Friday, May 23, 2014

Bar #57 Waterbury Coach House

Welcome to the #1 ranked blog in Cleveland. Thank you readers for all your help. I'll try to keep up serving you and the bars of Lakewood the best I can. This blog actually begins after I picked up my award in Ohio City. We were tempted to head over to one of the hip Cleveland bars; but then decided that; when you can pick from any bar in Lakewood, why go anywhere else. That and I needed a blog for this week. There was only one choice I could make and steak was on special at bar #57, The Waterbury Coach House.
When entering the bar from the parking lot you are greeted with a foreboding dark steel door. I believe this is simply because it lowers your expectations briefly to the classy bar inside and probably to keep out the face stabbers after closing. The Waterbury Coach House gives you a mixture of vintage posters, classy surroundings, a diner feel with a splash of Italian. We were the only people in the bar below 45 years old. Jeopardy and the Indians game were on the TVs.

There are no beer taps. They have a standard selection of domestics, plus Great Lakes Brewing Company's Dortmunder. I went with the latter because you really can't go wrong with that direction. To describe what a standard beer should taste like is to describe Dortmunder. For those of you that prefer a dark beer, or a hoppy beer, or even a fruity beer that's all well and good, but that still requires an addition to the ideal beer. Even if it's not the beer you're in the mood for you won't complain about it. It's a good beer to compare the rest to, too.
They appear to have a larger selection of wine but no beer/wine list was provided.
You're going to spend more than 10 bucks a plate but you get multiple sides and it feels like a meal at a restaurant not simply getting bar food. The salad was fine. The buns were warm. The steak fries were fine. The ribeye was thin and a bit fatty. It was also large, cooked to perfection (real medium rare), and required no steak sauce to cause me to inhale it.
Our bartender was polite and took care of all of our needs. She was professional and had a good repertoire with the everyone that came in.
I had a conversation with an elderly man about the Pittsburgh, Pirates. He has always been an Indians fan, but added the Pirates onto his favorite list back in '54 when one of his favorite players were traded to them. It obviously takes more than a player moving to make you a fan of a new team *coughHeatcough*. It took the trade to get his notice but it was a similarity that has kept him paying attention over the years. Both Cleveland and Pittsburgh are smaller city markets but carry major teams. Where other teams rely on our largest cities or just claim geographic regions, these teams represent a different kind of a fan and relationship. These small cities that have put together great teams that stand (more or less) against the titan cities with vast financial and populations. It's more than a simple Napoleon complex, the teams become a part of their cities identities.

Here's the key, the cities aren't great because of these teams, these teams are great because of the cities. Cities like Cleveland and Pittsburgh don't see themselves as small cities that are lucky to have big teams. When we refer to our teams as we, we aren't saying we're on their team, we're saying they're on ours. We are great and our team must reflect that. We thrive because we believe we can. We make our city an extension of ourselves. We share our city's every win and every defeat as our own.
Cleveland/Lakewood aren't simply our cities, they're our neighborhood. Our professional sports teams are in turn our neighborhood's teams. I think this is what makes us friendlier, is that we carry that neighborliness with us and it doesn’t get wiped out in the feeling of the big anonymous city. Every bar in Lakewood are a reflection of our neighborhood city ideals. They are all unique, personal and, mostly, strive to make themselves worthwhile. We in turn want them to succeed; if our city is full of these great businesses it in turn reflects our own potential greatness. Like our teams, we share their wins with them.
The Waterbury Coach House has good service and a loyal clientele. Their food has a better than average diner quality to it. They have an average beer and wine list with no taps. The average age of their customers is around 55. I enjoyed my time at bar #57, The Waterbury Coach House, where they'll treat ya nice and make you a darn good steak!

13333 Madison Ave

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Every Bar in Lakewood says vote NO on ISSUE 7 Sin Tax May 6 2014


We are currently being bombarded by advertisements about one of the issues up for vote this coming week. It's endorsed by a small army of political leaders and local athletes. Its selling points are that it's not a tax increase but a renewal, and that if it's not passed we won't be able to keep up on our responsibilities. The question that should be raised is why is this effort being put into a tax renewal that theoretically is no big deal. Also, why is Issue 7 up during the primary elections now, which normally has a lower turnout, when the current tax doesn't run out till the middle of 2015? The answer is so that we don't question it or have time to even talk about it.

What is the purpose of this tax? It was created to build a downtown home for the Cavaliers. When the tax was renewed, the purpose was building a new home for the new Browns. This time, there are no new stadiums or arenas needed, but it seems they have fallen into such disrepair that we require a stadium's worth of money just to fix them. What the actual repairs are remains vague. Our money will, however, go into putting up a new electronic billboard at the Brown's stadium to allow the team, not the city, to raise more money through advertising.

Where should the money for these renovations come from if not from the general public? By raising the price of stadium event tickets around $3, the cost of repairing and adding quality marketing improvements would be taken care of. Instead, those behind Keep Cleveland Strong say that our small businesses should pick up the bill. All the bars in Lakewood must absorb these costs while they already have to survive under tight margins in a competitive environment.  They tell us that this is building our service economy while relying on its back to hold it up.  Is it really keeping our city strong to put its financial troubles on the backs of its small businesses instead of on its large multimillion dollar sports businesses.

They say that its our responsibility to take care of these teams. Teams that make millions in profits without the requirement of paying taxes back. They say that this is our responsibility as the landlords of these facilities. The Indians haven't paid rent since 2008 and the Browns only pay 1% of what the 49ers pay. They say this isn't a tax increase but the previous two sin taxes were for building stadiums. This tax is the same amount but for a different purpose. This isn't even the only money we are spending on our teams'.playing fields. We are also paying extra taxes on parking, event admissions (even small locals like the Winchester and Mahall's), and car rentals to pay for our stadium debts (we still owe $162 million). Since the original sin tax we, the tax payers, have spent $947 million to house “our” teams.

Instead of forcing an issue down our throats, shouldn't we be having discussions on how to best deal with our city's sport team debts. Shouldn't our teams be showing that they are willing to earn their place. How does taking the money out of small businesses' pockets to take care of millionaires, already being given big financial breaks, help keep our city strong? The stadium and arena's revenues should be priced appropriately to pay for its costs. It's time our sports teams pay their bills, so that we can too.