Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thank You

This was just a quick blog to throw some thanks out to some of the people that have helped Every Bar in Lakewood reach its current successes.

First off, many of our readers find out about and read my blog through some of our local social media sites.

Lakewood's has given me free will to put whatever I like up since I came up with this idea. As many as a quarter of my weekly readers read my latest adventures through them. Plus, I used their directory to help put together our original list of bars. Thanks Colin!
The Lakewood Buzz is a pretty cool site that lets people post about things going on around Lakewood in a text only format. I've found their readers to be amazingly friendly. Check them out you never know the random Lakewood knowledge that might pop up.

The Lakewood Citizen has helped boost my new Lakewood readers on occasion and have quite the active twitter feed at @lkwdcitizen.

The Lakewood Pillars and their annual wing crawl helped me get out in the community early.
Pillars of Lakewood
The Cleveland Scene Magazine's article about me during my first month definitely kept me from feeling like I was only writing for my family.
Scene Article
A couple of the bars have been a big help to the blog in both promotion and helping with other facets of my work. Coincidentally, they also are some of my personal favorite bars.

Bar #1, Mahall's 20 Lanes is always willing to spread the word and has been very open to helping out in other projects that I have been working on. I really enjoy their food and beer selection. Mahalls also offers a lot of different things to keep you occupied from bowling and games to benefits and concerts.
Bar #1
The Shamrock Tavern and Bane Boys was probably my biggest surprise of the blog. Not only is their food great and bar full of fun surprises but they are always willing to lend a hand to anything I might need of them. I look forward to returning over and over again, not to mention future projects they'll be involved in.
Bar #10

The Tarrymore Inn, especially their bartender Cheryl, have been one of my biggest cheerleaders. They are always spreading the word about my exploits. You should definitely check them out for their friendly staff and patrons along with having the best patio in Lakewood.
Bar #5

Donna Repasy, once the owner of the Screaming Rooster, was a promoter of the blog from the beginning and has helped out even after she lost her bird.  Thank you Donna, you've been a good friend.  Obituary

Special thanks also go out to Jammy Buggers, Mars Bar, World of Beer, The Patio , Bonnie and Clydes and the Harry Buffalo.

A bigger thank you goes out to all of you. 80% of my likes on Facebook are from you guys liking and sharing my articles and pictures. This has helped spread word about the blog around the city and even the country.

Also, thanks for helping me make a little money off the blog. For each blog that goes out around 5 hours of research, aka drinking and talking to bartenders, writing and social mediating. So, when you read the blog, if you see an ad that looks remotely interesting feel free to click it. This can help me make additions, pay my graphic designer, get shirts available at local bars and fund events.

Thank you to those of you who have bought my shirts. Most of the price goes to the actual materials. I have tried to offer shirts with ink and material that can survive being washed after wearing them to all 53 bars. They won't be as fun if when you're done the only thing you can see are the check marks. I am looking for a local printer, hopefully that will cut a couple bucks of the price.
Buy Shirts Here

Johnny and Katie Vanderford have been with me through most of the blog putting up with my crazy schedule and my picture taking. This wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without you both.

My biggest thanks of course goes to my wife Kelly. She has supported me throughout this process and is always excited to jump on the bandwagon of whatever crazy ideas I come up with for Every Bar in Lakewood. Plus, without her the shirts would look horrendous and everything would be covered in comic sans. Thank you, Kelly, for coming with me on this crazy journey.  I love you.

                                   Jewelry & Metal Smithing                        Wedding Photography & Stationary

Thank you beer.  You have been with me through all of this.  All full of frothy, alcoholicy goodness.  This blog couldn't happen without you.

I have a couple new things in the works, so by the time we hit the 1 year mark I'm probably going to have to put up another one of these. Till then thank you for reading. This has been a fun crawl so far and it makes it worth the work to know you're all enjoying it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bar #34: Buckeye Beer Engine

Have you ever saved a bar for later because of something specific that is supposed to happen there. This week is the first of three bars that have been on hold till a specific event could or would happen. Unfortunately, the lesson of this week is research before you put off going for 8 months. Luckily, bar #34, the Buckeye Beer Engine, is worth the wait.

