Here’s to new food options in Avon Lake!

Avon Lake is a great place to call home. I am happy it is mine. If it has one shortcoming though, a lack of quality food options might be it. I find the restaurant options to be somewhat limited and lacking and, frankly, I think I’m being kind by putting it this way. There’s pizza, pizza and more pizza, a couple of Asian choices and then a smattering of other spots that I don’t hate but don’t love. A few spots easily qualify for an episode Gordon Ramsay’s  Kitchen Nightmares. The town has seen many cafes and restaurants come and go: Bar Symon, Atlanta Bread Company, Arabica and the list goes on. Not sure of the specifics around each closing but I assume it is the standard reason – patronage volumes that are lower than required to sustain the business.

Perhaps I’m a harsher critic as I have a handful of particulars to consider when selecting a restaurant: I’m vegetarian, my husband is a carnivore and we have a child under 2. I also want to mention that I’m a bit of a foodie who is also into natural and organic foods. Add to this that I’m also a big proponent of supporting local, independent resturants. Surely you can see that my finding qualified food options  falls just shy of a mini miracle.

The good news is that several new spots just opened or will be shortly within Avon Lake so I’ll have some new options and so will you!

Jenni Juggs (Now Open!)

Photo credit: Lori E. Switaj

The name is interesting and certainly memorable. One might interpret it for a different type of establishment (or at least this is the reaction I’ve received from most people when I share the name) but the truth is that it is billed as a quaint spot offering finger-lickin’ good Southern Comfort Food. This is certainly a new category to be represented in the far west side of Cleveland. The menu features the expected southern classics: chicken and waffles, cornmeal-crusted catfish, hush puppies, cole slaw and sweet tea. The “sides” menu is tempting enough for me to order just from it. Recent reviews that I’ve read report a cute and pleasant atmosphere, tasty mac ‘n’ cheese and cornbread and promises of return visits.

The location is on the eastern end of Avon Lake in the northern end of the Learwood Plaza (the Giant Eagle plaza, as locals refer to it) and is the fully renovated former home of an Italian restaurant (another example of an Avon Lake restaurant gone bye-bye). I’m tickled as this location is a five-minute bike ride from my house making it a great choice for a weekday dinner or a weekend brunch spot. With the addition of Jenni Juggs, the Learwood Plaza has become an even more enjoyable, diverse destination. You can get a pedicure at Luxury Nails, enjoy an order of fried green tomatoes at Jenni Juggs, browse a newly opened Goodwill location, stop by the Ron Zehel Guitar Center for a new set of strings, and finally grab a few groceries at Giant Eagle.

Hours: Tuesday- Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday brunch, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and regular service 2 p.m .- 9 p.m. Takeout is also available. 440-653-5255

Cafe Melissa (Coming November 2012!)

I recently enjoyed a veggie burger from Sweet Melissa at the 2012 Avon Lake Summer Market. I’ve also enjoyed their food at their Rocky River location over the last several years. While ordering my burger at the Summer Market, I overheard talk that they would be opening a location in Avon Lake come this November. I was thrilled at the news! (I was also thrilled when they gave me a Free Appetizer gift card for the new location.)

The Sweet Melissa location in Avon Lake will be called Cafe Melissa and will be open for breakfast every day starting at 9 a.m. The menu is to be announced although I’m hoping that at least most of my favorites from the Rocky River location will carry over. The Cafe Melissa location will be in the former Donatos building on Walker Road just West of Route 83/Avon Belden Road.

Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

A Mediterranean Restaurant (Coming soon!)

So, I have to say that I don’t have any confirmed info on this new food offering other than what I have heard through the grapevine around town but I want to believe it so I’m sharing! The story is that a new Mediterranean restaurant is opening in the former Tucky’s location (ah, yet another former Avon Lake restaurant and, wow, this one really didn’t last long). There are signs of work being started at the former Tucky’s location so there could be some validity to the rumors. Let’s hope so. Location-wise, it is literally a stone’s throw from the new Jenni Juggs. Hopefully, with two very different cuisines, the restaurants will complement versus threaten each other. I’ll be sure to share more on this one as news develop!

