Updated: 2 min 16 sec ago
The journey that led Adrian and Cosmin Bota to open an organic, self-serve frozen yogurt shop on Coventry was a long, winding one that included illegally trekking across the Romanian border with their family to escape their tumultuous homeland. The Bota brothers, who recall traveling miles at a time at night with their parents and three siblings, were just kids then. Eventually, the family made its way to the U.S. and was granted asylum. The family moved to Parma, where the boys grew up. After stints living in New York and Florida, Adrian (who works for Cleveland Clinic Innovations) and Cosmin (a real estate entrepreneur) decided to pursue their dream of opening a small business. After studying the market, they landed on an organic, self-serve "fro-yo" concept and targeted the Coventry neighborhood. Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt, located at 1767 Coventry Road, is the result. The shop, which sells yogurt and assorted toppings for $0.57 per ounce (yielding a healthy portion for a few bucks), is well-lit with big storefront windows, colorful tables, high ceilings and furniture built of reclaimed wood and other materials. The fro-yo is touted as "full of healthy probiotics, vitamin D, calcium, protein and yummy goodness" while free of "high fructose corn syrup, hormones, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives." Toppings include fresh fruit sourced from the West Side Market. It's tasty stuff -- this writer can vouch for that. "We wanted to couple health-conscious, quality-conscious food with a walkable, urban location," says Adrian Bota. "Places like Menchie's tend to go in malls. We went away from the franchise model from the beginning. We wanted it to be local." Although the Botas have not yet been able to obtain local dairy, they're working on that. Meanwhile, many other products are sourced locally. Coventry denizens will hardly recognize the former Grog Shop space, which has been vacant for 10 years. Landlord Michael Montlack apparently has been waiting for just the right tenant. He seems to have found it. The design-savvy duo transformed the club's front door into a table, keeping the sticker-laden graffiti on its underside. The Botas are working with Cleveland Institute of Art students to program local artwork on the walls and hold regular openings. They envision the space as a community hub. Next up, they're dreaming of expanding to Ohio City. Source: Adrian and Cosmin Bota Writer: Lee Chilcote
Fresh Water photographer Bob Perkoski documents the entire Lottery League experience -- from draft night through debut performance. Through a complex process, some 200 musicians are assembled into 42 bands, which then write music, practice, and perform before a live audience. Enjoy the show!
Construction work has begun on a $1 million facelift to W. 6th Street, which will soon be transformed into a more attractive pedestrian-friendly environment that will include wider sidewalks, larger outdoor cafes, new public art and a branding campaign. Thomas Starinsky of the Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation says that the impetus for the project came when officials realized that most of the buildings in the area had been restored, and that neighborhood leaders now needed to focus their attention on improving the "space between buildings." "As the Global Center for Health Innovation, Convention Center and Ernst and Young Tower became a reality, we realized we needed to kick it up a notch," he says. "We pushed the City of Cleveland to make sure this project would be completed before the Global Center and the Convention Center open." The project, which should be completed July 18th, is being funded through federal transportation enhancement dollars combined with a 20 percent city match. New banners and flower baskets are being paid for by sponsorships and memberships. The downside is that businesses along W. 6th Street will sacrifice their patios this spring. "They're excited, but not about four months of construction," says Starinsky. "But we're taking it off like a band-aid and getting it done fast." Although W. 6th perhaps is best known for its (occasionally infamous) clubs, Starinsky says the district's identity is not only diverse -- he cites a range of excellent ethnic cuisine in a few compact blocks -- but also quickly evolving. "We have 3,000 residents and employees today, and we're adding 2,000 more employees with the Ernst and Young Tower," he says. "We recognize there will be a different type of person walking around here from the Convention Center and Global Center. We look at this as an opportunity to step up the Warehouse District." Starinsky cites Take 5 jazz club as an example of the kind of new business that he hopes will add to the Warehouse District's ever-blossoming entertainment and dining scene. "There needs to be more diversity of food and entertainment." The project also will include public art that tells the story of the Warehouse District. The 11-foot tall displays, which will be installed in the streetscape on W. 6th Street and eventually throughout the district, are designed by artist Corrie Slawson and authored by Warehouse District Director Tom Yablonsky. Source: Thomas Starinsky Writer: Lee Chilcote
In a The Atlantic piece titled “If Other Cities Are Demolishing Skywalks, Why Does Cleveland Want a New One?” Sarah Goodyear writes of Horseshoe Casino’s plan to erect a skywalk connecting the gaming center and the parking garage. This plan has the full support of the city and its administration but not from all of the urban dwellers. In it Goodyear quotes local writer and Fresh Water contributor Joe Baur, a 26-year-old who moved downtown and has started a group called OurCLE to fight the skywalks. "I’m not typically the activist type," says Baur. "I’m more a satirist. But this is like -- well, you may not like kids, but if you see a kid about to touch a hot stove, you’re going to stop them." Baur explains that in this analogy Cleveland is the kid and the skywalk is the stove. The proposed skywalk would not only alter sightlines in the area downtown but also hinder local businesses due to the anticipated reduced street traffic. Also mentioned in the piece is Cuyahoga County's plans to keep and refurbish another skywalk at its new administration building. Read the full argument here.
