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.”
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