Neighborhood spotlight: West Park
An Eclectic Cleveland Neighborhood
By Eric Embacher
Eclectic neighborhoods abound in the city of Cleveland, but perhaps none is as grounded in the authentic Cleveland experience than West Park, featuring the Kamm’s Corners commercial district.
Ideally situated just about 10 minutes from Downtown and 10 minutes from Cleveland Hopkins airport, many second- and even third-generation Clevelanders and a burgeoning crop of young professionals have made West Park another one the city’s neighborhood hotspots while still maintaining its feel as a family-friendly, suburb-like setting, within Cleveland city limits.
While known for its Irish heritage and restaurants/bars such as P.J. McIntyre’s Irish Pub and Public House, the area includes Thai, Southern comfort, and Mexican eateries as well. However, it is West Park Station that surfaces as a local standout. One resident says, “When I first moved to the neighborhood, strangers at West Park Station became friends pretty quickly.”
If you’re looking to take something home, K & K Portage is another local favorite that boasts a full butcher shop, prepared food, a small bakery, and an interesting beer and wine selection. For the sweet tooth, Peace, Love and Little Donuts is a unique and delicious stop with donuts hand decorated to order.
Shoppers from around Cleveland visit West Park to pick up their costumes, rubber masks, wigs, make-up and all at Starship Earth. Comic book aficionados know that Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop is one of the best of its kind and offers an incredible collection and customer experience. My Reclaimed Life brings the hipster vibe featuring vintage and antique goods as well as original creative pieces.
The word “hooley” is Irish slang for a party or festival, and, each year, on the second Saturday in May, one major hooley goes down in West Park at Kamm’s Corners. The recently refurbished streetscape on Lorain is shut down to traffic, and live music, food, and beer are plentiful as locals and visitors alike come together to celebrate the annual “Hooley on Kamm’s Corners.”
Finally, the West Park neighborhood is adjacent to one of the Cleveland Metroparks’ most popular destinations, The Rocky River Reservation. Adding to the neighborhoods already suburban feel, rugged outdoorsmen and women, families, pets, and others can find some space, exercise, and explore nature in this nearly four-acre Cleveland Metropark.
Sound like fun? Getting there is easy whether by car or rail with two RTA Red Line stations at West Park and Triskett. Take a day to explore the tree-lined streets accented with beautiful old homes, well-kept yards, and friendly neighbors while also enjoying the local dining and retail. And hey, enjoy a little “hooley” time while you're at it.