Let’s eat!

So for now, give Jenni Juggs a try and let me know what you think! I will be checking it out soon myself and using the $10 gift card that they gave to the Luxury Nails salon to distribute to its customers. (Kudos to both Jenni Juggs and Cafe Melissa for including an enticement in their grand opening promotional efforts. It works!)


time to represent the 216.

artmarked on my calendar are friday, june 26th, and saturday, june 27th. grab a pen now and mark them in yours too. you’ll be glad you did. now, here’s why!

on those two days listed, danielle deboe (owner of room service) is bringing us lucky clevelanders the third installment of her made in the 216 event. this one will be the largest by far and incorporate food and music. the event will be a “shopping celebration” as described by deboe and feature the creations of nearly 40 talented designers that have chosen to stay and build their businesses in cleveland. you’ll be amazed at what cleveland has to offer. come see for yourself.

event details

dates: saturday and sunday, june 26 and 27

time: 4-9 pm (friday) and 11-9 pm (saturday)


1) room service’s main location (6505 detroit avenue, cleveland, oh 44102)

2) two currently unoccupied spaces on the same block that RS will activate for the event

3) happy dog (band performances during the event hours and the after party spot both days starting at 9 pm)

4) soon-to-open capitol theatre (bands will perform under the marquee)

about the close to 40 cleveland-based designers

preview the works of a handful of the designers that will be represented at made in the 216 by clicking the links below.

a piece of cleveland

c.l.e. clothing co.

urban velo

genau custom design

super industrial love

red i jewelry

wrath arcane

red umbrella design

the bubble process


modern pixie

small screen designs

little korboose

about room service

room service is a lifestyle shop in the gordon square arts district within the detroit shoreway neighborhood. the shop offers a wide variety of items including home decorating items, furniture (modern and antique), stationery, apparel, jewelry, t-shirts, candles, books and even authentic german cuckoo clocks. deboe sources good design from around the world and brings it right into our backyards. her goal is to perpetuate and preserve good design by showing and offering a balance of old and new at approachable price points in an inspiring and delightful environment. this is the go-to spot for me when i am shopping for the perfect gift or want to pick up something for myself. i am sure to leave with items that will continue to delight me and that i won’t find at the local mall.

for more info



facebook (roomservice216)


calling all crafty clevelanders!


now’s your chance to sign up to sell your crafts at salty not sweet, an indie craft show coming up in september in cuyahoga falls. and for those non-crafters, mark the date so you can come shop, shop, shop.

location: quirk cultural center, cuyahoga falls
date: september 5, noon-8 pm
booth fee: $50
how to sign up: salty not sweet blog

vendors already locked in:
candra squire
jen dynes (prints)

get in on this opportunity now!

pizza week.

picture-21as if you need an excuse to enjoy an x-large, extra cheese plus all the toppings pizza. but here’s another anwyay. why, it’s pizza week in cleveland, everyone!

when: march 9-13

what: go out, get pizza and then visit and give your review. it’s that simple!

more info: visit for a directory of pizza joints.

get social: talk pizza on facebook: “cleveland pizza week” and twitter: @ctownpizzaweek. special announcements and deals will be posted on the latter.

now go get a pie, people!

auto show rolls into town.

fords-new-hybrids-go-47-mph-on-electric-power-alonethe 2009 cleveland auto show kicks off saturday, february 28th, and runs through sunday, march 8th.

i’m excited to see the 2010 ford fusion hybrid. ford touts that the car will be able to travel more than 700 miles in the city on one tank of gasoline (which is better than the toyota camry hybrid). and it will be able to reach a top speed of 47 mph on electric power alone. did i mention that it can travel as far as eight miles on battery power before the gasoline engine engages?

the vehicle comes nicely equipped at a base price of $27,270. this is a bit higher than i was hoping for but it’s still a nice option. and the fuel savings should help offset the vehicle purchase price a bit. plus you can feel good about it. and you can’t really put a price on that!

show details:

dates: 2/28 – 3/8

location: cleveland I-X center

admission: adult $12. pre-teen $10. senior $10. children 6 and under get in free.

savings: be sure to snag a $2 off admission coupon. they are available at any new car or truck dealership in northeastern ohio.

starbucks in an instant.

