The Syracuse Fan Guide To Cleveland, Part II

The tips and suggestion for Syracuse fans heading to Cleveland for the NCAA Tournament continue to roll in. Between Part I and this you're going to have something to do every second of every day that you aren't watching Syracuse defeat Midwestern basketball teams.

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First up is Megan's suggestions:

I recently made the move from the ‘Cuse to "The Cleve," so you’re getting a native Orange opinion of this interesting city. There’s a lot to do, and both of our buildings are pretty nice to look at. Tower City has waterfalls inside it, and the Arcade is one of America’s first indoor shopping malls, though, aside from a post office that closes early, The Chocolate Bar and the Hyatt, there’s not much in it.

Do's: Get there early. There are a lot of parking garages, but they will charge you an event rate which is usually $3-5 more than the usual rate. If you can get into a garage well before the first session, it’ll save you some money. I’d recommend at least 3 hours before the first session, if you can, don’t worry, there’s plenty to do downtown before the games. There’s also some $2 or $3 parking but it’s a hike.

For a full list of parking places check this out. It’ll also give you the usual pricing for special event parking.

Another option for parking is to find a hotel with a garage that will validate. The Holiday Inn Express on Euclid validates parking in the 515 Euclid Ave garage. It’s $15 during your stay at the hotel and allows you to go in and out of the garage with your car while you’re there. The garage is located on the corner of East 6th and Euclid, bring your pink entrance ticket to the hotel and they’ll stamp it for you. The hotel itself is maybe 4 blocks to the Q, it’s an easy walk, and you’ll go right down East 4th St. and some great restaurants.

Don’t talk about Lebron (at least not positively): This is still a very sore spot to the people of Cleveland, so if you don’t want to get into bar brawls, don’t bring him up. Cavs fans may not be using all their season tickets but they are still passionate about their sports, and don’t forgive a grudge easily.

Do hit up Great Lakes Brewing Company’s brew pub: 2516 Market Avenue Since we’re right around St. Patty’s day, I recommend Conway’s Irish Ale, a malty beer with a toasty flavor; it’s their seasonal red and a personal favorite.

Flannery’s Pub is ok, it’s where I go to watch the games, because I can walk there and it’s right across Prospect from the Q, but it’s usually pretty crowded game nights. It’s standard pub fare and some strange toss-ins of American cuisine, but it’ll have your favorite brews on tap. City Tap on Prospect is a great option for a pint or two before the game as well. If you’re looking for a more authentic Irish pub experience this weekend, try the Harp (4408 Detroit Avenue Cleveland, Ohio ) in Lakewood (about a 10-15 minute drive from downtown…there’s also a pretty good public transportation system), Stone Mad (1306 West 65th Street, Cleveland, OH, 44102) or Nighttown, the best jazz club in Cleveland (with an Irish owner). They’re no Kitty Hoynes or Coleman’s on Tipp Hill, but they’ll be sure to have your favorite brews and spirits to keep you warm in Cleveland.

Don’t miss out on East 4th Street:

If you’re looking for a restaurant or bar right by the Q wander straight across two blocks to East 4th Street. You’ll find Flannery’s Pub, Zocalo’s tequilaria, House Of Blues Cleveland, Wonder Bar, La Strada, The East Street Bar & Grill and more. This are ok for game attire, but if you want something a little more upscale for Saturday make a reservation to visit Lola, Chinato or Greenhouse Tavern. East 4th also has valet parking, so if you couldn’t get a hotel downtown you can have the valets park your car for dinner and the game. Plus if you’re looking for coffee Saturday or Sunday, Erie Island coffee is a nice local shop, also right on 4th.

Do go to the West Side Market on Saturday, they’re open until six, and you won’t regret it. Fresh fruits, vegetables and prepared foods; you’ll almost feel like you’re at Wegmans…almost.

While there’s a lot to do in Cleveland, like The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Theater in Playhouse Square, Concerts at House of Blues and The Grog Shop and some great restaurants (Melt in Lakewood, but you probably won’t get in on a weekend, it gets pretty busy), let’s face it, you’re here for the game. Sticking around downtown isn’t a bad idea, and there’s a lot to keep you busy, but if you really want to check out the areas to the east or west, it’s not that hard to get around, though I’m sure native Clevelanders will tell you otherwise. You walk to a lot in Cleveland too, or there’s a bus system and cabs for farther jaunts if you don’t want to give up your parking spot.

Next up is T.J...

Frank got things off to a great start, let me try to add and expand on what he talked about...
 
