Neighborhood Spotlight: St. Clair-Superior
By Nicole Canitano
Just a zlikrofi's throw (don't stop reading to google it; it's a dumpling) from I-90, sits Cleveland's St. Clair-Superior neighborhood. This diverse community, home to 10,000 proud, is tucked between Lake Erie and Superior Ave. and East 30th and MLK Jr. Dr. The neighborhood boasts beaucoup culture, arts and ethnic eats in its small but mighty 1.4 square mile area.
The neighborhood was built by generations of Eastern European immigrants, and many of their Old World traditions are still alive at the heart of it. In recent years, the neighborhood's rich cultural history has been the impetus driving new development, retail, dining, and events. You could argue that the event landing the lead role in this all-star cast of cultural influences is the Cleveland Kurentovanje. Kurentovanje is a traditional Slovenian celebration aimed at chasing the winter away and beckoning the spring to, well... spring!
The 6th Annual Cleveland Kurentovanje kicks off Feb. 5 with traditional costumes and masks, food and drink, and art and music before culminating Feb. 10. Find the complete schedule of events here.
Once you've been a part of this festival, you'll be hooked on the neighborhood. Lucky for you, there are a lot more reasons to visit the other 51 weeks of the year!
Here are some of the gems, hidden and not-so-much, that await your discovery in St. Clair-Superior.
How lucky are you to have this corned beef kingpin in your backyard? Very. Just ask the hungry people that come from all over the country to experience that melt-in-your-mouth beef from this iconic, no frills, family-owned spot. If it's good enough for presidents and celebrities, you can probably fit it into your busy schedule, too.
Angie's Soul Cafe
If you have a hankering for some southern-style cooking, Angie's is servin' it up--and has been for three generations. The menu offers every southern comfort food from chicken and waffles to shrimp'n'grits to catfish to sweet potato pie.
After a successful inaugural run in Tremont, St. Clair-Superior became home to the second location of a favorite 'za joint among locals, Crust. Stop in for a slice (or five) and enjoy the laid back, friendly atmosphere.
Like its name implies, Hub 55 is an epicenter for a diverse and unique collection of artisans, makers, food purveyors, and entrepreneurs thriving in a collaborative environment. Head into Goldhorn Brewery for a carbonated, cold bev and make sure not to pass on the ginormous Bavarian pretzels. Need a spot for a large group or private event? Sterle's Country House is a sure thing when it comes to hosting your fam and friends, old school style. Finally, look for Bigmouth Donut Co. making its Hub 55 debut with a production facility and storefont in the near future. Because... donuts.
Upcycle St. Clair
Upcycle St. Clair is the brainchild of Nicole McGee and is supported by St. Clair-Superior Community Development Corporate and funded by the national ArtPlace funding collaboration. The mission of Upcycle St. Clair, since its inception in 2011, has been focused on creating vibrancy, engaging residents, supporting existing merchants and attracting new ones, teaching upcycling, activating empty spaces, and building community.
What does all this have to do with you? In 2014, the project had evolved to the point of opening a storefront, Upcycle Parts Shop, where earth-friendly peeps can purchase items created from repurposed objects and upcycled materials. They also accept donations of defunct items and unwanted materials. Upcycle Parts Shop is open to the public on the third Friday of the month from 4-7 p.m. and the third Saturday from 12-5 p.m.
Tower Press and Artefino Cafe
Speaking of repurposing... Tower Press Building, a former garment factory producing women's suits and coats in the early 1900s, now functions as a mixed-use space, housing local artists who create unique pieces of art just steps from where they sleep. Many of these masterpieces can be found on display and for sale during the routinely scheduled art events, including the popular Sparx City Hop, throughout the year.
You'll also find some of these creations bringing to life the already colorful decor in the eclectic Artefino Cafe, which offers hungry residents and visitors coffee, fresh baked goods and other options for a convenient and delicious breakfast or lunch. In addition to Tower Press, several other galleries and art studios can be found in the QuARTer Arts District of St. Clair, including: Frontroom Gallery, M Gallery, Streets of Manhattan and Convivium at Josaphat Arts Hall, Terra Vista Studios, Negative Space Galleries and Zygote Press.
In a last shout out to St. Clair's "sustainability superstar" status, Rustbelt Reclamation and A Piece of Cleveland, two of Cleveland's most successful pioneers in turning discarded materials into beautiful, functional pieces, call this neighborhood home, too.
AsiaTown is located within the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood between East 30th and East 40th along Payne Ave. Not only does this district have a large population of Clevelanders with Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese roots, it is home to the highest percentage of Asian-Americans in Ohio. It's no surprise then, that the most authentic Asian dining and shopping experiences in CLE are to be had here.
In 2010, the birth of the Cleveland Asian Festival brought the AsiaTown community into the Cleveland spotlight where it continues to shine. Mark your calendar for May 19-20 for this year's festival.
Each year, Chinese art and culture is celebrated in Cleveland's AsiaTown through the "In the Year of..." project. This year's project, which kicked off in late January, pays homage to the Year of the Rooster. Dozens of local businesses will sponsor one-of-a-kind sculptures, which will be installed throughout Cleveland’s St. Clair-Superior neighborhood and in key locations around Downtown Cleveland. The Year of the Rooster project also promotes investment in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood, celebrates citywide cultural awareness and supports arts education and the local artist community.
Two "shopping centers," Asia Plaza in the heart of Cleveland's AsiaTown, and Asian Town Center, occupying 115,000 square feet at the intersection of Superior Ave. and East 38th, are chock full of treasures and delicacies influenced by a variety of Asian cultures. Some popular spots for Asian fare include: Bo Loong, Koko Bakery, Map of Thailand, and Wonton Gourmet and BBQ. If it's a shopping fix you need, Flower City Gift Shop, Golden Treasure and Rex Boutique should be on your destination list.
If your answer to the question, "Pho?" is usually, "Pho sure!", you'll be thrilled to know that two of the city's best noodle slinging restaurants, Superior Pho and #1 Pho, are located within two delicious blocks of each other.
Feel like staying in and trying your own hand at Asian cuisine? Be sure to stock up on the ingredients and spices you'll need at Asia Tea House/Food Market and Kim's Oriental Food.