After spending a lifetime pedaling their way from point A to point B, friends Alex Nosse and Renato Pereira made the logical step to point C––their own bicycle shop. They have been recognized in Cleveland Magazine and Scene Magazine as one of the best shops in the city due to their earnest passion for cycling and commitment to making bike riding as accessible as possible with a broad, affordable fleet of frames from brands such as Linus and Redline. To help keep rides rolling smoothly, they thoroughly tune up bikes and advise prospective bike buyers on which styles are suited for rocky roads and which ones just like to snuggle.
Glass Bubble Project's owners Mike Kaplan and Chris McGillicutty are business partners, friends, and working artists. Beginning in 1998, they repurposed their garage space into a working studio where professional artists and students create side by side, firing delicate one-of-a-kind masterpieces—and, according to Cleveland Magazine, the occasional grilled cheese sandwich—in the shop's 2,000-degree furnace. Their glass-blowing and welding classes teach adults and children to create one-of-a-kind artwork as nearby artists at work bolster creativity. Besides classes, the studio invites guests to watch their free public demonstrations and grants private studio time to artists in need and broken bottles looking for a fresh start.
The shop's resident artists craft and sell sconces, chandeliers, and vases from recycled glass and repurposed metal. Nicknamed “Clevetion Glass” to simultaneously lampoon delicate Venetian glass and celebrate Cleveland's heartiness, their blend of industrial parts and elegant glasswork toughens up the décor of private residences and commercial buildings, such as the Ritz Carlton, all across the country.
Horizontal Books abounds with deeply discounted literature spanning every popular genre and churns out about 200 new titles every day. The independent retailer stocks only new books—untainted by dog ears and teeth marks—sold at a unique discount rate: buy 1 book and get it at 50% off, buy 2 books and get them at 60% off, and buy 3 books and get them at 70% off the listed retail price. Popular thrillers, such as a special illustrated version of Angels & Demons by Dan Brown ($10.50), nourish avid readers, and The Velveteen Rabbit ($4.19) and scores of children's books introduce kids to fun alternatives to watching TV and throwing water balloons at unsuspecting strangers.
The Olive and The Grape's two locations celebrate the cuisine of the Mediterranean by packing shelves with vinegars and more than 30 olive and grape-seed oils from Spain, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, and many other countries. Other products include seasonings to flavor grill rubs, marinades, and salad dressings and more than 50 types of pasta. Staffers also load up carriers with an assortment of their highest-selling products, including aged pomegranate vinegar, grape-seed oil, and garlic-herb seasoning, along with suggested recipes and pet names for select items.
For more than 50 years, Czuchraj Meats has been providing carnivoracious customers with a plethora of fresh, handmade sausage meat and links. Encased-meat savants will survey the sausage fields with glee, picking the choicest of links from the cases of hot or mild italian sausage, hot or mild hungarian sausage, garlic kielbasa, country sausage, spicy chorizo, and fresh white bratwurst. Meat lovers who prefer their ground, spiced delicacies to be free of constraint may also use today's Groupon for bulk sausage.
Steep your brain with flavorful promises of a menu to plot out an early-morning caffeine infusion, mid-day lunch treat, or late night drive-by brainwiring. Phoenix's coffees are brewed fresh from their very own beans, so have a cup of old-school joe to return to the café's roots (up to $1.70), or punch your taste buds with the devil's brew (coffee with a shot of espresso, up to $2.50). Chug their namesake with a cup of Café Phoenix, a mocha made with their signature locally produced chocolate syrup and an extra shot of espresso ($3.60), or hammer your endocrine system with the indulgent excesses of their Stuporball—two kinds of custom-blended coffee, two different chocolate syrup infusions, and an extra shot of espresso (up to $4). Tea lovers get some love at Phoenix, too—premium oolong, white, and select black or green tea varieties are available iced or hot (up to $2.40), while the house-made artisan Chai latte arrives steamed and creamy (up to $3.20). You can also upgrade to larger drinks and pay the difference.