In an Associated Press story published on Vindy.com titled “Playhouse Square theater district in Cleveland to get $16M exterior upgrade,” editors write of the streetscape upgrade in the works for Cleveland’s famed PlayhouseSquare Theater District. “The nonprofit PlayhouseSquare Foundation plans to spend $16 million over the next year to upgrade the district with bright signs, gateway arches and digital displays,” the article states. The highlight of the proposal would be the installation of a 24-foot-tall glass and crystal chandelier over the district’s prime intersection. Other features would include gold-colored signage that span entrances to the district and architectural lighting that highlights details of the historic buildings. Enjoy the full story here.
A nonprofit seeking to create environmentally sound, high-performance building districts in Cleveland recently got a hand with its city-greening mission. The Cleveland 2030 District, a group that would like downtown edifices to consume less energy and water and produce less greenhouse gases, received a $175,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation, funding that will go in part to the salary of the organization's first executive director as well as additional staff support. The new executive director is Jon Reidy, who has been with the group of architects and engineers since 2011. The bulk of the grant will allow the group to intensify efforts put forth by the national Architecture 2030 project, which aims to reduce climate-changing emissions from the global building sector. "We're creating a demand downtown for energy efficient projects in the interest of business development," says Reidy, a 15-year veteran of the architecture industry. The Cleveland group is an offshoot of Mayor Frank Jackson’s Sustainability 2019 project, an effort to transform the city’s economy by "building a green city on a blue lake." Cleveland 2030 works with owners, managers and developers within the downtown district to expand the number of buildings participating in the project. Five property owners controlling approximately 3.5 million square feet of Cleveland's brick and mortar are signed up so far. Reidy hopes more area building owners share the project's vision of a future Cleveland where energy efficiency and a cleaner environment are the norm. "Sustainability can be the foundation for rebuilding our economy," he says. SOURCE: Jon Reidy WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
In the penthouse of the historic Palace Theatre, Charles Stack is hoping to foster a few new tech companies -- 10 to be exact -- in Cleveland’s newest business accelerator, FlashStarts. Stack started FlashStarts in October 2012 and will hold his inaugural startup class this summer. “Come in with a half-baked idea and we finish baking it, slap some cash for equity, and start it in three months,” he explains. Teams of two or more can apply to be one of the 10, but Stack is also looking for 10 interns and even potential entrepreneurs who don’t have an idea yet, but want to help build on somebody else’s idea. “Even if you don’t have teammates or an idea, you can apply and we’ll put you with a team and you will get equity with that team,” he says. “There are a lot of smart people out there who may not have a teammate.” Stack is against the “cookie-cutter approach” to starting new businesses. Instead, he helps each company with their unique needs. “As soon as you apply, if we like the concept we begin the process of launching the company,” he says. Stack immediately gives the teams individual challenges, like researching the patents or market size. “The key to making that business successful is getting the team familiar with us and us familiar with them,” Stack says. “It’s really not the same for every business. Different opportunities require different tools.” Stack is raising $1.1 million to invest in the companies. Teams will receive up to a $20,000 investment -- $11,000 plus $3,000 for each team member. FlashStarts in turn gets eight percent equity in the company. Teams can potentially receive up to $200,000 in follow-on funding upon completion of the program. Stack already has identified six potential candidate teams. He is accepting applications until May 10. Stack also is looking for mentors and advisors. FlashStarts has partnered with DecisionDesk to facilitate the application process and recently brought in Jennifer Neundorfer as managing partner. Source: Charles Stack Writer: Karin Connelly
In a The Editor's Room feature titled “The Times-Picayune Fiasco: Newhouses Give Cleveland a Better Deal Than New Orleans,” Errol Laborde explores in his commentary why the Cleveland Plain Dealer did not get sliced and diced nearly as badly as New Orleans’ Times-Picayune in their restructuring. Laborde details how both city's citizens were vocally passionate about saving their dailies, however Cleveland was somehow spared whereas New Orleans suffered massive cuts. “New Orleans may have gotten the shaft and Cleveland spared simply because our town came first. The protesters down here may not have saved their daily but they got a message across and that ultimately may have helped The Plain Dealer,” Laborde writes. Read the full passionate commentary here.
