When you walk into M. Lang Clothing & Cocktails at 1275 Euclid Avenue, right on Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland, you are in for a unique experience! Mike Lang himself greets you with welcoming professional and personalized service. This place exudes the kind of class and quality which hints at the heyday of the grand retail stores along the avenue. The window displays pay homage to an era when droves of downtown pedestrians crammed the sidewalks, many which stopped to view quality merchandise such as the clothing available at M. Lang Clothing & Cocktails. Items such as shirts, coats, jackets, ties, and much more will have you looking your best–whether your ready for a new job, attending an unforgettable event, or just taking in a show at one of the nearby theaters!

And, when you stop by M. Lang Clothing & Cocktails, clothing is not all there is… They serve cocktails too! That’s right, just as the name suggests… you can relax at the lounge bar and sip your favorite cocktail. Its like going back in time to the cocktail party era, when dressing up, was all part of the fun. So if you live downtown, walk over…OR, if you’re near downtown, take the bus or E-Line Trolley that stops near M. Lang Clothing & Cocktails! If you’re driving yourself and friends, parking is FREE! Remember the name: M. Lang Clothing & Cocktails, Playhouse Square, downtown Cleveland! Call for hours of operation or for appointment: 216-771-4197

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 8:09 PM No comments:

Gardens Under Glass–A Whole Lot More Than Gardens!

Its not easy being green, but the Gardens Under Glass project at the magnificent Galleria structure in downtown Cleveland hopes to make going green easy to achieve! The ultimate vision for the initiative is to provide a neighborhood functional retail and business “eco-village” of learning, local food, environmental sustainability, and green product technology that will provide the core city and region with many green products and services to promote lifestyles that are rewarding and leave a much lighter footprint on the earth!

Some examples aim to promote greener ways leading by example, such as incorporating more recycling and reduction of waste within the facility, more efficient use of existing energy supply…..and even composting! Local food and produce production is the project’s anchor focus. But, Gardens Under Glass does not stop at producing local and healthy produce year round through aquaponics and conventional growing methods. For example, local and independent merchants who are already promoting sustainable philosophies, green products and/or technologies, have the opportunity of being consolidated along one indoor street and under one roof—to increase their competitiveness amidst a highly chain and/or franchised business and retail scene these days.

Customers who want to support local and or independent businesses offering something unique rarely found elsewhere, can come here to find many things without wasting fuel driving all over the area. Such stores like galleries promoting local art and handcrafted products, many made from recycled materials. Thrift and clothing stores with garage sale prices—selling not only unique vintage items, but lightly used and like new items all displayed professionally as in a traditional retail store. Need a blender? Looking to decorate your home with an original theme?…..How about a unique furniture item, article of clothing….or even tools? How about an original gift item? You may find something fantastic here for under $5.00! All this within a charming, clean and attractive high end facade in the facility itself. Best of all you will know that your purchase has helped to promote recycling, less oil dependency, preservation of forest and farm around our city’s buffers—and thus maintaining a vibrant urban core!

In addition to the above, Gardens Under Glass is currently developing an educational center which focuses on air, water, and soil pollution—and will also promote products, that if used instead of current ones in the home, will result in cleaner air, water, and soil in the outdoor environment. The learning center will entertain and inform groups wishing to implement more green practices in their daily lives, as well as school children who will ultimately inherit this planet. They will learn how to become wiser and greener consumers and stewards of the world by discovering how choices they make in their daily lives can either have negative or positive impacts locally and globally.

Gardening aspects of the project will promote less energy dependent yard care and those which attract hummingbirds and butterflies by using native plantings. You can even discover how to make the most of even the smallest bit of soil in the urban environment whether you plan to grow, or attract backyard friendly wildlife on your rooftop garden!

