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Spring 2021: What’s New in Cleveland

March 24, 2021 Visit USA No Comments Email Email

The arrival of spring brings new experiences and offerings for Cleveland visitors, including engaging exhibits, a variety of restaurant and brewery openings and one of the most-anticipated sports and entertainment events of the year, the 86th NFL Draft. Plus, the lakefront city is ideal for domestic travelers seeking closer-to-home getaways with a range of socially distance-friendly and outdoor activities, including the state’s only National Park.

A citywide CLEAN COMMITTED program offers peace of mind for travelers, with nearly 1,000 local businesses agreeing to enhanced safety and cleanliness practices. The practices were developed in partnership with the region’s healthcare leaders, including Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System and University Hospitals. Visitors can consult an online directory to view participating restaurants, attractions, hotels and other businesses that are dedicated to providing clean environments and employing safe practices.



NFL Draft
All eyes will be on Cleveland when the city hosts the 86th NFL Draft, taking place April 29-May 1. The event will include a virtual component for fans around the world and, as long as it is safe for all participants, an outdoor experience at iconic lakefront sites near FirstEnergy Stadium and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The NFL Draft and the NFL Draft Experience, a free football festival where fans from all teams can enjoy interactive exhibits, autographs sessions and more, is planned to return to an in-person event with health and safety protocols.

2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival
Fans of the gridiron will descend upon Canton for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2021 Enshrinement Festival, scheduled for August 5-9. Just a short drive south of Cleveland, the event gives fans an opportunity to see and interact with their idols as more than 100 Gold Jackets (living Hall of Famers) return each year to be a part of Enshrinement Week. This year’s event will feature a rescheduled ceremony for the Class of 2020 in addition to a ceremony for the Class of 2021.

Cedar Point’s 150th Anniversary Season
Cedar Point amusement park, known to coaster enthusiasts as the Roller Coaster Capital of the World, is gearing up for a full season of entertainment and thrills when it opens May 14. The postponed celebration of the park’s 150th anniversary season takes place this summer, featuring a daily festival in the park’s Frontier Land with live music, interactive games, street entertainers and special food and drink menus. In addition, there will be a nightly multi-sensory parade with more than 100 performers and a dozen illuminated floats. One hundred-fifty guests will win the Ticket of a Lifetime, which provides free lifetime entry to the park. New to the park this season is the Snake River Expedition family adventure ride, which immerses riders in a river boat journey that will have them performing secret tasks, encountering surprises along the way and avoiding “danger” around every bend.


Cleveland Museum of Art
Stories from Storage Exhibit
In response to temporarily delayed projects and postponed exhibits, the Cleveland Museum of Art drew upon its extensive collection, going deep into the museum vault for Stories from Storage, an exhibition featuring 20 personal “stories” created by the museum’s roster of curators that is on display through May 16. Each story reveals a unique element within the museum’s encyclopedic collection, representing human creativity across the globe, from the ancient world to today. Whether visiting the museum or exploring from home, guests can download the museum’s free ArtLens App to see featured pieces and hear from each curator involved in the exhibit.

Medieval Treasures from Münster Cathedral
The Medieval Treasures from Münster Cathedral exhibit will feature masterpieces from Saint Paul’s Cathedral in Münster, Germany, which preserves an impressive collection of objects from the Middle Ages in Europe. Opening in May, the exhibit will provide insight into treasured art of the Middle Ages and the diverse forms of reliquaries, which were part of every church at that time.

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (moCa): Imagine Otherwise
Drawing from Christina Sharpe’s groundbreaking book “In the Wake: On Blackness and Being,” moCa’s Imagine Otherwise exhibit expresses the boundlessness and fierceness of Black imagination and love despite ongoing racial injustice. Beyond the museum, the city-wide initiative includes displays at ThirdSpace Action Lab and the Museum of Creative Human Art. Featuring artists Shikeith, Imani Dennison, Amber N. Ford and Antwoine Washington, the multimedia exhibition spotlights Black pathways to self-determination and collective liberation through photographic, sculptural, mixed media and video-based installations.

Transformer Station: Lauren Owens: Rerun
The Cleveland Museum of Art presents Laura Owens: Rerun at the Transformer Station gallery through May 30. Celebrated for a wide-ranging and experimental approach to painting that embraces a breadth of styles, renowned contemporary artist Laura Owens returns to her native Northeast Ohio for her first exhibition in the region. The artist partnered with local teens to create a new exhibition relating to the premise of time travel, in which she reflects on her own past and imagines new and future possibilities.

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage: Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Based on the popular book of the same name, and created in partnership with its authors, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is on display at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage through August 29. The exhibition is the first of its kind to highlight Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s revolutionary career and personal life through photographs, historical documentation, contemporary art, her prominent role trending on social media and multi-media installations, including 3D recreations of Justice Ginsburg’s childhood Brooklyn apartment and of the Supreme Court bench. In addition to in-person viewing, virtual group tours are available the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 2 p.m.

Cleveland International Film Festival
The 45thCleveland International Film Festival (CIFF), being held online April 7-20, will consist of hundreds of films, post-film conversations and Q&As with filmmakers and a slew of activities to make the online Festival a robust experience.