The Beachwood Junior Achievement Company program, which hosted the Green Dream Showcase for the past five years, will bring Entrovation to the Beachwood Community Center (25325 Fairmount Blvd.) on Friday, April 19 from noon to 7 p.m. Twenty high school seniors from Beachwood, Mayfield, Brush and Solon high schools spent the school year planning Entrovation -- a combination of entrepreneurship and innovation -- which will showcase 170 area companies including 10 student companies. “Some people think this is a little high school event, but it’s not,” says Greg Perry, Beachwood High School marketing and Junior Achievement teacher. “People will walk away saying, ‘I can’t believe students did this.’” Kevin Eisler, a Brush High School senior is one of the students who has been planning Entrovation. “Entrovation showcases how small business and big established businesses are being innovative in their own field,” explains Eisler. “It’s cool to see where all our hard work is going to. It’s almost like we’re entrepreneurs ourselves, working together to make this happen.” Esme Eppell, a Beachwood High School senior, says the whole experience has encouraged her own entrepreneurial spirit. “The guest speakers who have come in have been really inspirational,” she says. “They’re all normal people who had ideas for a business and became hugely successful.” Organizers are expecting more than 5,000 attendees at Entrovation. In addition to the exhibitors, six food trucks and the Game Craze truck will be on location. The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is sponsoring an Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year competition. Using smart phones attendees can vote for their favorite entrepreneurs. Prizes range from $3,000 for first place to $500 for third place. Many exhibitors will have merchandise for sale and a raffle offers a chance to win gift s and services from local companies. Leikin Motor Companies is offering the chance to win a convertible Mercedes-Benz for a weekend. The group has raised nearly $100,000 so far. Proceeds from the event will be used to build a model for an innovative classroom, based on their visits to places like LaunchHouse and Bizdom. They also plan to make a donation to PediaWorks, which develops and manufactures medical devices for children. Sources: Greg Perry, Kevin Eisler, Esme Eppell Writer: Karin Connelly
Since the Cleveland Metroparks was established in 1917, conservation, education and recreation have been the park system's three primary objectives. Those goals are promoted through the park's Outdoor Recreation program, which helps park consumers better connect with nature through dozens of fun and educational activities.
Downtown Cleveland's apartment occupancy rate currently is 96.2 percent, and there are waiting lists at many buildings. The leading downtown developer is K&D Group, a Willoughby-based company that has made downtown a centerpiece of its investments. K&D currently has 540 downtown apartment units either under construction or in the pipeline -- more than half of the 1,165 units underway in the area. Although the firm was not able to provide exact numbers regarding the scope of its investment, the total likely exceeds $100 million. K&D's latest project is the Residences at Hanna, a former office building the firm purchased from PlayhouseSquare and is converting into 102 apartments on eight floors. The one- and two-bedroom units have new kitchens with stainless steel appliances, granite counters and tile floors, a washer/dryer in every suite, and large windows with great views. Square footage ranges from 525 to 1,400, and monthly rents from $750 to $1,750. "I have leases in hand sight unseen -- 25-plus already," says Cheri Ashcraft, K&D Director of Corporate Outreach. "When a client calls me and says 'I need a one bedroom' -- I've answered three calls today alone -- I tell them 'If you can’t give me a reservation right now, I can’t guarantee it will be available this afternoon.'" The Residences at Hanna, located at E. 14th and Prospect, will welcome its first residents in July. The building has an attached garage and will have a second-floor fitness center. Service-oriented retail is being planned for the first floor storefronts. On a recent tour, Ashcraft showed off large windows, a spacious kitchen, walk-in closets and stackable washer-dryer. One corner two bedroom under construction has dramatic wrap-around windows that fill the suite with natural light. On the upper floors, Ashcraft says, you can see the Flats, downtown and Lake Erie. Parking is available for $80 per month in the open lot across the street, and for $115 in the attached covered garage. The building also has 11 suites reserved for short-term corporate housing, a unit type Ashcraft says is in demand right now. "Many of my clients are bringing back intern groups, trainees and transferees who are coming to the city. Cleveland is once again on an economic upswing. K&D wants to be able to respond to that." K&D is also working on two other projects: the conversion of the Embassy Suites at Reserve Square into 200-plus apartments and the renovation of the East Ohio Gas building into luxury apartments. Reserve Square is under construction and set to come online this summer; the East Ohio Gas building will be done in 2014. Source: Cheri Ashcraft Writer: Lee Chilcote