The temperature for the first time was above 70 degrees and it was time to head to the Buckeye Beer Engine to take advantage of its patio. We were smart enough to call ahead and find out that they no longer allow dogs on the patio due to safety and health department concerns. But it was hot out and the Beer Engine has a lot of options to drink.
The Buckeye Beer Engine has a tavern atmosphere with red walls, beer flags covering the ceiling, and beer bottles coving entire sections of the walls. Above the bar they have digital signs up showing their large selection of beers on tap along with their price, ABV and type. The patio has furniture you might find on anybody's patio at home and wasn't uncomfy.
We weren't the first people to decide that the first hot day of the year was a good day to visit the Beer Engine. 40 minutes and a Buckeye Belgium Blonde later we got our seats, though it was somehow now 50 degrees. We could have sat inside immediately.
I started off with the fried jalapenos slices, which were good, but how could they not be. I also had their cheese steak with chips. These were good as well.
The Buckeye Belgian Blonde was a real good beer that just about anyone will like. It's smooth and easy going but still interesting tasting making it a better blonde and a good beginner belgian. If you want a higher caliber beer you need to try a Trappistes Rochefort 10. This was brought up in conversation as simply one of the best beers out there. It has a mellow, complex flavor that is the embodiment of a crafted beer. It also has a lot of secret alcohol that you won't realize is there until you're halfway through the bottle...or you read the label. If you don't want either of those Buckeye Beer Engine has a ton of other beer options.
There may have been a lesbian couple that just became engaged one table over from us or perhaps some sort of bachelorette party.  What we did know was that the possibly engaged lady(ies) both fit in one stall and caused a good bit of thumping on the door.

Disclaimer: Do not use derogatory remarks about my friends while we are at a bar it may lead to the management being told and your possible expulsion or your food “not” being spit in, public mocking, or possibly being stabbed in the face. Seriously though, who comes to a Lakewood bar and mocks gay people just because you are impatient on waiting for a table.  

While, Johnny was waiting for the bathroom he was given a tour of the beer fridge by Mike the general manager.

Only one person can use the bathroom at a time. Obviously, you may want to avoid the bar on beans and cheese night. The rest of the time do not avoid the Buckeye Beer Engine. Our service and food were good. The beer selection is impressive and worth going back for, especially their namesake Buckeye Beers. Go check out bar #34, Buckeye Beer Engine, and you'll never have to get the same beer twice.

15215 Madison Ave

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bar #33: The Corner Pub (Deceased)

When picking a new bar you will run into barriers. These are the reasons why you haven't been to these bars before. They may have a type of food that you don't think will stand up to your favorites. They may have crowd of people that you usually don't hang around, like different age groups, relationship statuses or even, dare I say it, Steelers fans. Every decent sized town will have at least one bar that you have avoided because you don't want to get stabbed in the face. This week I didn't get stabbed in the face at bar #33, The Corner Pub.

For the record, at no time did I feel like anybody was going to stab me in the face. My first impression of the Corner Pub was that this was exactly why I started this blog. The Corner Pub has a timeless, lived in feel. It could easily have looked the same a couple months ago or a couple decades ago. The mirror is decorated with written signs announcing the specials for the week and Christmas twinkle lights. The walls covered in wood paneling or whitish paint were covered in beer signs. A giant TV awaited the next person who wanted to try their hand at Wii bowling. Fun Fact: their Wii's controllers are accurate from the middle of Madison Avenue.Next to it sat a digital juke box with an odd and diverse selection of the bars favorites ranging from folk to metal in its top ten.
We found two stools at the bar and I ordered the only beer on tap (usually there are three taps running.) The beer of the evening was Molson's Canadian and it's really not a bad beer. I find it has a cleaner, less watered down taste than the sold out PBR.
There's no food.

Sandy, the bartender let us be when we wanted to be but was open to talk the night away about import craft beers and their regulars. Conclusions, included Germany has ridiculous amount of craft beer and most French and Italian expensive beer tastes like water.
The TVs played a diverse collection of entertainment that evening. Starting with Harry Potter 1, followed by Saw 1 and eventually leaving us at different performances from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The conversations at the bar followed along, with highlights like that the 1st Dumbledore was better, movie sequels that don't suck and who's the guy singing with the beard (the latter came up more than once.)

