Tag Archives: lakewood

The Root Cafe: The Silver Lining in My Wifi-Less World

The Root Cafe is located at 15118 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood

I’m back – and just in time for the snow!  As horrendous as my 2-hour drive to work was this morning, I’m excited for the snow because it’ll be the perfect backdrop for this weekend’s winter fun.

On Saturday, Scott and I are heading to Progressive Field for Indians Snow Days. This weekend is your last chance for the season so if you haven’t gone yet, make plans! (Here’s my review from last year’s Snow Days in case you need any more convincing.)

And then on Sunday, we’ll be braving the cold again for the Frozen Diamond Faceoff.  I love hockey and have been counting down the days to this outdoor matchup for months.

For my return from vacation, I had planned to kick things off with a weekly series I’ll be doing over the next month or so. Unfortunately, it’s going to have to wait until Monday because our wifi is currently not working at home.

Although the cable/internet provider shall remain nameless, I am definitely not a happy customer and after the inexcusable number of phone calls we’ve had to make and subpar customer service we’ve experienced as we’ve tried to get it fixed, I am heavily considering switching my internet over to someone much more reliable.

Photos from theroot-cafe.com

The only silver lining in this situation is that if I still don’t have internet by Sunday, I get to spend time at one of my favorite Cleveland cafes: The Root Cafe in Lakewood. In addition to their wifi and espresso bar, they are a vegan and vegetarian kitchen, organic bakery, and altogether fun place to go for local art, music and food events.

Elizabeth – my NEO Food Tours partner in crime – introduced me to The Root Cafe this past Fall.  Located a few doors down from the old Lakewood Phoenix Coffee (which The Root owners used to own and manage), this place is what I’ve always pictured in my head as “the ideal coffeehouse.”

The artisan tiling and woodwork give The Root Cafe a very natural and comforting feel, that’s echoed by the friendliness of the team behind the bar.  And there is a vibrant community that always seems to fill the place — from individuals enjoying The Root’s very extensive list of coffees and hot teas while working on their laptops to families and friends having a light bite to eat while playing a game.

Even though I am a diehard meatlover, the vegetarian and vegan menu has helped me to venture outside of my comfort zone and discover new foods to love.  The last time I was there I ordered one of their specials for the day, a tempeh sandwich with local greens and honey. It was not just the best vegetarian lunch I’ve had, but a cut above a number of deli sandwiches. They also offer a Raw Food Night every Thursday.

So while there are a number of coffee shops and wifi spots I can frequent much closer to home, The Root Cafe gives me plenty of reasons to escape my internet-less house this weekend.

When you’re on the go and need wifi, what places in Cleveland do you like to visit?

Bowling at Mahall's: Rediscovering a Childhood Pastime

Today’s your last chance to enter Clue Into Cleveland’s giveaway for PlayhouseSquare Partners’ Mini Golf Par-Tee tickets. Reminder: Each separate entry must be marked by a separate comment on the post. Good luck!


Bowling at Mahall's in Lakewood has me dusting off my old bowling ball.

Little known fact about me: When I was in grade school, I competed in a junior bowling league.

Instead of developing my athletic prowess on the soccer field like a lot of my friends, I spent my Saturday mornings in a bowling alley, hurling my Snoopy-themed bowling ball down a lane.  And while there were lots of skilled players in our junior bowling league, I will tell you right up front that none of them were on my team.

In fact, my bowling team’s handicap was so high, we actually placed first in the league that year.  I still have the oversized, sparkling trophy at home to prove it.

Gutter ball!

Whether it was my lack of skill (and inability to improve it) or my slight embarassment that a handicap point system was the only reason we won first against an entire league of teams better than us, I packed my ball away in its bag for a long time.  Although I would play the occasional game, it didn’t hold the same novelty for me.

It was only after moving to Cleveland that I rediscovered a love for bowling — thanks to Mahall’s 20 Lanes in Lakewood.

Mahall’s is about more than bowling; it’s one of those places that embraces everything I love about the city.

When you walk in, there’s an authentically old-fashioned feel. However, unlike other places that try to be retro because it’s trendy, Mahall’s is vintage because it’s a neighborhood and family business that has been in Lakewood for decades (here’s a Lakewood lore article I enjoyed about its history).

Mahall’s feels vintage not because it’s trendy to be retro, but because it actually is.

Sure, it may not have the glitz of contemporary, upscale bowling centers. Instead, it’s popular because what you see is what you get — a return to basics, a laidback night of no-frills, inexpensive bowling ($3 per game, $2 for shoes).