The 2014 Gay Games was a great "get" for the Cleveland-Akron area, as the region was selected over larger competing metropolises like Boston and Washington, D.C. The Cleveland Foundation has reinforced the notion of the games' importance with some hefty financial support. The foundation recently awarded the games a $250,000 grant, forming a partnership that makes the organization the games' top sponsor. The event is now named the 2014 Gay Games presented by the Cleveland Foundation, representing the first presenting sponsorship in the games’ 31-year history. "We saw the games as an important event coming to Cleveland," says foundation executive vice president Bob Eckardt. "This [grant] sends a message about the area as an inclusive community." As a result of the partnership, a new LGBT fund also is being established at the foundation. Launching at the end of the games next August, the fund will assist LGBT organizations and serve as a donation source for people interested in LGBT causes. The forthcoming sports and cultural festival, aimed at promoting respect and understanding of the gay community through athletics, is expected to draw about 30,000 people to the region, including 11,000 athletes. Foundation leaders maintain that the games' social impact on Northeast Ohio is just as important as its potential economic benefits. "Our hope is it will leave a legacy of a region more sensitive and welcoming to the LGBT community," Eckardt says. That relationship is already growing, says the foundation VP, as games' leaders are now cultivating relationships with local businesses intent on strengthening Greater Cleveland's support of LGBT society. "This is a great opportunity for the entire community to work together," says Eckardt. SOURCE: Bob Eckardt WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, a Relish listicle rattles off “America’s 10 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.” Cleveland’s Melt Bar and Grilled makes the list with multiple locations throughout the area. “Boring thin-sliced white bread and American [cheese] are things of the past,” says Melt Bar and Grilled owner Matt Fish of his forwarding-thinking sandwich philosophy. “The more attitude and adventurous you can make the grilled cheese the better.” Check out the full write-up here.
The third Saturday of every month might go swimmingly for folks fascinated with underwater life. The Greater Cleveland Aquarium's "Discovery Lecture Series" features aquatic experts and aquarium partners who will share their knowledge with guests. Programs are directed at visitors of all ages interested in the denizens of the briny (or freshwater) depths, says Kayla Ott, aquarium marketing and sponsorship manager. The programming has no theme beyond the aquatic, but the lecture series will offer something different every week, notes Ott. "People love these kinds of special events," she says. "They will walk away learning something new." The first opportunity for learning takes place April 20. Ellen Whitehouse, executive director of the Noah's Lost Ark Exotic Animal Sanctuary, will share her group's mission of caring for exotic animals. The aquarium had previously partnered with the organization to house 10 African spurred tortoises last winter. Future happenings include a presentation on "live rock" in the Florida Keys. In aquatic terms, live rock is rock from the ocean that has been introduced to a saltwater habitat and integrates itself into the closed marine system. The event will be built around the Cleveland aquarium opening its coastal and live rock exhibit later this spring. The rest of 2013 will be dedicated to similar educational programming, which aligns nicely with the aquarium's mission. "We often work with children and students, but the lecture series allows everyday people to expand their knowledge of the aquatic industry," Ott says. SOURCE: Kayla Ott WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
Researchers at CWRU have developed a material that can morph from stiff to soft, making its gradient properties potentially useful in medical implants. The research was conducted by professors Stuart Rowan, Justin Fox and Jeffrey Capadona of the macromolecular science and engineering, chemistry and biomedical engineering departments, and Paul Marasco of the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The inspiration for the new material came from studying the properties of squid beaks. “Squid beaks are a stiff material, but they have to attach to very soft tissue,” explains Rowan. “They don’t have any bones per se. Imagine a piece of steel attached to a piece of plastic and you started bending or putting stressors on it. Things would start to tear, and that’s obviously not very good for the squid.” Capadona, Marasco and Rowan came up with the idea after reading a research paper published in 2008 at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Rowan and his team looked at how the squid’s beak transitions from hard to soft material. “How the squid solves the problem is with a gradient design that goes from hard to soft when wet,” explains Rowan. “We created a material with a similar kind of structure. We tried to mimic the architecture and properties.” The nanocomposite