Noticing an opportunity to address a chronic civic problem and to drum up a feverish local trend, Cleveland chefs have begun filling the city's many potholes with delicious soups.
"This is a chance to bring the dining scene even closer to the neighborhoods," chef Steve Schimoler tells The Press. "These potholes will feature the same dynamic, local ingredients that Clevelanders expect in our restaurants." Schimoler is currently serving a carrot ginger soup out of a pothole on Bridge Avenue near West 28th.
A particularly nasty crater on Rocky River Drive was filled with a fine tomato bisque on Monday. Already, a small collective of artisanal bakers have opened pop-up shops next to the pothole. The lunch rush produces an astonishing 45-minute line. Selfies abound.
"Everyone's been talking about these soup holes on Instragram this week, so I had to check it out," Jessica Helph, 28, told The Press after an early lunch on Bolivar Road. "I think this one was made with Christmas Ale? It's incredible! This is why I love Cleveland."
The city's service department had no plans to fill in the potholes this winter, and director Joe Pell has stated privately that this culinary trend is a "genius distraction."
The Press has also learned that plans are in the works to build a few permanent potholes into Walnut Street, to accentuate the Walnut Wednesday offerings in the summer.