Other than Sandy, the bar had only guys. This was partially because it was guys night, my Canadians were buy 2 get one free. This was the type of group that talked to anyone that was talking to them but were fine not talking to anyone.

The Corner Pub is primarily regulars that come to do their thing and know how not to cause drama with each other. However, I was new to the bar and didn't have any trouble fitting in. They seem to always be having a food drive for one reason or another. Currently, they are collecting food and toiletries for a mother, whose children include two autistic boys, whose house burnt down in Lakewood. There are a number of old men that come to the bar and tend to donate their extra food back and forth depending who's running low since their last payment.
There always seems to be something going on at the Corner Pub as well. Mondays are Lady's Night with the buy 2 get 1. Tuesdays are poker night. Wednesdays are the previously mentioned guy's night. Thursdays bring in the top talents out of Bird Town for a jam night, the guy sitting next to me says he is amazing.  Currently, if you buy a beer you have a weekly chance to win a beer.

I liked the Corner Pub it reminds me of bars from Tarentum, PA (where I'm from.) I may be biased in saying that I thought it had a very comfortable atmosphere. That being said, this might not be the best bar for everybody. The Corner Pub sits unpretentiously at the entrance to Bird Town welcome the locals and anyone else that wants to be there. They try to keep their patrons happy with special nights, beers and a Wii on a big TV. Have you been looking for a bar to call your own, try on Bar #33, The Corner Pub and see if it fits.

12301 Madison Ave

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bar #32: The Patio

After thirty-two bars I have seen a lot of different types of bars. They come in different sizes with different types of options, like food, craft beers, and games. I think I've wrote that before. The question is, are the bars still unique or are they just a repetitive handful of different options? The Patio is bar #32 and is prepared to show that a good bar is more than what's for sale.

The Patio had perhaps a dozen patrons inside at 9:30 on a Wednesday night. Most of them were very drunk. I hear the Patio, like another ironically named bar, gets busy in the later evening. This is also, another spot that the bartenders and waitresses from other bars like to frequent. Katie, the general manager, was bartending and quickly recognized me from when we met on St. Patrick's Day. So, I would get my free round of drinks and great service but as I have been told repeatedly, the latter is her norm.

The bar itself has some tables, random cooler than normal bar signs, dead animals and Christmas lights. Many of the items in the bar were left after parties. The music varies widely depending on who has taken charge of the juke box. It's got your standard darts area and now has the Screaming Rooster's skee ball machine (still says the old bar name on its digital screen.) There is a bathroom on the first floor and one in the basement with padded ceilings for your convenience.
No food for you....Fine, you can order a pizza.

I drank my first Oberons of the season and they were good. This is probably one of my top 5 beers. To be a top 5, it has be a beer that I would always want to drink. I may like a Christmas or a Scottish Ale more but I wouldn't always want one of those. Everyone should find something they like on tap. Four months out of the year the Patio is the top seller of Fire Ball shots in Ohio, this includes beating out the bars of Ohio State.

Our whole group was offered a beer and shot by a random bar patron who hasn't heard of this blog before. This seems to be something that just happens at the Patio. Everyone buys each other drinks all night. Both times I've been to the Patio I've found the atmosphere very friendly. The people are always real open to talking and aren't shy about coming over to talk to you first. “A place where neighbors are automatically friends.” The bartenders tend to remember their patrons names and favorite drinks. Respect is big in this bar and fights are not permitted.
The Patio originally had an outdoor motif with a garden lattice on the ceiling and beach like surroundings. The wood furniture around the bar is actually made from fallen Lakewood trees. The Patio is controversially the oldest bar in Lakewood (a claim I will be researching later for a genealogy bar blog.) The bar in the patio is the original, it has simply been relacquered many times over the years.
The patio doesn't offer anything unique that can't be found at another bar. After meeting two different bartenders and different patrons of the Patio it turns out that doesn't matter. The Patio is the friendliest bar I've been to in Lakewood so far and it'll leave you feeling like you spent the night with a bunch of your friends even if you came alone. The Patio's main selling point is its people and really, isn't that the difference between drinking out and at home. I look forward to my next trip to bar #32, the Patio, and so should you. Even if it's your first time there.

 15615 Madison Ave