Coming up in 2016

December 15, 2015
Coming up in 2016

New hotspots, events and improvements we can't wait to see next year

Adam Sockel

As McFadden & Whitehead said, there ain't no stoppin' us now!

Cleveland has been on a roll lately, and 2016 promises to be as exciting as ever as expansions and improvements are completed leading up to the Republican National Convention coming to town in the summer. We couldn't possibly list all the new developments and improvements we're excited for in one article, but here are just a few highlights we can't wait to check out:

The Renovation of Public Square
Public Square is the heart of the city and in 2016 it will be getting a facelift complete with a sustainable park that will benefit Clevelanders and visitors for generations to come. You can expect cafés, an ice skating rink and restaurants connecting Tower City, East 4th Street, and the areas around the FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland.

Mabel's BBQ
It's actually happening! Award-winning chef Michael Symon will be opening his long-anticipated culinary adventure with Mabel's BBQ on East 4th Street in January. Mabel's will provide classic barbeque dishes like pork, chicken and ribs but with a Cleveland flare.

Chef Symon will be using local wood native to the northeast Ohio region and Bertman's Ball Park Mustard-based sauce. Step aside Carolina BBQ - this is Cleveland BBQ. As Chef Symon says, "Because ketchup is made in Pittsburgh, we would never serve a tomato-based sauce in Cleveland. Cleveland's known for its mustard, and I wanted to use that as the base of our sauce."

We're already salivating.

Cedar Point's Valravn
The thrill is real. Valravn will be the world's tallest, fastest, and longest dive rollercoaster when it opens in 2016 as the 18th coaster at Cedar Point. Adrenaline-junkies get an extra bonus as the coaster pauses for four seconds at the top of the 223-foot high drop, peeking over the edge right before plummeting. You know, just to give you time to really let it sink in what's about to happen.

This is no up-down-and-over kind of coaster. There are still plenty of screams to be had as Valravn loops, twists and dives along the remainder of the 3,400-foot track. Get a full view from the front seat in this video

The opening of the Hilton Cleveland Downtown
The hotel will feature a 28-story tower filled with 600 guest rooms positioned atop four stories of ballrooms, meeting and retail spaces. The rooftop bar sounds amazing, and for business travelers, there will be a convenient underground connection to both the FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland and the Global Center for Health Innovation. Not to mention, it's a pretty stunning addition to the Cleveland skyline.

North Coast Harbor Development
One of the great untapped resources in Northeast Ohio has been the lakefront space we know as the North Coast Harbor. Recent improvements brought the Rock & Dock, complete with paddle boat, jet ski, kayak and paddle board rentals just behind of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a new bike share location, and an impressive lineup of food trucks in summer months.

But wait! There's more!

By summer 2016, the lakefront will be home to a two-story, glass-encased restaurant, public restrooms and a volleyball court. More development will take place soon thereafter. Ground will break in 2016 on a four-story mixed-use building with apartments, retail and office space in the area north of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as a retail connector between the Rock Hall and the Great Lakes Science Center. The mixed-use building and the retail connector are expected to be completed in 2017. Further developments will continue in 2017 and beyond, with the full project encompassing 20 city-owned acres including more than 1,000 apartments, offices, a school, a hotel, restaurants, shops, parking and recreation areas.

Progressive Field renovations
2015 brought phase one of the stadium's upgrade with bars, restaurants and areas designed to attract young professionals and families alike. In 2016, phase two will completely open up the stadium concourse, providing even more local food and beverage options and a more unique experience for all fans. Now, how to get a ballpark to spur its team to the postseason... that's the question.

The Rock Box
Cleveland loves to rock - it's just who we are. To honor the rock gods, the Rock Box project is a permanent outdoor installation of several sets of custom speakers placed throughout Downtown Cleveland. All along East 9th Street, also known as Cleveland's Rock and Roll Blvd., the public artwork will pay tribute to current and future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.

If you feel like jamming a little during your day (and even if you don't), the speakers will play riffs from inductees' famous songs two-three times per day. Think similar to church bells... but with rock music. Check it out by summer 2016.

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