The southeast anchor of Cleveland’s most prominent downtown intersection is a work of art that—in the true spirit of capitalism—began with a competition. In 1903, the Cleveland Trust Company (established in 1894 with $500,000 in capital) merged…

Victoria and Michael Sokolowski opened Sokolowski’s University Inn in 1923 as a tavern at the corner of University Road and West 13th Street. Today it is still run by the same family: grandchildren Mike, Mary and Bernie Sokolowski. It still serves…

Fairmont Creamery Company was founded in Fairmont, Nebraska, near Omaha, in 1884—an early “national dairy” with operations stretching from the Dakotas to Buffalo, New York. Fairmont was a pioneer in milk can pickup and one of the first…

The "Cathedral of Bakeries." That's how one incensed customer in a letter to the editor referred to Isabella Brothers Bakery in 1976, when a Plain Dealer writer failed to mention it in an article that purported to list the best bread bakeries in…

Some masters of craft may work in paints, and others, wood. Frank Azman III, however, works in meats and has been doing so for the past four decades. An afternoon spent in Azman & Sons Market over a sausage sandwich reveals in one bite why the shop…

Cleveland's Central Market was a raucous place. Vendors shouted at prospective customers. Customers loudly bargained back. Dozens of languages careened around the giant facility like so many bouncing balls. Outside, horses, buggies, streetcars and…

Before Hot Sauce Williams and Beckham's B&M Bar-B-Que ruled the east side, Scatter's Barbecue was Glenville's home for ribs, shoulder sandwiches, fries soaked in Scatter's notable barbecue sauce. Herman "Scatter" Stephens, born in Birmingham, Alabama…

Well into the 20th century, waves of immigrants swelled Cleveland's ranks. Among them was a Greek native by the name of Chris Mitchell. Rather than contenting himself with a factory job, however, Mitchell tried his hand in business. Unfortunately, it…

Founded in 1919, Hotz Café, located at the corner of Starkweather Avenue and West 10th Street in the Tremont neighborhood, is believed to be Cleveland's oldest tavern. The current owner, John Hotz, is the grandson of the founder, John Hotz, Sr., a…

As the well-dressed young adults sit on the patio of Panini's Bar and Grill, sipping their drinks and watching the game on TV, few probably realize that their trendy warm-weather hangout was once the site of a slaughterhouse. From 1946 until 1992,…

For decades, Irv's Deli, on the corner of Coventry and Hampshire Roads, was the place to wallow in Coventry Village’s eclectic edginess. The delicatessen and adjoining bar opened in 1959, when the street was mainly a commercial district serving the…

Walk down Coventry in the mid-1970s and you’d probably see a large yellow sign—Tommy’s—on a wood-paneled storefront where Coventry Road intersects with Euclid Heights Boulevard. Inside this unique restaurant, all 27 seats would likely be…

Operated by brothers Maxwell and Roman Gruber between 1947 and 1959, Gruber's Restaurant was one of the most popular establishment for fine dining in Northeast Ohio and acted as a social center for the affluent residential community of Shaker…

The Great Lakes Brewing Company opened in Ohio City in 1988, kick-starting an industry in Cleveland that a few years earlier had appeared to be finished. In 1984, the city's only remaining brewery, C. Schmidt & Sons, closed its doors, becoming the…

Some of the names on the stalls in the produce arcade at the West Side Market -- Calabrese, DeCaro -- have been there for generations, while others -- most notably those of Middle Eastern descent -- reflect a more recent crop of fruit and vegetable…

Royalton Township was founded in 1818. It was not much different than any of the other Western Reserve townships, as it was primarily a community based on general family farming. With the exception of a smith shop, a boarding house, and a sawmill,…

Memories of a signature blue-and-white, string-tied cake box filled with a streusel coffee cake, hot cross buns, sticky pecan rolls, coconut chocolate bars or an Easter "daffodil" cake evoke pure food nostalgia for anyone from northeast Ohio who…

Imagine a century-old northeast Ohio company that's literally "up to its ears" in ears - popcorn, that is. While the Humphrey family name naturally evokes vivid memories of Cleveland's bygone days at Public Square and Euclid Beach Park, a piece of…

One morning in 1906, in the small kitchen of Dora and Joseph Schwebel in Campbell, Ohio (near Youngstown), the couple was working together to mix, knead and bake the family's famous bread. Known for its outstanding taste, unmatched freshness and…

They say "a hot dog is only as good as the mustard that goes on it," and who would have known this better than Cleveland's own mustard icon and food purveyor, Joseph Bertman? Bertman Original Park Mustard and the Bertman family name are synonymous…

If you face the Lakewood Plaza strip mall on the north side of Detroit Avenue today, you are looking at the site where the family farmhouse of Mrs. Virginia (Jennie) Harron Andrews once stood. It may be hard to imagine this home and the 80-acre…

The New Amsterdam Hotel was a seven-story brick and stone residential hotel built in 1901 by "Chewing Gum King" William J. White. It stood on the southwest corner of Euclid Avenue and East 22nd Street until being razed in 1969 to build a Holiday Inn…

At 35 years old, Orville A. Dean first started selling milk to friends and acquaintances. In 1886, he built a large farmhouse on Mayfield Road, which served as his family home and the office for the OA Dean Dairy Company for seventy-one years. In the…

In 1873, Isaac Leisy and his two brothers (all originally from Bavaria in Germany) left their small brewery in rural Iowa and came to Cleveland after purchasing Frederick Haltnorth's brewery on Vega Avenue for $120,000. Haltnorth (who was also the…

The Vineyards of Chateau Hough are part of Reimagining Cleveland, a grant program that has provided funding for over 50 environmental projects located on vacant lots across the city. Chateau Hough can be found in three such lots (totaling over…

In 1904, the Cleveland Public Schools began a small school gardening program which quickly expanded into a multi-million dollar, district-wide deal. Generations of schoolchildren participated by growing food, beautifying vacant lots, and learning…

Looking for a place to grab a stein of beer and show off your new lederhosen? Herman Pirchner's Alpine Village Theatrical Bar and Restaurant would have been the ideal place to do so. Inspired by Pirchner's childhood home in the Austrian Alps, Alpine…

In 1840, the west side of Cleveland belonged to the separate municipality of Ohio City. Two prominent businessmen and former mayors of Ohio City donated land at Lorain Avenue and Pearl Street (later West 25th Street) to the city for the express…

Frank Sterle, an immigrant from Ljubljana, Slovenia, founded his Slovenian Country House in 1954. With a small building on East 55th Street, a few picnic tables, and only one waitress - who had to memorize the small menu since none had been printed -…

Founded by Alexander "Pierre" Basset, Pierre's Ice Cream first opened in 1932 on East 82nd Street and Euclid Avenue. At first, Pierre's sold just three flavors of ice cream - French Vanilla, Swiss Chocolate, and Strawberry. The growing company moved…