Inside The Wild Goose, which won the people’s choice award from the Taste of Willoughby, a stone oven bakes pizzas laden with eclectic ingredients, including elbow noodles, celery, and potatoes. Chefs top the Galway Bay pie with alfredo sauce, rock shrimp, crabmeat, cheese, and a sprinkle of parsley, and they slather the That’s A Buff Chick pizza with chicken, cheese, celery, crumbled blue cheese, and a drizzle of buffalo sauce. When not customizing crusts, they ladle up bowls of irish potato soup and fill hoagies with saucy meatballs as pro football games and amateur potato-peeling competitions play on televisions propped behind a granite-topped bar.
Any Irish pub worth its weight in Guinness can make a mean corned beef. It takes a special kind of visionary, however, to stack that corned beef on top of a towering American hamburger. Like most of its regular patrons, Croagh Patrick's Pub has a thick streak of green in its lineage. Willoughby's premier neighborhood hangout finds common ground between its Irish ancestry and its American present, creating such crossover dishes as Celtic egg rolls and the aforementioned Irish-American burger.
Cleats possesses the official chicken wing of the Cleveland Indians, which is dipped in an extra-hot bronze sauce and guarded by multi-headed beasts. Despite the selection of more than 50 domestic and imported beers and more than enough sports fans to match each one, the establishment is family friendly and happy to serve patrons with progeny in tow. Cleats' menu is a cornucopia of casual American fare, with starters such as spinach artichoke dip ($6.99) and beer-batter-fried pickles ($4.99) at hand to combat raging appetites. Keep it light with a Greek salad ($9.99 large, $7.99 small), or tuck in for the night with a Texas hold 'em burger ($8.99), a beef slab fitted with a cowboy hat of bacon, cheddar, onion rings, and house-made barbecue sauce. If you prefer to keep your meat bites separate from your carb bites, choose from 22 signature wing sauces and order up a combo plate of eight wings and six soft pretzel sticks ($9.99).
Sending kids outside to play can result in costly hospital visits and feelings of alienation from a once beloved magnolia tree. Unlike their cold, hard cousins, inflatable playgrounds offer the joy of climbing without the worries of falling or landing in a swarm of fire ants. For children under the age of 11, Funtime has multiple play areas in which to slide, roll, and moonwalk bounce away. Attractions include crayon-cornered bouncers, rainbowtastic obstacle courses, ball pits, and a variety of plastic tubing perfect for aspiring spelunkers. And as the signage indicates, the play area is one of the few places outside of Japanese teahouses and nail salons where customers with no shoes won’t be refused service.
The first Cleats Club Seat Grille was founded in 1996 in North Royalton—but since then, the colorful sports pub has expanded to seven franchise locations around Northeast Ohio. Perhaps this spread was due in part to their signature chicken wings, which are served traditional or boneless and drenched in one of 18 zesty sauces. Diners can even forego the typical chicken wing altogether for Cleats' Water Wings, which use crispy fantail shrimp. An expansive sports-themed menu also highlights rich pub grub such as half-pound burgers, melts, mac 'n' cheese bowls, and slow-cooked ribs.
Billy's – A Cappelli Martini Bar specializes in its title cocktail, but with a food menu extensive enough to include both caprese salad and sushi, it's clear that the chefs work as hard as the mixologists. A host of special events, too, keep patrons returning: Man Cave nights feature indulging in cigars and whiskey on the patio, while dance parties get toes tapping inside. In the dining room, cerulean blue light glows beneath a glossy black bar, reflecting off white brick walls for a crisp, cool look.