunes such as “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” “Fire and Ice” and “Love Is a Battlefield.” They perform at 7:30 p.m. at MGM Northfield Park — Center Stage. 10705 Northfield Rd., Northfield, 330-908-7793, mgmnorthfieldpark.

Jon Spencer & the HITmakers

Jon Spencer (Blues Explosion, Boss Hog, Pussy Galore, Heavy Trash) and his backing band, the HITmakers, bring their unique take on garage rock to the Beachland Tavern tonight at 8. They’re touring in support of their new album, Spencer Gets It, an incendiary collection of hard-rocking tunes that features distorted guitars and Spencer’s distinctive spoken/barked vocals. MK Ultras open the show. 15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124,

THU 07/11

Norah Jones

The singer-songwriter who had great success with her 2002 debut album, Come Away with Me, comes to Blossom. Singer Mavis Staples opens the show. The concert begins at 8 p.m. 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111,

FRI 07/12

Luke Bryan

“Mind of a Country Boy,” the latest single from country superstar Luke Bryan, might sound like the jingle for a pickup truck what with lines like “I’m loving

this life I live” and with its twangy guitars, but it’s become another big hit for Bryan, who’s been topping the country charts for the past two decades. Bryan brings his Mind of a Country Boy Tour to Blossom tonight at 7. 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111,

The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Michael Stanley Band Local musicians, some of whom performed with the late local rocker Michael Stanley, will participate in this tribute to Stanley and his band. The concert begins at 7:30 tonight at MGM Northfield Park — Center Stage. 10705 Northfield Rd., Northfield, 330-908-7793, mgmnorthfieldpark.

SAT 07/13

Thandiswa Mazwai

The South African singer who began her career in the ‘90s with music groups Jack Knife and Bongo Maffin performs tonight at 9 at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights. 14591 Superior Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-371-3000,

SUN 07/14

Mates of State

This prolific indie rock act has released seven full-length albums since 2000. In the process of recording a new album with long-time collaborator Peter Katis (Death Cab for Cutie, Frightened Rabbit), they’ve hit the road to play 17 shows in 17 days. As a result, they should be in good form when they play the Beachland Ballroom tonight at 8. Al Menne opens. 15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124,

MON 07/15

Train & REO Speedwagon

The two groups from different eras bring their Summer Road Trip Tour to Blossom tonight at 6:25. REO Speedwagon formed in the late ‘60s and would have a huge hit with 1980’s Hi Infidelity. The pop/rock act Train formed in 1993 and would become hugely popular thanks to “Meet Virginia,” the catchy single from their 1998 self-titled debut. Expect both groups to stick to the hits for tonight’s show. 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111,



I am new to polyamory. I am an ethically non-monogamous hetero woman in her 50s and recently re-entered into my first secondary sexual relationship with a married friend whom I’ve known all my life. We lost touch after college, but he reconnected and restarted it. Is it normal to want to know if he has other partners? Is it OK to ask him? How do I ask him? He has asked me directly and I have told him that I don’t have others. But he is very opaque when I try to talk to him about himself. He prefers to keep chats and calls superficial and this has been a source of angst for me since I do like a good creative conversation, and I have seen him have it with others, so his reluctance to engage with me is confusing. I am open in sharing my relationship status when he asks me directly. But I am unable to open such a topic with him.

I brought up what feels like an unequal power dynamic, and he agrees this dynamic exists but that’s just how it is. We hardly meet even once a year since we live on different continents. (I do the travelling because I have flexibility, and yes there’s a dynamic here too which I’m willing to let go.) Those few hours are like life-fuel. We share an incredible chemistry that would be a shame to throw away, so I would like to do all I can to build something with him. Can you please help me with any pointers to navigate this?

Now Seeking Answers

What you want (something deep and meaningful) is imperiling what you’ve got (something casual and annual).

Zooming out for a second: You wanna build something more meaningful with this man but he, for reasons he refuses to share, isn’t interested in building something more meaningful with you. I can make informed guesses about what his reasons might be — the agreement he has with his wife allows for sex with others but not romance/intimacy; you only see each other once a year and he doesn’t see the point of forging a deeper emotional connection under these circumstances — but since I can’t subpoena and depose him, NSA, and he’s not telling you, we’re never going to know for sure what he’s thinking. But I can answer your questions for me: Yes, it’s normal to want to know if he has other partners (in addition to his wife); Yes, it’s okay to ask him if he has other partners (absent an answer, you should assume he does); Ask him directly, NSA, but you shouldn’t ask him incessantly… unless you’re willing to risk him throw it/ you away.

Basically, NSA, I think you might have the wrong end of the stick here. You’re convinced that deepening your relationship is the best way to sustain this connection — a connection you value because the chemistry is off the charts but pushing to go deep when he’s made it clear he isn’t interested could prompt him to end things. If you can’t enjoy the chemistry, the sex, and “the same time next year” excitement of this connection — if that’s not enough — you should throw this/him away yourself. If you’re not willing to settle for what he’s willing to offer, you shouldn’t waste one more international flight on him. But I can’t imagine he’s asked you to be monogamous to him, NSA, which means you have enough bandwidth — emotional bandwidth, sexual bandwidth, social bandwidth — to enjoy what you’ve got with him while pursuing men closer to home who want a deeper connection.

