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The historic Tremont neighborhood features art, culture and more

March 26th, 2009

With historical churches, Victorian homes, dozens of art galleries, trendy restaurants and swanky bars, Tremont has become a Cleveland hotspot.

The neighborhood’s rich history led the way for the cultivation of Cleveland’s very own art nook. The area is known for its many galleries, featuring a diverse collection of art from both local and national artists.

Located at 761 Starkweather Ave., Lilly’s Handmade Chocolates has creative, delicious confections and an extensive collection of wine.

Located at 761 Starkweather Ave., Lilly’s Handmade Chocolates has creative, delicious confections and an extensive collection of wine.

Many of the galleries, like Asterisk* and The Doubting Thomas Gallery, feature local artists with different themes throughout the year.

The galleries offer everything from paintings and drawings to sculptures made of outlandish products to unique art, like glass-blown dishes and jewelry or art made from bricks collected from the shores of Lake Erie.

Walking into The Paul Duda Gallery, you’ll find paintings and prints of popular parts of the Cleveland area, such as the downtown skyline or a well-known West Side bridge. Galleries such as Piccadilly’s have a more traditional selection of high-priced art.

Whether you’re a seasoned art lover or a novice, Tremont has something for everyone to enjoy. While each art gallery has its own weekly hours of operation, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the second Friday of every month many of the galleries and other area attractions open their doors to visitors for the Tremont Art Walk.

This event began in 1993 with only seven participating businesses. Since then, according to tremontartwalk.org, more than 100 Tremont attractions have participated and together have shown the work of more than 1,000 artists. Each month, upwards of 20 locations participate in the Art Walk.

Stylish venues such as the 806 Wine and Martini Bar and The Tree House also participate in the Art Walks. The owner of 806, Lisa Gottshalt, is proud to be a part of the area. Referring to the artwork adorning the walls of her establishment, Gottshalt said, “We try to feature a couple different artists from the area.”

Other businesses in the area also feature local artwork, including La Bodega. The small but successful soup, salad and sandwich shop has been offering affordable yet delicious meals for over six years now. Dale Prunchak, a La Bodega employee of two years, said, “We’re different – a lot of our sandwiches are unique. We have stuff other places don’t have, like the peanut butter, banana and honey sub.”

The area’s rich culture and unique night life has paved the way for more upscale, trendy restaurants to move in as well. Quality restaurants, such as Fahrenheit, Lago and Parallax are just a few of the eateries that call Tremont home.
Michael Symon, winner of the 2007 Food Network reality show “The Next Iron Chef,” chose Tremont as the location for his chic upscale restaurant Lolita.

With a creative Mediterranean menu, featuring dishes like the spaghetti with puttanesca sauce, shrimp, capers and anchovies, and a casual yet distinctive atmosphere, Lolita offers a unique dining experience.

In addition to the galleries, bars and restaurants, Tremont also offers unique shopping venues. Visible Voice Books, the area’s only bookstore, features not only a wide selection of books, but also a wine bar, giving patrons the option to relax with a glass of Zinfandel or Merlot while perusing their more than 10,000 titles.

If you’re looking to purchase something less educational, but still fun, The Banyan Tree has everything from handmade jewelry and earthy clothing to novel kitchen items.

The Tremont Art Walk is held whether the sun is shining or there’s snow on the ground, with the next one taking place on Friday, April 10. For more information or to find out which venues will be participating in future Art Walks, visit tremontartwalk.org.