193590starbucks is introducing instant coffee called VIA ready brew.

i have not tried it yet but starbucks swears it’s the best thing since, well, their  brewed coffee. according to starbucks, the new VIA is unlike traditional instant coffee which lacks the essential oils that give coffee its flavor and aroma. instead, VIA is made with the highest quality arabica beans, finely ground to release their fullest flavor.

you be the judge!

go here to get a FREE sample sent to you.

10 more reasons to vote for joe howard.


as if you need another reason to VOTE for joe for cleveland’s classic comic!

but here are a few extra just for fun.

1. he knows the movie “the elephant man” by heart
2. he resembles elvis
3. he likes all types of music. here’s a video of joe at a local hip hop amateur night. doesn’t it look like this was made possible with the help of a green screen?
4. he loves squirrels and kittens. (this is on the list so you know joe isn’t a jerk.)
5. he’s constantly changing his hair style and his facial hair. he recent grew a grizzly adams beard. before that, it was a handlebar mustache with the curly tips!
6. joe rides an ice blue, chromed-out, retro look scooter.
7. he made a super funny video about our friend’s little daschund violently tearing apart boxes to metal music
8. he recently achieved “wizard status”. oh my! see a picture here.
9. he can juggle.
10. he’s funny. (we’ve been married for almost 14 years and i’m still not sick of his jokes!)

vote for joe now! got to the 98.5 wncx website. casting your vote takes less than a minute.

disclaimer: i will not lie nor deceive you! joe howard is my husband. he’s very funny and he works very hard at what he does. he loves to make people laugh. vote for him! thank you!

Feed Shark

friday night.


despite what some people may believe, there is plenty to do here in cleveland.

here’s something to do tonight, 2/6.

what: pechakucha night – cleveland vol. 2

details: local cleveland creatives present their work, ideas, and obsessions in a series of short presentations on art, fashion, food, architecture, film, furniture, music, and photography.

where: house of blues cambridge room

when: 8-10 pm (come early. a big turnout is expected and the room is cozy.) doors open at 7 pm.

cost: FREE entry. cash bar.

orla kiely. how i love thee.


exciting news, orla kiely fans!

target has partnered with the designer making orla kiely products available to the masses. kiely’s capsule home collection for target includes: dinner and servingware, storage containers, closet organization, table and kitchen linens and bonus…an apron.

my love for all things orla began while i was in london on holiday two summers ago. (i just had to say “holiday” instead of “vacation”!) while exploring the city, i happened upon an orla kiely boutique. there it was–so beautiful and filled with so many beautiful things. in my head, i calculated the pounds-to-dollars prices and quickly realized that an orla kiely bag was not in my immediate future. but lucky for me, things turned around the very next day!

just 24 hours later, while visiting the tate modern museum in london, i discovered that kiely had created a collection just for the tate. and it was more affordable than her regular line but still just as wonderful. i snagged an orla kiely change purse for about $45 u.s.

so now’s your chance to get your orla kiely!

support your spaces.


are you like me and always looking for a way to support cleveland’s art community?

i’ve got the perfect answer. it’s super easy and involves one of my favorite restaurants–johnny mango.

on monday, february 2nd, grab your friends and family and head to johnny mango to enjoy a great meal (11 am to 11 pm). present your server with this postcard and johnny mango will donate 20% of the bill to spaces art gallery. (thank you, johnny mango!)

you gotta eat anyway, right? so why not support your arts community while doing it!