material the researchers developed changes properties when wet -- going from a rigid material to a soft material. It potentially will prove useful in medical devices such as diabetic glucose sensors, prosthetic limbs and central vein ports. The researchers are now working with the Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs to develop uses for the material. The research was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemistry Society. Rowan and Capadona previously had studied the properties of the sea cucumber, developing a self-healing polymer that is useful in coating. Rowan enjoys taking his cues from natural phenomena. “As a materials person, I can learn a lot from seeing how nature has evolved to tackle the challenges that we see in our world, too,” Rowan says. “Nature makes a wonderful variety of very cool materials. The key is in understanding how nature does that.” Source: Stuart Rowan Writer: Karin Connelly
Charles Eisenstat thought he wanted to be a lawyer, but after living in Chicago and D.C. and experiencing their "advanced coffee culture," he realized his true passion lies in brewing the perfect cup of java. Now, after spending countless hours studying the finer points of law as well as watching baristas make coffee in some of the best coffee shops in the world, the would-be entrepreneur plans to open POUR Cleveland. This new coffee shop in the 5th Street Arcades will offer handcrafted beverages including pour-over-style coffee. "We won't feature any batch coffee, it will be strictly handbrew or pour-over, individually by the cup," explains Eisenstat, who started his quest by creating a coffee bar at home several years ago. He'd craft the perfect cup before heading off to work at a bank. "We'll be the first shop downtown to feature coffee that way. This is taking a culinary approach to it -- the way people do wine and beer." POUR was recently named a finalist in the 5th Street Arcades Retail Development Grant Competition, a collaboration between Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Charter One's Growing Communities Initiative and Cumberland Development, the lease-holder for the 5th Street Arcades. Eisenstat has launched a crowdfunding campaign; Charter One will match up to $1,000 of whatever he raises. In addition to brewing single-origin and estate coffees that would be hard to find in other Cleveland coffee shops, Eisenstat wants POUR to become a center for coffee culture. "We want people to geek out with us and get excited about coffee," he says in his Indiegogo campaign message. He promises "passionate baristas" and low countertops so customers can see how their coffee is being made. He also aims to create a place for coffee education, so classes and workshops will be offered. Unlike Rising Star in Ohio City, an artisan venue that has a devout following but remains largely a roaster with little seating space, POUR aims to be a comfortable space where office workers and residents can hang out. If all goes as planned, Eisenstat hopes to open POUR in a retail space with street frontage in July. He plans to buy his coffee from Counterculture in Durham, North Carolina, and the average cup will cost range from $2 to $3. He will launch the operation with little help, but plans to eventually hire six to 10 people. Source: Charles Eisenstat Writer: Lee Chilcote
When Jeremy Flack and his former business partner ran a steel company in 2004, a difference in style caused the business to close six years later, with the partners going their separate ways. When Flack founded Flack Steel in 2010, he knew he would do things his own way. “I had a lot of ideas, and I saw a lot of opportunities with the last business I was with,” says Flack. “In this business I’ve been able to free up ideas and capital to pursue our own model.” Flack Steel distributes various steel products across North America. The steel is used to build anything from shelving to rail cars. As an added service Flack, who has a financial background, provides market analysis and steel purchasing counsel to his customers, holding space on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. “Offering derivatives-based pricing strategies for customers allows us to more closely mirror how they buy their raw materials to how they go to market with their products,” explains Flack. “Most steel companies do not engage in this yet because they have a general lack of knowledge of the commodities futures industry and seem to be reluctant to educate themselves.” Furthermore, Flack Steel doesn’t own equipment, allowing the company to develop unbiased supply chains. Flack’s model works. The Warehouse District-based company has grown from one employee to 28, and sells 180,000 tons of steel a year to OEM customers. While many people in Northeast Ohio would argue that the steel industry is a thing of the past, Flack is quick to say that's not so. “As long as there is society, there is going to be a steel business,” he says. “There’s as much steel made in the United States today as there has ever been.” The difference is steel is made a lot faster with fewer people. That’s why Flack goes above and beyond in his company. “By dealing in futures and options for steel, we’re rather cutting-edge,” he says. “We’re kind of shaking it up, kind of