P.S. I wouldn’t call this polyamory. Given the facts in evidence, NSA, it sounds like this man is in an open marriage but that he isn’t seeking — or isn’t allowed to seek — loving and committed relationships with other women. Non-monogamous ≠ polyamorous.

I’m a 28-year-old woman and I’ve been in a happy long-distance relationship with my boyfriend for five years. Two years ago, we became non-monogamous and started having occasional sex with a few friends. We agreed that we shouldn’t have romantic relationships with anyone else. While living abroad for a year, I started a sexual relationship with a guy. The sex was mind blowing. He knew about my boyfriend and agreed to be just “fuck buddies.” I wasn’t worried about getting too attached to him, because we had very different world views and political ideas, which is a deal breaker to me in terms of romantic attachment or it used to be.

To my surprise I developed an emotional connection with this guy, which he reciprocated. A year later and back home, I still love my boyfriend very deeply, he is one of the most important people in the world to me, but I don’t enjoy sex with him as much as I did before. I fantasize a lot about my former fuck buddy and don’t have any interest in meeting someone new. The few interactions I’ve had with him since I came home were still quite flirtatious. I fear these fantasies are affecting my relationship with my boyfriend and don’t know how to move on. On one hand, I love and admire my boyfriend, but I don’t feel as physically attracted to him anymore. On the other hand, I struggle to let go off of my physical attraction for another person whose flaws my brain seems intent on ignoring. Do you have any suggestion?

Hemming Over Things That Involve Emotions

Sex with long-term partners often becomes routine, HOTTIE, and while

routines get a bad rap, especially routine sex (which gets the “rut” label slapped on it), routines bring order and stability to our lives. What routines don’t bring is excitement. While the contentedly monogamous regard the tradeoff routine and reliable sexual intimacy in exchange for novelty and sexual excitement — as a win, the miserably monogamous seem to regard the tradeoff as a loss.

The trick to being contentedly nonmonogamous — one of the tricks — is not comparing sex with a long-term partner to sex with new or still new-ish partner. Sex with a long-term partner may be less exciting and challenging, but there’s sex that’s familiar and comforting has its perks. Comparison, as they say, is the thief of joy — and in your case, HOTTIE, comparing sex with your current boyfriend and sex with your former fuckbuddy may be screwing with your ability to enjoy the boyfriend.

But if can’t stop comparing the sex you’re having with your boyfriend to the sex you used to have with your fuck buddy — sex that felt transgressive because your fuck buddy had shitty political opinions — it may not be just the sex you’re missing, HOTTIE, but everything else the fuck buddy was about. If the fever doesn’t break and your feelings for the fuck buddy don’t fade, that could be a sign things with your boyfriend haven’t just settled into a safe and comfortable routine, but that your relationship with the boyfriend is winding down.

Cis gay male here in his late twenties in a very gay friendly city. I’ve been seeing a gentleman the past six months. An important note he made on his profile is that he prefers monogamy, which is something I was willing to accept since hookups and NSAs make me nervous. About a month ago, we were getting pretty hot and heavy one night, but it ended early because he lost arousal. He later explained to me that he loses sexual interest after a certain amount of time when dating someone new. It has happened in his past relationships. He said it wasn’t me, he just gets bored with sex.

My dilemma is that since he can’t fulfill my sexual needs for the time being, I am welcome to see others for it. The issue I have is that I can’t even get physical intimacy from, such as cuddling. Like I said earlier, I don’t really want to get into hookups or NSA. I generally need to bond with someone before I get in bed with them. I wanted to commit to his preference for monogamy. I’ve been single the entire time before we met. Never had anyone to call a boyfriend. Right now, it doesn’t feel right to play with others to get my needs met because it seems like I’m cheating. I understand he gave me consent, but it just does not feel right. My libido is relatively low. Sometimes cuddles and a hand job is satisfying enough but that is not on the table either. Outside of sex and physical

intimacy, we enjoy each other’s company a lot.

A couple of my friends said I should try to wait it out to see if things will turn around. I’m honestly not sure what to do. It’s my first relationship. I don’t want to return to the apps because they are so stressful to me.

First Boyfriend Problems

I’m gonna say something slightly ageist here, FBP, which I’m allowed to do because I’m getting up there myself: You’re too young to settle for this shit. If you were in your mid-fifties and you’d been single all your adult life and you wanted emotional intimacy more than you wanted physical intimacy, you might be able to make this thing work. And if the prospect of having a loving partner at home who didn’t wanna fuck you but allowed you to get your physical needs met elsewhere filled you with excitement instead of dread, you might be able to make this thing work. But since neither statement is true you’re not in your mid-fifties, BFP, and just thinking about the apps makes you anxious — you can’t make this work. And forgive me for this…

Your boyfriend’s profile said he wants monogamy and then six months later he turns around and says actually he loses interest in sex as he gets to know someone better and gives you permission to fuck other guys. So, he either had two huge epiphanies shortly after he started dating you — not into monogamy, on the fraysexuality spectrum — or he realized a few months in that he doesn’t want to be your boyfriend. But instead of being honest and ending things cleanly, FBP, your boyfriend is choosing mess: he’s encouraging you fuck other people in the hopes that you’ll meet someone who likes you and who likes fucking you and that you’ll end things with him.

Seeing as he’s not even interested in cuddles, FBP, my money’s on the latter. Got problems? Yes, you do! Email your question for the column to mailbox@!

Or record your question for the Savage Lovecast at! Podcasts, columns and more at Savage. Love


JULY 8 - 14

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.