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Run 62: Jefferson - Part 2

 This was the second section run of the Jefferson neighborhood, which is one of four neighborhoods that make up West Park.

The boundary from this run was W. 117th (east) to W. 130th (west) and from Lorain Ave (north) to I-71 (south).

Distance This Section: 14.8 miles

Distance So Far: 432 miles

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The Variety Theater opened in 1927  It was designed by architect Nichola Petti, a first-generation Italian immigrant who also built several other theaters in Cleveland as well as ones in Canton, Toledo and Mansfield. It began as a venue for vaudeville acts. In 1929, Warner Brothers took ownership and showed movies there until 1954. Several independent owners continued to show films throughout the 70s. In the 80s, it became a popular spot for midnight and cult movies, haunted tours, and major live music (Slayer, Metallica, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, R.E.M., Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Motorhead all played there). Sadly, it closed in 1986. A performing arts school and a boxing academy were a few of its last tenants. Since the early 2000s, there have been ongoing efforts to restore the theater, largely through the efforts of the Friends of the Historic Variety Theater and the late Patrick Colvin. A replica of the orginal vertical name sign was installed in 2016 and still shines bright today.

The former Nathaniel Hawthorne Elementary School (3575 W. 130th) was built in 1917. There is a current proposal to convert it into market rate housing.

Utility box public art on Lorain Ave.

Assad's Mediterranean Cuisine (12719 Lorain Ave) serves baked pita bread, Mediterranean fare & groceries in a family-run setting. Per Google Reviews: "One of the first to start baking pita bread in Cleveland. Family owned, fabulous shawarma sandwiches, great humus. They do catering (and have) great parking. Great selection of middle eastern canned goods for all those who cook themselves. They (also) have produce, hot food, sweets like Baklava, various types of olives, pickles, stuffed meat and cheese pies. I love the place."

The Salvation Army West Park is dedicated to "serving the men, women, and children who are at-risk and in need of financial, social service, and spiritual support". The building received a multi-million dollar upgrade in 2015.

Cool door on the Durk Building (12025 Lorain Ave), a beneficiary of the City's storefront renovation program.

This building at W. 117th & Lorain Ave is home to Neighborhood Family Practice and several other professional businesses. 

Luchita's Mexican (3456 W. 117th) is a simple, decades-old (est. 1982) hacienda serving burritos, chimichangas, mole & enchiladas, and margaritas. They exterior is a little uninviting but the interior is nice and the food is good. A longtime neighborhood staple.

Cleveland Fire Station 33 is located on W. 117th Street next to Halloran Park. It was built in 1954 and is home to Rescue Squad 2.

Tapatias Taqueria (12501 Lorain Ave) is a new(ish) but popular Mexican restaurant which prominently features street tacos. Their signature item is carnitas tacos which are cooked with Modelo Negra beer, orange juice, Mexican Coca-Cola and a pinch of tequila. Above are a few fish tacos I had post-run.

Family-owned and operated since its opening in 1994, Holy Land International Import Supermarket is run by the Mohammad brothers. As the name states, that have an amazing selection of international food items to choose from. From Google Reviews: "This is a wonderful store! They carry items from around the world, not just the holy land. The staff are always very personable and friendly. They have a huge selection of spices, meats, cheeses and rice that you can't find anywhere else. It doesn't matter if you're white, black, brown, gay or straight. The employees at this store treat EVERYONE with great respect."

A classic row of homes in the mid W. 120s.

Beautiful tree-lined street in the heart of the neighborhood.

The Halloran Park Skating Rink (above) was opened in December 1959 and is the only public skating rink in the City of Cleveland. It received a $1.5 million upgrade in 2019.

Kifaya's Kitchen (3650 W. 117th Street) is owned by Kifaya Mohamed, a Somali native who arrived in Cleveland from a refugee camp and has operated the restaurant with her family since 2013. Somali cuisine is a fusion of different countries due to the nation's tradition of trade and commerce and former colonial rule under Brittan and Italy. Food recommendation: try the Vegetable Kay Kay (pictured above, one of my post-run meals).

New Tech West (11801 Worthington Ave) is a CMSD high school which opened in 2010 and serves about 280 students. It is part of a nationwide network of similar schools that use the latest technology as part of a Project-Based learning model.

Per "When Eliot Ness reorganized the police department in 1938, he transitioned the force from what were then eighteen precincts into five, larger districts which were further divided into 32 zones. The First District was originally headquartered in the old 17th Precinct Station, at 15619 Lorain Avenue which was the City Hall of West Park until it was annexed by Cleveland in 1923. Construction on the new First District Headquarters (pictured above at 3895 W. 130th St), which served the city’s far southwest side, (began in) May 1973."

Worthington Park (12511 Worthington Ave) was built in 1940 and is an 8-acre park featuring a playground, ball field and walking paths.

Coolest house I saw (Summerland Ave)

Primoz Pizzeria (3790 W. 117th St) is a local pizza chain that is probably best known for its large specialty vegan pie offerings.

Halloran Park (3550 W. 117 St) is one of Cleveland's more dynamic City parks. It features an ice rink (see post above), outdoor pool, and a playground. The park is open year-round and provides a variety of seasonal programming and organized sports activities, including free hockey programming for Cleveland residents.

Chef Carolyn's Exotics Cuisine (12703 Lorain Ave). Per the Facebook page: "Chef Carolyn...has created her own recipes of Exotic Cuisines. Born in the beautiful country of Trinidad and Tobago, she was raised around Love and Great Food. Featuring on the menu her famous Vegetable Rice and Escovitch Fish which is cooked in a jerk seasoning with carrots and onions in island ingredients." There is also a second location in Garfield Heights.

Yamen Gate (11901 Lorain Ave) is a Middle Eastern restaurant known for their modern take on classic dishes (and big portions, so come hungry). It's super popular among foodies in Cleveland. You can read the off-the-charts Yelp reviews here.