We all know that Cleveland’s Ohio City, Tremont, and Lakewood neighborhoods get a lot of love, but there’s one, often overlooked, district that’s giving these beloved communities a run for their money: The Van Aken District.
With a rich history dating back to 1911, the area has seen its fair share of ups and downs. But thanks to a push to transform the neighborhood into a destination known for gathering, eating, and sweating, it’s nothing but up from here.
A Downtown Destination
Dubbed “The District”, the project’s $90 million first phase of construction is nearing completion and Shaker Heights’ reimagined downtown is finally starting to take shape. A handful of shops, restaurants, and studios have already staked their claim, opening up locations in the up-and-coming hot spot — giving the city’s residents a chance to support the local economy and area entrepreneurs.
One of the first tenants to announce their arrival at the long-awaited project was the Cleveland Flea. They made the East Side their second home by premiering with the East Side Flea this past September.
Following the ever-popular market will be the centerpiece of The District — a 21,000-square-foot food hall that will host pop-up vendors and local food stands. Until the food hall opens, though, hungry shoppers can grab some munchies from the likes of healthy Middle Eastern restaurant Brassica, artisan bread maker and cafe On the Rise Bakery—which are both set to open this winter—and Jonathon Sawyer’s anticipated restaurant this spring.
Not only that, East Siders will soon be able to grab groceries from Lakewood’s favorite all-natural market, Nature’s Oasis, or a cup of joe at Rising Star Coffee. Restore Cold Press is also setting up shop, which is the perfect cool-down refreshment after getting a kickass workout from GrooveRyde (coming in December).
We think it goes without saying — the Van Aken District is your new one-stop-shop for shopping, dining, working out, and even living (yes, the hub will also feature luxury apartments).
And while opening day is still in the works for many of VAD’s restaurants and stores, there are plenty that are already selling local wares and serving up delicious, good-for-you eats. This is just the beginning, though, so keep your eyes peeled for newcomers and announcements, you won’t want to miss out on what’s to come.