Cleveland draws a blank for most travelers before they arrive, but locals and past visitors will tell you that it’s a city on the mend (mostly) with a strong, palpable Rust Belt aesthetic and sensibility. Increasingly this core characteristic is being merged–sometimes gracefully, other times not as much–with some of the finer things in life, like 1920’s-styled cocktail bars, luxury dining in a grand, renovated 19th-century bank, and a resurgence in stylish three- and four-star hotels in formerly abandoned buildings.
Truth is, the “Cleveland Renaissance” narrative is tired and trite at this point. Everyone from The New York Times to Anthony Bourdain have dropped by to sing their praises, justifiably so, about shopping for fresh food at the West Side Market, grabbing a beer at Great Lakes Brewing Company, and to celebrate the city’s predominantly no BS attitude. It’s time to look beyond and check in with what’s new in Cleveland.
At the end of the day, it’s still a city of immigrants where a good pierogi is but a block away, it’s the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, and a place where everyone from refugees to former suburban exiles are proud to stake their claim to a slice of this 21st century edition of the Forest City. Read on and we’ll see you soon in Cleveland.