As you can see, Gardens Under Glass is no cookie cutter idea for any kind of mixed use retail and business center. Its vision is so much broader than growing produce under glass. In the bigger picture, it can serve as a national example for progressive adaptive and functional reuse of a building. The project is ultimately about encouraging and fostering a community of walkable neighborhoods, local foods, products and business—to in turn—help promote self sustaining neighborhoods. Gardens Under Glass can demonstrate that their is an economy and jobs to be created in a healthier environment—and can serve as the regional centerpiece and powerful voice for green initiatives and innovation that can be implemented locally and nationally.

Lastly, if you are an entrepreneur or existing business that believes in the objectives and vision of this project, and would like to join forces by locating here, please contact us to discuss the economic advantages you can gain in positioning your business or nurturing your idea here. Together, we can help “grow” your green idea or business! You can contact Gardens Under Glass at the website below.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 9:18 PM No comments:

Making The Core City Storefront Scene More Attractive

                         The Old World Shopkeeper Way To Start The Day!

Photo: Storefront Scene in The Cleveland Neighborhood of Tremont

Remember when the old downtown shopkeeper used to have a daily routine before opening the shop that would consist of a 20 to 30 minute chore session which would include jobs such as quickly washing/sweeping the front walk, washing windows, spraying down store facades with the hose, picking up litter and viola!—then the open sign would be flipped over? On a regular basis, many merchants would even apply a fresh coat of paint to preserve and beautify the store facade . This made the core city old storefronts last forever and maintain their charming architectural appeal. How often do we see this happening these days? I don’t see it very much or at least as much as it really should be done!

Many storefronts are allowed to deteriorate to the point they become unattractive to patrons. Such storefronts, with their old world charm, coziness, and romantic allure, are what separates the core city from the suburbs. When left to decay by not doing the simple things mentioned above, we witness one more element of the kind of urban decline that contributes to sending life in the city packing or going elsewhere. Simply put, it is a symbol of neglect and lack of pride that does not exude confidence in our town.

By doing simple ‘little shopkeeper’ daily routines, we can assure out retail core in Cleveland remains attractive and competitive–hence attracting more urban activity inward toward the urban hub, and not sprawling outward and becoming a part of energy consumptive sprawl. Places like Crocker Park and Legacy Village are great retail centers, but are mere paper tiger imitations of what we already had in the Central Business District–but still, those areas are heavily shopped mainly because patrons are attracted to the fresh look and feeling of safety they offer.

When urban retail cores are allowed to slip beginning with not doing the small things mentioned in this article, or even by law enforcement not nipping potentially small crimes that could lead to bigger ones, in the bud—-more and more potential patrons will opt for supporting the suburban mega store—or the imitation downtowns like C.P. and L.V.

At the very least, picking up litter on a daily basis around your property makes a world of difference. Even something as simple as refreshing vegetation planters with native wildflowers is a sign of attentiveness, pride, and care. As I walk through the Flats and Ohio City, in many places it looks as though none of the above is ever done—or at least not nearly enough. It’s time we all pitch in and do a better job in performing all of the above; especially the commercial buildings and properties., because these are among the first areas visitors see — and will help shape the first impression of our city.

Another idea to improve the downtown storefront scene revolves around better presentation of downtown empty storefronts. Places that stand empty, have sat empty long enough with the basic “shoe polish smeared on windows with a ‘For Rent’ sign hanging on the door” Perhaps a more attractive way to present such space until it becomes rented out would be to allow local artists/designers and window merchandiser displayer to create art murals, and samples as to how such a downtown empty storefront COULD look when done up right.

Many malls implement such a plan. The Galleria does it now. I think it would exude a much better and more positive atmosphere than seeing, for example, the place on the corner of 4th and Euclid sitting so long with dirty windows and an array of construction debris and equipment scattered all around within.

Additionally, if done well, I think this would help to inspire more passersby who may be business inclined, to consider the possibility of opening up shop downtown. Having storefronts prepared and presented like this–and with a “FOR LEASE/RENT”–or “OPEN YOUR BUSINESS HERE!!!” posted as well…. Sure beats the old show polish method as described earlier. I think the best it offers is the aspects of presenting a more rejuvenated atmosphere, rather than a empty and desolate one.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 1:47 PM