Kitchen Makeovers: Neighborhood Watch

Here's a refresher on how these dining destinations came to be.

/ Ohio City /

THE NEWBIE // TownHall

While you may come here for its extensive beer list, you will stay for its innovative vegan and gluten-free options that fill the menu.

THE GAME CHANGER // Market Garden Brewery

Sam McNulty proves that he's the city•s beer kingpin with the opening of his third venue on West 25th Street — this one focused on making really good brews.

THE HIDDEN GEM // Touch Supper Club

You might have to walk a tad to get here, but it's worth it for its great happy hour specials, live music scene and amazing weekend brunch.

THE PIONEER // Great Lakes Brewing Co.

More than 25 years ago, brothers Pat and Dan Conway crafted a space for beer and food — and we can't imagine our lives without Dortmunder and Christmas Ale.


/ Tremont /

THE NEWBIE // NEXT DOOR

With two other Dante Boccuzzi-owned restaurants to its right, this casual spot offers up wood-fired pizzas for lunch and hearty brunch on weekends.

THE GAME CHANGER // FAHRENHEIT

It wasn't long after Michael Symon opened Lola down the street that Rocco Whalen followed suit in 2002 with his eclectic American restaurant.

THE HIDDEN GEM // BARRIO

Come here for cheap tacos, inventive margaritas and a never-ending supply of great chips and salsa. Stay for the cozy patio that overlooks Literary Road.

THE PIONEER // LOLITA

When Michael Symon opened this spot as Lola in 1997, it helped turn the area into a culinary destination. Though he renamed it Lolita in 2006, Mediterranean favorites such as the macaroni with chicken, goat cheese and rosemary remained.


/ East Fourth Street /

THE NEWBIE // Red, the Steakhouse

Prime steaks and a prime location go hand in hand at this steakhouse's second Northeast Ohio location, which also serves fresh seafood and more than 15 sides.

THE GAME CHANGER // The Greenhouse Tavern

This eco-friendly restaurant led by bearded, elfinlike chef and mastermind Jonathon Sawyer has been hopping with hipsters and foodies alike since 2009.

THE HIDDEN GEM // Saigon

Don't overlook this Vietnamese restaurant, tucked next to Erie Island Coffee Co., with plenty of authentic dishes such as charbroiled pork bún and crispy spring rolls.

THE PIONEER // LOLA

If Michael Symon is the Big Bang of our dining scene, the ultra-hip Lola with its gourmet bistro menu has been the sun at the center of the East Fourth dining scene since 2006.


/ Shaker Square /

THE NEWBIE // Edwins Restaurant

Part rehabilitation program, part French-inspired restaurant, this spot offers an extensive wine list and gourmet food prepared and served by former felons.

THE GAME CHANGER // Fire Food and Drink

Douglas Katz is among the trailblazers of the local food movement, but he still manages to bring a worldly flair to this white-tablecloth restaurant he opened in 2001.

THE HIDDEN GEM // SASA

Next to Shaker Square Cinemas, the intimate, modern design of Scott Kim's Asian-inspired restaurant is a great place to dine on sushi after a date-night flick.

THE PIONEER // Balaton

An East Side staple for 50 years, this restaurant — which moved here in 1998 — is big on Old World charm and Hungarian comfort food, such as paprikash and schnitzel.

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