maverick. We’ve got a new take on building a business.” Flack attributes his rapid growth to having the right relationships, hiring the right people and staying ahead of the curve. “We have consistent earnings and a flexible cost model, which has helped us to attract banking capital,” he explains. “We are progressive thinkers, use open architecture software, and encourage risk taking and innovation in our workforce. We are progressive in an industry that is rooted in tradition. Unless you do something differently you have a long road ahead.” Flack moved here 18 years ago and has no intention of going any place else. “This is a good place to be,” he says. “I’m a Cleveland native now. My business relationships are here, this is where I know people. This is the Silicon Valley of the steel industry.” Source: Jeremy Flack Writer: Karin Connelly
A group of Cleveland furniture makers who have earned national attention for their work plan to open a gallery in the 5th Street Arcades in downtown Cleveland in order to showcase their work. They believe a downtown gallery can be successful by co-locating with other like-minded retailers, serving the growing base of downtown residents and hosting shows to attract crowds. Thus far, 12 Cleveland furniture designers have signed up to take part. Soulcraft Gallery was recently named a finalist in the 5th Street Arcades Retail Development Grant Competition, a program that will award grant funding, favorable lease terms and discounted space to five startup retailers. The other finalists are Bliss Books (indie bookseller), Bright Green Gift Store (organic gifts and home wares), POUR (coffee shop) and Sushi 86 (restaurant). All of the finalists have launched crowdfunding campaigns on Indiegogo to leverage the funding they've been awarded by Charter One Growing Communities. Downtown Cleveland Alliance and Cumberland Development, which is the master lease-holder for the 5th Street Arcades, are also partners in the unique effort. "The furniture scene is really growing here," says Peter Debelack of Soulcraft Woodshop, a cooperative woodshop that is located in the Hildebrandt Building in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood. "Cleveland is a good fit for this in part because of how decimated it's been. We have so much amazing industrial space that Joe Schmoe can get for a really low cost. Then there's the wealth of reclaimed materials like industrial salvage. For pure designers, we're also in close proximity to the Amish, who are some of the finest furniture makers in the world." The 900-square-foot gallery will feature 40 feet of window space on the corridor. It will function as a gallery with regular hours, but will also host special events and openings. Debelack plans to run it along with designer Shelley Mendenhall. Other furniture makers include A Piece of Cleveland, 44 Steel and Rust Belt Welding. Debelack says the store will contribute to the revitalization of Cleveland and downtown while growing the furniture making scene here. He also wants to nourish the burgeoning maker movement, calling Soulcraft an "open source gallery" where talented amateurs will also be able to proffer their work. Although no date is set, Debelack expects Soulcraft Gallery to open this summer. Source: Peter Debelack Writer: Lee Chilcote
Meet Andi Kornak, the new General Curator at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. After two decades working at the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek Michigan, Kornak moved here to accept a new position. "I feel very settled here," says the recent transplant.
Memories of flashing lights, digitized explosions, rock music and quarters being ritually plunked into plastic coin slots have a happy place in the minds of many folks of a certain generation. Two Clevelanders want to bring those sights and sounds back to the city this summer in the form of a pop-up arcade. Coin-Op Cleveland is a Kickstarter project helmed by John Stanchina and Mike Scur. While arcade gaming collapsed in the 1990s with the ascension of home consoles, the duo believe putting an old-school retro arcade in a West Side neighborhood will attract people seeking to mash some buttons with a few nimble-fingered friends. Put simply, the pair wants to create a fun, unique place to hang out away from the "barcades" that have a few arcade cabinets alongside the plentiful booze. "The vibe is being a kid again," says Stanchina, an Ohio City resident. "It's about interacting in a different kind of space." The $35,000 Kickstarter campaign, which ends at midnight on May 13, will fund the arcade's installation and 30-day operation in Ohio City, Tremont or Gordon Square. A large part of the cost will go toward purchase and maintenance of the arcade machines themselves. The plan is to run the arcade for a month, but if it receives additional funding, a permanent installation is possible, says Scur of Parma Heights. The two friends envision a community space that becomes part of the downtown Cleveland nightlife scene, just with neon lights, popcorn and rows of game cabinets instead of a bar. "Arcades are all about the social element," says Scur. "They've always been a place to play games with people on the same wavelength." SOURCES: John Stanchina, Mike Scur WRITER: Douglas J. Guth