Monday, July 23, 2012

Week 3: Mars Bar

There are two stories starting with a bat this week. One of these is the potentially awesome movie Dark Night Rising and the devastation of the attack of the theater in Colorado. I am deeply sorry for those who were killed and injured in the shooting. I send my best wishes to their loved ones.

The second bat begins this story a couple months ago. I had just woken up, was groggily getting ready in the bathroom when I hear a scratching noise coming from the drop ceiling above me. I figured it was a chipmunk or mouse that had found its way into the house. Suddenly I saw a black fluttering shape scurrying across the light panel.

I ended up doing the logical, terrifying action of sticking my head in the ceiling of trying to coax the bat out of the ceiling into a positioned pillow case. After a couple almost catches and me jumping out of the ceiling once screaming like a girl, the bat escaped into the attic. I did find something else in its place. There was a postcard with a half naked woman on it. Was this the boob fairy leaving me a present? Under closer inspection it turns out this was an old postcard sent to the Mars Bar. Apparently it was stolen, then hidden in the ceiling by the previous occupants of my house. The post card made its way to my refrigerator (I don't have friends with kids over often) until last weekend when my friend's Ramona and Aidan were over. When Aidan saw it, he of course brought it up and we related the story. The end result was I needed to go to the Mars Bar this week.

I haven't been to the Mars Bar in a while. My first thought when I got there was: wow, they've made a lot more room. Mars Bar now has a nice covered patio in the back and a second patio area in the front. Inside, is colorful without being obnoxious, with quality wood stool seating. The Mars Bar is surprisingly roomy for the space it has to work with. The music which ranged from metal to classic rock filled the empty space providing a nice change from the pop hits that permeate many other bars. Their digital jukebox can play anything else you can imagine.

The Mars Bar had a nice selection of beer for everyone, the quality drinkers , the quantity drinks, and even for the fruit tasting beer drinkers. I had Boulder Beer Company's Mojo IPA. It was a surprisingly smooth, both in taste and texture, Indian pale ale. If you've never had a pale ale, this is good place to start. If you already like them, you'll appreciate Mojo works more for quality and detail, then overwhelming taste.

I'm sure they have other good things to eat at the Mars Bar but you don't have choice of your first meal. When you walk in you see it sitting across the bar glowing at you, slowly spinning. A cone of pig, calling out to be turned into a more appetizing form. Their pork gyros were very good, neither skimping on portion or flavor. The addition of mustard and yogurt makes the flavor a bit more unique in town that serves many gyros.

Many of my friends came out last night to support me with this new endeavor. We hung out on one of the few comfortable nights we've had on the back patio. We all had a good time and only had good service from the bartenders.

The talk eventually moved as it tends to, to the Browns. Two of my friends recently moved from Cincinnati and Chicago, respectively. They come from cities with teams who've had their good and bad years, overall are teams that have a decent chance at winning seasons. They are excited about becoming Browns fans. They found our secret to following a team which hasn't lived up to expectations, one that we may not realize. In short, we don't live in Cleveland, Cleveland lives in us. The people of Lakewood, Cleveland in general, are Browns fans because the Browns and our cities are an extension of us. We are a people that have seen things at their worst but through a mixture of stubbornness and hope are willing to chip at the bad, while waiting till we make it right. This Clevelandness has kept Lakewood a great place to live, has allowed Cleveland to be a better city with each year, has seen the Indians and the Cavaliers rise to greatness over the last 2 decades. We aren't Browns fans, we are fans of ourselves and we'll bring the Browns along for the ride.

The Mars Bar is the epitome of our area. It's smaller than its competitors. It doesn't offer anything you can't get somewhere else. The Mars Bar didn't want to be just a little dive bar, they've made a small trendy bar, comfortable for anyone to come to. They didn't want to be just a small, red, distant tavern, now they're bigger and one of us. Mars Bar made a good gyro that isn't the same as the other dozen and it's great. Come to the Mars Bar, it's like us, always getting better with a splash of mustard.

Awesome: Customer Service, Community, a Great Gyro

15314 Madison Ave

*Picures with no people are from

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