At times I feel displaced.  I spent my first 18 years in one town then I started my life as a ping pong ball.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved my life and wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world. 

After high school it was 4 years in Ashland Ohio for college, a year and a half in the Bay Area (SF and Walnut Creek), New York for two and a half(Queens and Long Beach, LI), Orange County, CA for a couple (Anaheim,Huntington, Newport Beach) back to the Bay Area (Sunnyvale), a return to Orange County (Newport Beach, Tustin, Lake Forest).  Then a corporate move to Spartanburg SC, a brief stay in Greenville SC and after that my longest stint - 17 years in Lexington KY.  Finally in August of 2011 I relocated to Frisco Texas.  (pause to catch my breath…)

I provide this background to put my recent visit to Cleveland in perspective.  I have several very good friends who live in suburban Cleveland and quite honestly I’ve never understood why.  I get that you grow up in Cleveland but why would anyone stay there?  The weather is reason enough to “get out of Dodge”.  It’s usually cold and dreary from late October to early June.  The hometown teams never seem to win.  Most of their superstar athletes stay long enough for a cup of coffee then split for greener pastures.  To my knowledge there’s never been a song written about the place and it could be the most disrespected city in the U.S.  So why do people choose to live there and why would I take the time to blog about it?

I was on business there last week and met my friend Cathy for breakfast.  This wasn’t just any breakfast; according to my friend it was going to be THE BEST BREAKFAST IN CLEVELAND!  The restaurant is Lucky’s Café.  The food was amazingly homemade and delicious.  However it was the experience that blew me away!  Cathy was born and raised in Cleveland and I can’t imagine her living anywhere else.  She loves it.  Our breakfast together gave me a better understanding of why.

The moment we entered the restaurant I could feel the warmth of friends and family.  The waiter, Patrick and the Chef, Becky were Cathy's high school friends and Becky's Mom who was there, was her Girl Scout troop leader.  It was obvious Patrick and Cathy’s lives were on completely different tracks.  As they conversed it was like time had evaporated and they were having a hallway chat on their way from Biology to Math class. There was no pretense just realness.  Patrick and Cathy kept me in the conversation as if I had grown up with them. 

Then Mary Lou (Becky's Mom) came over to the table and gave Cathy a big hug.  Sadly Alzheimer’s has robbed her of complete recollection but there was no doubt she remembered Cathy.  They reminisced about the fun all the kids had at Lou Ann’s house. I Imagined her with all of her faculties and what a fun playful Mom she was back then.  After all the years their fondness for each other remains obvious and genuine. 

We spent our breakfast in and out of conversations with Patrick and Lou Ann.  I can’t remember a time that I felt more at home and just feeling good in the moment.  Part of me was in awe and I have to admit I felt a smidge jealous.  Cathy is Cleveland’s “Poster Child”.  A loving Mom and dedicated wife, she’s one of the warmest most genuine people I know.    It was obvious in those moments she has something money can’t buy and so many don’t have.  I get the sense that her life is built on a foundation of these types of relationships.

 Our breakfast at Lucky’s Café reminded me that life is all about relationships – the deeper and longer lasting the better!  In my opinion, everything else is secondary.  Cleveland’s a city of heart and soul where relationships are more important than glitz and glamor.  There are lots of places where the sun shines from the outside in.  Despite the typically gray skies in Cleveland, the sun shines 365 days a year from the inside out.  Now I know why I’ve always had this “closet attraction” to Cleveland! 

Views: 875

Tags: Best, Breakfast, Cafe, Cleveland, Lucky's, relationships


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Cathy McPhillips on March 29, 2012 at 5:06am

I love this Bill!! A few things: Hopefully by now you've downloaded "Cleveland Rocks." Next, the weather isn't that bad! (remind me I said this when it's snowing in April). It's most definitely a wonderful place to grow up, live, and raise a family. With our sports teams comes tough skin and resilience. With our crummy weather comes embracing the gorgeous weather and getting outside to enjoy it. The first sunny day in the spring? Lake Rd. in Lakewood is jammed with people running or on bikes.

I would pit our restaurants and museums against any in the country. But you are right, it's the people here. On the west side (where I grew up/live) there is no doubt a 6 degrees thing going on. It's a great and comforting thing.

Thanks for writing about this wonderful family. Not only was she my Girl Scout leader for years, she was also my softball coach...which was one of the biggest parts of my childhood. You should post the pic you took so everyone can see her!




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Fast-casual growth comes from new openings as market matures

Sales at fast-casual eateries are growing at a pace similar to that of quickservice and sit-down restaurants as young, high-i -More

Taylor® Grills. Cooking made Easier, Faster, and Smarter.
With efficiency and food safety top of mind, the Taylor® L810 two-sided grill is a foodservice industry favorite. Optimize profits and cooking efficiency with three separately controlled cooking zones, programmable cook times, pre-set temperature and automatic gap settings. To learn more click here.

In the swim: Gulf state seafood catch safe for now

Businesses fighting to preserve commercial access to seafood fished in the Gulf states scored a big win this month when the G -More

Ruby Tuesday revitalization prompts sales growth

Maryville, Tenn.-based Ruby Tuesday posted gains in same-store sales in the fourth quarter, with a 5% rise at franchised rest -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Main Event Entertainment to Open First Center in the Rio Grande Valley

Main Event Entertainment, the fastest-growing family entertainment center in America, is celebrating its new center opening in Pharr, Texas, a suburb near McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley. Doors will open to the public at 9 a.m. on August 6.

Darden Announces Leadership Succession Plan

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) announced that Clarence Otis is stepping down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Darden's Board of Directors has appointed the Company's current Independent Lead Director, Charles A. Ledsinger, Jr., as Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. The Company also announced that it has amended its corporate governance policies to provide for the separation of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer roles.

National Restaurant Association Statement on NLRB Joint Employer Decision

Today the National Restaurant Association issued the following statement regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision asserting McDonald’s Corporation is a joint employer of its franchisees:

National Restaurant Association Issues Support for Clearer ACA Definition of Seasonal Employment

The bipartisan legislation will align the definitions of seasonal employment in the Affordable Care Act and streamline the applicable large employer determination process.

Rising India, Inc. Announces Acquisition Strategy Toward a Sizable Slice of the QSR Pizza Pie

Rising India, Inc. (OTC: RSII), announces today it will immediately begin work toward the acquisition of up to 5 profitable stores in the popular Quick Serve Pizza Restaurant segment. Current targets are currently earning about $450,000 in revenues per year, per store. Acquisition of targets would provide immediate cash flow identified from profitable longstanding, absentee owner operations with proven model success.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service