Eats:
-Warehouse District: Another great place in that neighborhood is the Cleveland Chop House and Brewery. In my opinion, the best steak in Cleveland (Never been to Red, so I can't compare), plus some great handcrafted brews.
-Sokolowski's: In the Tremont neighborhood (about 5-10 minute drive from downtown) sits Sokolowski's, one of the more unique food spots in Cleveland. It's a cafeteria-style old-world European eatery. Polish and Eastern European foods are the specialty, and they are really good. The pierogies are the best in Cleveland, and the Chicken Paprikash they serve on Saturday nights is out of this world.
-Melt Bar and Grilled: This is the place that is the new "hip" eating spot in Cleveland. Specialty grilled cheese sandwiches are what you come for (The "Parmageddon" is my favorite, stuffed with pierogi and sauerkrat)  2 hour waits for a table are not uncommon here. There are now 2 Melts, the original in Lakewood and the new one in Cleveland Heights.
 
Pre/Post-Game 
-Frank is right. Winking Lizard is a fantastic choice, and easily the best sports bar in Cleveland (Try the Bo-Man's Sandwiches, they are served on garlic bread).
-In case the Lizard is full (which it probably will be), other good game-watching/eating/drinking spots near the Q include Cleats for great wings and Panini's for excellent overstuffed sandwiches.
 
What to Do:
-Rock Hall, Science Center, Playhouse Square, and Art Museum are all fine choices. Let me add...
-The Free Stamp. Right next to City Hall. Seriously, it's not even worth describing, just go and see it 
-If you have a car, Canton is just a quick hours drive down I-77 and home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They do a really nice job of keeping that museum up to date and interesting.

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Finally, Bryan chimes in with his recommendations...

Going to the Game?

Games will be played at Quicken Loans Arena (The "Q"), home of the Cavaliers. At the last Cavaliers game I went to, around the end of January, I came across Ithaca beer on tap. Coincidence? I think not. Look for it at the "B-Spot Burgers" concession area in the main concourse near the Cavaliers Team Shop. Great gourmet burgers there too.

Sports Bars and Restaurants.

Within walking distance of The "Q".

Flannery’s Pub 323 Prospect Avenue East, Cleveland, OH 44115

Winking Lizard - If you like a diverse beer selection, this is the place for you. 811 Huron Road East, Cleveland, OH 44115

Harry Buffalo - 2120 East 4th Street, Cleveland, OH 44115

Panini’s Bar and Grill - Famous for their Overstuffed Sandwiches. 840 Huron Road East, Cleveland, OH 44115

The Clevelander - 834 Huron Road East, Cleveland, OH 44115 

Sit Down Restaurants (Great food and drink but sparse on televisions)

Great Lakes Brewing Company - West side of Cleveland. Best. Microbrew. Ever. 2516 Market Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113 

Cleveland Chophouse Steakhouse - 824 West Saint Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113

Fat Fish Blue - Creole/Cajun. 21 Prospect Avenue East, Cleveland, OH 44115

Mallorca - Spanish fare. Seafood, lamb, beef. Formal dining. 1390 West 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113

Lola Bistro - Celeb Chef Michael Symon’s Place. Formal dining. 2058 East 4th Street, Cleveland, OH 44115

Blue Point Grille Seafood - Formal Dining. 700 W Street Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113

Melt Bar and Grilled - West side of Cleveland. 14718 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107

Etna – Little Italy East side of Cleveland. 11919 Mayfield Road, Cleveland, OH 44106

Parking

Plenty of surface lots and garages around the arena. Expect to pay $15-$30 depending on how close you are to The "Q".

Places to Stay Downtown (I’ve heard these places are filling up fast)

Hyatt Regency Cleveland

Residence Inn Cleveland Downtown

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel

Holiday Inn Express – Cleveland/Downtown

Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center

Crowne Plaza – Cleveland/City Centre

Embassy Suites – Cleveland/Downtown

Ritz Carlton

DoubleTree by Hilton

Other Things To Do ( You know. to kill time between games)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 

Great Lakes Science Center

Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Cleveland Botanical Gardens

Tower City – Shopping

Galleria at Erieview – Shopping

Cleveland West Side Market

PlayhouseSquare

Additional Resources

Positively Cleveland Cleveland Convention and Visitors Bureau

Remember

Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day and Cleveland does it up. The parade will start at 1:00 from E.18th and Superior and finish at Public Square. If you’re trying to drive around downtown keep the route in mind. Bars and restaurants will be packed but the atmosphere second to none. Approximate parade route.

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