On Wednesday, I had dinner plans with some fellow Playhouse Square Partners in Gordon Square. I decided to get down there a bit early and do a little progressive tour of the area. My first stop was Old City Soda.
Even before their appearance on Cleveland Hustles, I had heard of the brand and enjoyed their tasty collaboration with Platform Beer Co. But after watching Cleveland Hustles, I was even more excited to check out the finished storefront.
Old City Soda is actually sharing open retail space with Fount, a unique way to attract varied clientele to both locations. Old City’s space is light and airy, with a bar, some high top tables, and couches too. There are board games for entertainment and hot pretzels for nibbling, but the focus is on the craft soda cocktails.
I ordered the Cleveland Roots, with Old City root beer, vodka, and spiked whipped cream (this is an option, but do not pass it up). The drink itself was good, but mixing in the spiked whipped cream gave it a melty root beer float taste that combined the childlike and adult aspects of the beverage perfectly.
The staff was friendly and knowledgeable. And I found a few more drinks on the menu that I’m anxious to try. For a before or after dinner drink, this is a perfect spot. Be sure to grab a shot with the very Instagram-able citrus wall, too!
From there, I met up with my fellow Partners for dinner at Spice Kitchen & Bar. I can never resist the mushroom beignets, which have been on the menu since the restaurant opened. They are crispy on the outside and filled with creamy mushroom deliciousness on the inside.
And the goat cheese creme fraiche for dipping is perfection! I also snuck a taste of a tablemates polenta and chickpea fries, which are similarly amazing!
I also ordered the sweet potato agnolotti, with wild mushroom, peach, pecan, and scallion ash.
All the sweet flavors of late summer and early fall came together in this dish! The two appetizer-sized portions were plenty for my dinner, too.
As part of our Gordon Square Dine Around, we had Partners members dining at four different restaurants in the Gordon Square area, then we all met up for a nightcap at XYZ the Tavern. This is such a great, relaxed neighborhood bar with a nice craft beer list.
Part of the Cleveland Hustles narrative has been that Gordon Square is a neighborhood in need of revitalization. And while there are still empty storefronts, it’s wonderful to see “older” businesses like Spice thriving there, as well as newcomers like Old City Soda starting a successful run too.
***Disclosure: I am the vice co-chair of Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***