The best part of Mahall’s, though, is keeping score by hand. In addition to sharpening my math skills, there is something more rewarding about getting a strike when you have to write it down yourself instead of having an animated bowling ball tell you on the overhead tv.

If you don’t want to bowl, Mahall’s also offers other amenities such as pool tables and a full bar where you can have a few drinks until you’re in the mood to bowl.

My favorite part about Mahall's - keeping score by hand.

Mahall’s has been a popular place for my co-workers’ team outings over the last couple of years. They let us bring in Angelo’s pizza (you can also order delicious food from the bar) and the staff — whether you’re going in a group or just with a friend or two — is always helpful and very nice.

Our most recent team outing at Mahall’s was a few Fridays ago. In addition to a good night of bowling, they had the Indians game playing in the downstairs lanes so we didn’t miss the Tribe’s 9th inning win.

Mahall’s is located at 3200 Madison Ave. in Lakewood and is open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 10 a.m. to midnight on Thursday; 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and Noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, including questions about leagues and pricing, call (216) 521-3280.

From Mahall’s to Corner Alley, Cleveland’s assortment of bowling alleys offers something for everyone. Which is your favorite?

Mahall’s 411:

  • Address: 3200 Madison Ave., Lakewood
  • Hours: Monday through Wednesday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday Noon to 9 p.m.
  • Call for more information: (216) 521-3280
  • Like Mahall’s 20 Lanes on Facebook

"See. Shop. Learn." at Crafty Goodness — New Arts Store Opening in Lakewood

Crafty Goodness opens on Saturday, March 5th, 9 am at 15621 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio.

I don’t really consider myself very good at producing art.  Sure, I enjoy sketching and painting, but my ability there is pretty limited. And if you get me near any sort of craft that demands a lot of physical dexterity, I’m often defeated by an innate clumsiness. Understanding how much talent and skill is necessary to create artwork helps me really appreciate artisans who can turn that excellent idea in their head into a well-crafted reality.

Fortunately, Cleveland is ripe with talented artists and artisans — from group shows like the Cleveland Artists Foundation’s Cleveland Collects (ongoing until March 12th) or pop-up shops like last November’s holiday pop-ups and Valerie Mayen’s March 11th Yellow Cake pop-up in Tremont.

Subsequently, I’m really excited that another store is joining the ranks of locally produced art this weekend in Lakewood.  On Saturday, March 5th, Crafty Goodness is opening their doors to the public.

Crafty Goodness is owned by Chris Sorensen and Joanna and Matthew Orgovan, who wanted to provide the local community with an affordable alternative to big-box retail chains.   

The store has a three-pronged approach that helps set them apart from others.  With a tagline of “See. Shop. Learn.” they want to give Northeast Ohio a place where consumers can see what their neighbors have created, help stimulate the economy at a local level, and learn how to create artwork themselves.

Crafty Goodness' See. Shop. Learn. tagline incorporates their three-part mission of providing a gallery for Northeast Ohio artists, a buy-local retail experience, and educational opportunities for the community.


  • SEE. The walls of Crafty Goodness will feature an extensive art gallery representing a number of local artists — some who have already gained local recognition and others who are up-and-coming. A variety of media will be highlighted, including traditional canvas and panel art, 3D mixed-media pieces, photographic compositions, original screen prints and wood-carved and burned wall decorations. There are consignment opportunities available for local artists as well. 
  • SHOP. A unique retail establishment, Crafty Goodness will carry only locally made works of art as well as gift and everyday items from artisans who reside in Northeast Ohio. Over 50 local artists from the seven counties that make up Northeast Ohio are represented. To visually document this detail, the shop features a large map of Northeast Ohio that pinpoints all of the communities where items are made.  Some of the items on sale will include pottery, bath and body products, cosmetics, clothing, jewelry, baby items, toys and plush, canvas art, and housewares. 
  • LEARN. In addition to providing a place for artists to sell their products, Crafty Goodness specializes in an educational component. They’ll host arts and craft classes that patrons of all ages can take. The goal is to provide an affordable and varied offering of classes so that students can both broaden their personal interests and hone their skills in particular disciplines.  The majority of classes are organized in a make-and-take format, where each student takes his or her creation home. Included among the creative course offerings are classes in soap making, fused glass, poly clay jewelry, and needle arts.

On Opening Day (as well as all Saturdays going forward), Crafty Goodness will be open from 9 am – 9 pm.  Their regular store hours for the rest of the week are Monday – Friday from 12 – 9 pm and Sundays from 12 – 5pm. You can find the store at 15621 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio.

I’m looking forward to heading down there on Saturday morning to see what I can only dream about making. And who knows, maybe I’ll pick up a trick or two in improving my skills!

Crafty Goodness 411: