Ontario Street Cafe, One of the Last Remaining Dive Bars Downtown, Has Closed

by

11 comments
TRATTNER
  • Trattner
When Alan Glazen took over the Ontario Street Café seven years ago, there were fears that he would destroy the timeless charm of the downtown dive. That didn’t happen. Instead, it was Jack Casino that would ultimately destroy one of Cleveland’s most cherished watering holes. As of yesterday, the Ontario Street Café is closed.

“We’re done,” says partner Randy Kelly. “The Jack Casino is our landlord – and they’ve been great – but long story short, we agreed to terminate our lease.”



Located across the street from the Jack Casino, Ontario Street Café is a nearly 50-year-old lounge with an interior and ambiance from another era. Dimly lit, with mahogany bar, professional staffers and rock-bottom prices, the bar was an endangered species in an otherwise homogeneous landscape.

The one-of-a-kind bar is likely a casualty of Bedrock's plans to turn over every tenant on the street while building a second pedestrian bridge so gamblers can walk from a garage directly into the casino in relative comfort.



Bravo, Cleveland. Bravo.

Additional statement from owner Alan Glazen: "We thank our loyal customers that we have been able to serve over the years. As our lease has come to an end, the decision has been made to evaluate the options for the future of the May Company Garage, including the retail space in which it includes, as it undergoes significant improvements and therefore we will be looking for a new location. We look forward to serving you in the future as the next iteration of The Ontario and thank you for your continued support.”

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.