Funky little coffeehouses tend to draw technophiles as easily as the Louvre attracts art lovers. So it was only a matter of time before a place like Talkies Film & Coffee Bar (2521 Market Avenue; 216-696-FILM) took the next step and added free wireless Internet access to its already formidable array of enticements. Besides the pastries, pizzas, soups, sandwiches, ice cream sundaes, specialty coffee drinks, and free movie screenings, this unique, theatrically themed café lets laptop users surf the 'Net via an 802.11b LAN, using a LINKSYS EtherFast Wireless Access Point. (To connect, users must be 18 or older and will need a laptop equipped with a LAN interface card.) In return, Talkies owner Christine Keller asks only that users drink lots of coffee, consume dozens of pastries, and tip generously. Technical info, FAQs, and usage rules are posted online at www.talkiescoffee.com, along with Keller's new winter menu and a movie events calendar.
Amazing but true . . . Six months after his arrival at the Fulton Bar and Grill (1835 Fulton Road in Ohio City; 216-694-2122), Brian Doyle is once again looking for work. The talented young chef, whose résumé includes positions at Lure and J Café, is the second kitchen hotshot (following Steve Parris) to be ditched by Fulton owners Bob and John McDonnell this year. It may run contrary to most restaurateurs' dreams, but the brothers insist that all they've ever wanted is a hip bar and eatery, not a trendy, chef-driven dining room.
Something fishy in Woodmere . . . The upscale Eton Collection on Chagrin Boulevard will be getting a new tenant next November, when Columbus-based Cameron Mitchell Restaurants opens a Mitchell's Fish Market there. The fresh-fish-and-seafood concept is the newest from the spectacularly successful, CIA-trained restaurateur, who currently operates 18 restaurants, encompassing nine different concepts, as well as a bread company and catering operation in Columbus, Pittsburgh, Greater Cincinnati, Louisville, and Lansing; and it will be Mitchell's first toe-hold in the Cleveland market. (Earlier plans to open a Mitchell's Steakhouse on Playhouse Square were dumped after 9-11 threw the industry into a funk.) The Woodmere fish market is one of three being opened in 2003 and will feature more than 80 items, flown in daily from all coasts and freshly fileted at the start of each lunch and dinner shift. According to the corporate wonks, the average dinner entrée price will be $15.95; the average dinner check will amount to $30 per person; and the average lunch check will be around $15, so start saving your pennies now.