Without the little ones for one night only (since my step-daughter’s mother STILL hasn’t been able to pull her head out of her ass, her visitation schedule is often up in the air) we had to pounce on the opportunity to get out for a few hours. The plan was to get brewing supplies and check out a bookstore/wine bar in Tremont.
That was the first mistake.
The bookstore, Visible Voice, was a great find for us. It’s a great, small bookstore. As if they boiled off all the excess of a big-box bookstore and were left with just the condensed goodness of EVERYTHING we absolutely love. With new, used and old books we could have easily walked out 20 volumes deep. We couldn’t even look at the entire store (and it’s definitely not a big store) because we were on mental overload. Originally, the plan was just to stop there, browse some books and have some wine and beer. They offer about 5 varieties of reds, whites and craft beers – a fairly decent selection. It really just didn’t feel like the place to sit down and have a drink, though. There are tables and a little loveseat in a couple of areas of the store but just not in places that feel really comfortable for enjoying a glass of something together.
This meant we were about to look for another place to have a drink in Tremont. This part of the story almost always ends bad for us.
For us, Tremont just sucks. We started driving around and immediately notice that everything is already packed – and it’s only 6:30PM. Nothing seems like a good idea and we start getting really frustrated and really anxious. Bryan hit it on the head last night while we were trying to figure out why we NEVER feel good about going anywhere. While we get along with a all kinds of people, we can’t find a place where we are comfortable around the people. We’re not socially inept – people like us. We just don’t like to spend our time with most people.
So we kept going. We didn’t really have enough time to go out to Bottlehouse Brewery, a place we know is comfortable for us. We headed towards the Gordan Square neighborhood at W 65th and Detroit to take our chances. About ready to throw in the towel, the first place we saw had a Left Hand, Founders and Victory sign visible through the front windows. It didn’t look full. That’s it – find some parking. I’m tired of trying to figure this out.
Turns out it was the right choice. XYZ the Tavern is related to ABC the Tavern, over in the Market district on W 25th. We hadn’t been to either one before and I’m really not sure why. We were immediately presented with a great craft beer list, a whiskey and bourbon list and a nice, manageable menu. It was super comfortable atmosphere and there were a number of tables or seats at the bar still available at 7PM on a Saturday night (by 8PM it was full, not unbearably so but no seats left). While I was trying to figure out what to drink I saw one word that completely changed the evening.
Yes, XYZ is the first place in Cleveland where we have been able to find the newly distributed beers from one of our favorites, Revolution Brewery in Chicago. Score! Eugene Porter for me, please!!
Check it out – look for Harris. He’s one of the best bartenders we’ve come across since Zoe in Fort Wayne, IN. Great service, great drinks, great food. Our search for a place on the west side where we can just sit and have a couple of drinks is finally over. This will make these nights so much easier from here out.