Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gordon Square Arts District Date Night

Chris and I had such a fun and quirky date night last night in the Gordon Square Arts District.  I have read so many articles and blogs over the last year about how this is an up and coming hip neighborhood in Cleveland and I am fairly familiar with the area with Jenny and Scott living in Battery Park.  And the articles and blogs are right, this neighborhood felt like you had discovered something that many hadn't yet.  I say "yet" because with all the articles out there, this secret isn't going to last much longer, if we can even call it a secret now.  So if you have read about the hype and speculation and you've been there, you know it is all true, and if you haven't been soon, you should make plans to go.  We already have plans with Jenny and Scott to go back on Friday.

Our date night started at the Bizarre Bazar in the 78th Street Studios.  This weekend indie craft show showcases local artists and their handmade goodies.  We picked up some C.L.E. Clothing t-shirts, Christmas ornaments, cards and admired all the jewelry and creativity.  Some of my favorites were greeting cards, including Oddball Press (out of Cleveland Heights) and Candra Squire.  I wish this show was here more than once a year, but sadly it is a holiday season phenomenon (a la Christmas Ale), but off-season shopping can be done on etsy or at our next stops - Room Service and Made in the 216.

At Room Service we were handed a glass of wine as soon as we walked through the door.  Need I say more?  Ok, well this shop is so darn cute I wanted everything in the store.  And then I wanted the owner to come to my house and arrange it for me.  It is like a smaller version of Anthropology with an emphasis on local.  And Made in the 216 - its sister store, down the street next to the Capitol Theater, is all Cleveland based artists.  The owner helped me pick out the perfect house warming / graduation gift for Hannah. (Well I think it is perfect, we shall find out this afternoon.  Chris and I are going down to see her and Matt's new house and lend a hand in the renovation.  You can read about their mid-century modernize here).  We also picked up some more greeting cards at Made in the 216 - I have to keep up on my correspondence.

Next stop - dinner at Happy Dog.  They don't have a good website, but here is a link to Cleveland Foodie's review.  This place is basically your typical Lakewood, townie dive bar, which I say with 100% love because I love me some townie bar.  The chef/owner from Momocho in Ohio City bought it about a year and half ago and now the only food they serve is hot dogs (vegetarian option available) with tater tots and fries.  The kicker is that there are 50 gourmet toppings and sauces to choose from, all for $5 a dog and $2.50 for tots or fries.  PBR's for $2.25 a piece and I am Happy Girl at Happy Dog.  And a happy couple walking out very full, slightly buzzed, and for under $30.  For my dog I tried the habanero pickled red onions, caribbean coleslaw, and brazilian chimichurri.  Chris was more adventurous and had the brazilian chimichurri, hot banana pepper rings, potato chips, and rainbow candy sprinkles.  Sounds crazy but it was good.  To dip our tots, we tried the house made ketchup, black truffle honey mustard, garlic and herb tomato jam, marcella's grape jelly and chile sauce, and the chipotle hollandaise.  Before we even got our food I was texting friends and plotting future birthday parties.  The bartender gave us the low down on a karaoke place, Tina's, right down the street.  So, yeah, I will be back.

Last stop, was the Capitol Theater to see Fantastic Mr. Fox.  This theater is newly renovated and you can tell.  It feels like you are in an actual theater and there is that buzz of seeing a real hollywood picture! (say that with a 1940's accent for fun)  My only complaint is that the seats don't have as much leg room as today's multiplex's, so I was a bit squirmy.  The movie - I loved!!  It is unlike anything I have ever seen and Jason Schwartzman's does the voice of the son, Ash, and was just hilarious. We will be back this Friday to see Avatar 3D (say that in a booming echo voice for fun).   

So thank you Gordon Square Arts District for a fantastic date night, what a great addition to our city!  As we drove home down Route 2 with downtown all lit up on a clear night, I said to myself, "I love Cleveland".


Candra said...

Thanks for the shout out my friend. I have good news for you too. I am opening a new store on Waterloo in CLE called Salty not Sweet and it's going to be all local and handmade goods so you'll have a place to shop all year round for the awesome things you've seen at Bazaar Bizarre.


Tricia said...

Molly - glad you liked Gordon Sq. The office of the nonprofit Board I sit on is there. Send me your email. You sent me your D&T email by accident when you sent your goodbye to D&T email.