Old Brooklyn straddles old and new Cleveland. The neighborhood’s quiet, leafy streets and bungalows fit neatly with some of the city’s most family-friendly assets — the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Brookside Reservation. Newer enterprises such as Sabor Miami Cafe sit next to stalwarts such as Honey Hut and Gus’s Family Restaurant, which remind you where you are. “We have places that have been around forever, but we just opened up an Ethiopian restaurant, a Guatemalan restaurant,” says Jeff Verespej, executive director of the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corp. “That’s very Cleveland. That’s very true to who we are as a neighborhood, and it reflects both who we are and who we want to be.”
1 | B.A. Sweetie: Visit the 40,000-square-foot candy shop for its 500,000 pounds of candy, but also for the 6,000-square-foot Soda Shoppe, which carries 200 soda varieties and 36 house-made ice cream flavors. 6770 Brookpark Road, 216-739-2244, sweetiescandy.com
2 | Drink Bar & Grill: Classic cocktails rule at Drink, a dim-lit lounge with a minimalist menu featuring speakeasy standards such as the Blood and Sand. 4250 Pearl Road, 216-661-7543, drinkbarandgrill.com
3 | El Rinconcito Chapin: This casual eatery slings hefty plates of Guatemalan street food such as yuca fries, ceviche and pupusas. There are small plates, too, with familiars such as carne asada alongside adventures such as pepian (chicken in tomatillo sauce) and jocon (chicken in salsa verde). 3330 Broadview Road, 216-795-5776, facebook.com/elrinconcitochapincle
4 | Jack Frost Donuts: Sink your teeth into an icing-drizzled or cereal-topped treat at Jack Frost, where the wares push the boundaries of how much can fit on a single doughnut. With hundreds of toppings and a rotation of 250 flavors, the sweet possibilities are endless. 4960 Pearl Road, 216-351-3638, jackfrostdonutsusa.com
5 | Lockdown Escape Room: Whether you and your pals choose to be wizards, archaeologists or hotel guests, you’ll be stuck inside one of five themed rooms — unless you can puzzle your way out in under an hour. 4860 Broadview Road, 216-465-1464, lockdowncleveland.com
6 | Lucy Restaurant and Bar: Eat with your hands at Lucy, where Ethiopian meals are served on platters of injera, a spongelike bread made from teff flour. It’s the perfect vehicle for doro wat, kay wat and kitfo — meats simmered with spices — or any of Lucy’s vegetarian dishes. 2218 Broadview Road, 216-417-2550, lucycleveland.com
7 | Name Brand Paints & Closeouts: This utilitarian shop turns castoff colorways into perfectly priced tones by dealing name-brand paints such as Valspar and Designer’s Image for just $12.99 per gallon. 4199 Pearl Road, 216-661-7446, namebrandpaints.com
8 | Old Brooklyn Cheese Co.: Inspired by his 17 years in London, owner Michael Januska creates chef-driven, handmade cheese — often infused with Collision Bend Brewing Co.’s beers — aged in an on-site cave. 4138 Pearl Road, 216-860-4000, oldbrooklyncheesecompany.com
9 | Sabor Miami Cafe & Gallery: Artist and chef Mariela Paz has created a colorful pocket of coffee, Miami-style Latin eats and art inside Sabor Miami. Her novelties range from candy-loaded pumpkin lattes to kielbasa-topped salchipapas — food that’s as flavorful, fun and festive as the cafe itself. 4848 Broadview Road, 440-714-0202, facebook.com/sabormiamicafe
10 | Top of the Line Barbershop: Get that fade lined up by award-winning barber Ramon Claudio in the same chairs that rapper Machine Gun Kelly and UFC champion Stipe Miocic have gotten cuts. 4191 Pearl Road, 216-459-2887, facebook.com/tolbarbershop
11 | Tri-Star Skateboards: Buy a deck, wheels or trucks and put them to work at Tri-Star’s 11,000-square-foot skate park-slash-shop. Get your money’s worth on $5 Fridays with discounted all-day sessions. 5360 Brookpark Road, 216-459-9000, tristarskateboards.com
12 | Vino Veritas Cellars: Pair Vino Veritas’ sips (chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, white and red blends, and cherry wine) with a stroll on its grounds (including bocce, cornhole, fire pits) or with a cheese plate (from Old Brooklyn Cheese Co., naturally). 4103 Memphis Ave., 216-650-9877, vinoveritascellarscle.comQUICK PICKS:
Doro wat ($14.50), Lucy Restaurant and Bar: Accompanied by an egg, cottage cheese, cabbage and potatoes, this dish’s marinated drumstick is a rich, buttery treat.
Cheesemongers Choice Board ($36), Old Brooklyn Cheese Co.: Let the experts put together some of their favorite local cheeses — think the IPA-infused Big Cat — with charcuterie.
Complete skateboard set ($85-$150), Tri-Star Skateboards: Have Tri-Star’s staff assemble your skateboard. Options vary, but Element’s Cleveland Indians block-C deck provides maximum local pride.