Antiques shops, galleries give Larchmere its appeal
Even for those not inclined to antiques, Larchmere has a host of other options, like bookshops, Oriental rug stores, art galleries, and a new Wi-Fi cafe and antique shop.Kim Palmer
Special to the Plain Dealer
With all the attention focused on the comings and goings of shops at Shaker Square, it's easy to forget about the nearly 50 restaurants, galleries, antiques shops and other stores just a block away on Larchmere Boulevard.
“I'm always surprised when someone says they never heard of” the area, says Marc Goodman, owner of Marc Goodman Antiques and president of the Larchmere Merchants Association.
In fact, the street has been home to some of the East Side's culinary old favorites, like Big Al's, Academy and Larchmere Tavern, and some of its popular relative newcomers like Zin (the old Player's), Boulevard Blue and Cafe Limbo.
With its turn-of-the-century architecture and Main Street feel, the area's main attraction for the past few decades has been its concentration of galleries, antiques shops and consignment stores.
“Antique shops are sort of unusual -- we gravitate to one area,” Goodman said. “We want to be next to another. You don't see shoe stores doing that. … If I don't have something, I send [customers] to my neighbor . It becomes a cooperative venture instead of a competitive one.”
Even for those not inclined to antiques, Larchmere has a host of other options, like bookshops, Oriental rug stores, art galleris and new Wi-Fi cafe and antique shop (Lord & Rings).
Shoppers can also walk by Larchmere Lofts, the area's new upscale housing development. But don't plan to go on a Monday: even with extended holiday-season hours, most stores are closed that day so owners can look for more inventory.
“There are some really good deals in Cleveland. If you go to Michigan or Chicago, things can be twice as much,” says Goodman. “I never get tired of looking for antiques.”Palmer is a free-lance writer in Cleveland