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: 874

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


Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.


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: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service