BorderLight International Theatre + Fringe Festival
The biennial BorderLight International Theatre + Fringe Festival will return to Downtown Cleveland July 22-24. The festival has been reimagined as a hybrid outdoor and virtual event, with performances taking place at open air stages, green spaces and other outdoor locations that allow for social distancing. The festival will also host interactive and virtual options to be enjoyed remotely.


The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

2021 Induction Ceremony
The 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place October 30 at a new home in Cleveland, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The event brings music’s greatest stars and biggest fans to Cleveland to celebrate. The recently renovated FieldHouse offers a world-class venue with health and safety features and increased space and flexibility to host the Ceremony. The Class of 2021 Inductees will be announced in May, and ticket information will be released in July.

Legends of Rock Exhibit
An expanded Legends of Rock exhibit debuted for museum visitors in February 2021. It now spans four floors of the museum and highlights the greatest moments in the history of rock and roll and the most iconic artists and instruments from those moments. It features performance outfits, handwritten lyrics and other artifacts from the biggest stars in music history, including Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen. Visitors can also view items from the Rock Hall’s vault that have not been on display before or haven’t been available to the public for years.

Super Bowl Halftime Show Exhibit
In April, when the city hosts the 86th NFL Draft, the Rock Hall will open an exhibit that will honor the dynamic history of the Super Bowl Halftime Show and its legendary performers. Fans can relive iconic halftime show moments spanning more than two decades through a variety of performance costumes and instruments on display, photographs and video clips. Artists featured include Bono, Prince, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder and Aerosmith.

It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope & Empowerment
It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope & Empowerment, which debuted in July 2020, showcases musical and visual artists that have created art as a response to unspeakable tragedy and to promote social justice. Artifacts include Aretha Franklin’s Valentino dress worn during her first appearance at Radio City Music Hall, a jumpsuit worn by James Brown and Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” lyrics. Visitors can also experience the exhibit online with a virtual exhibit walk-through and an official Spotify playlist.

Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra, hailed as America’s best by The New York Times, shares a new collection of digital concert broadcasts from the 2020-2021 season with the In Focus series. Recorded live at Severance Hall, each one-hour episode features full concert performances along with behind-the-scenes features and interviews. Music-lovers around the world can stream episodes on-demand across a variety of platforms through Adella, the Orchestra’s new video streaming service.


Cleveland’s culinary scene highlights the more than 100 diverse ethnicities found throughout the city. Despite the impact of the pandemic and loss of iconic eateries throughout the city, entrepreneurial Clevelanders are enhancing the culinary landscape for the years ahead. Recently opened eateries (many with take-out and delivery options) include:

Bar Oni (October 2020)
Chef-owner Matthew Spinner replaced his fine-dining Japanese bistro in the Tremont neighborhood with a more casual, Japanese sports bar, Bar Oni. Beer, cider and cocktails are served with a menu the features skewers of grilled meat, tempura-fried vegetable sides and other Japanese pub specialties.

Cloak & Dagger (October 2020)
The literary-themed Cloak & Dagger cocktail lounge opened in the Tremont neighborhood, and features a spectrum of craft-yet-approachable cocktails and a menu of plant-based dishes to enjoy in the relaxing space or for takeout.

Chicken Run (November 2020)
Fried chicken fanatics flock to the Ohio City neighborhood’s Chicken Run, a fast-casual spin-off of the popular Soho Chicken + Whiskey. The new take-out concept offers brined, breaded and deep-fried chicken and tofu along with classic sides, sandwiches, chicken and waffles and bourbon cocktails.

Yonder (November 2020)
Visitors to Yonder are welcomed by the smells of bacon and maple syrup to start the day right. The restaurant opened in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood near Downtown and features breakfast and brunch favorites, including cereal-infused French toast, croissant beignets and egg sandwiches.

EDWINS Too (November 2020)
Building on the success of the Shaker Square-based EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institution, Brandon Chrostowski has introduced EDWINS Bakery, EDWINS Butcher Shop and EDWINS Too, which focuses on fine-dining and prix-fixe menus developed with a rotating chef-in-residence that works with the in-house team to craft menus. All the businesses employ formerly incarcerated adults who are part of a comprehensive hospitality training program.

Pulpo Beer Co. (January 2021)
The family behind the popular restaurants Barroco Arepa Bar and Hola Tacos started Pulpo Beer Co. to share craft brews inspired by their Latin heritage. The brewery features a 10-barrel brewing system, and some of the initial releases include a blonde ale, a piña colada IPA and a Mexican-style lager.

The Last Page (February 2021)
Theater-themed dining meets Prohibition-era décor at The Last Page, a new addition to the Pinecrest lifestyle center. Guests can relax with a cocktail and enjoy a quick bite in the relaxed green room or enjoy a full meal in the dramatic dining room. The menu of casual cuisine incorporates flavors from around the globe, and the “mainstage” bar features a selection of classic cocktails, craft beer and a curated wine list.

City Pop Sushi (March 2021)
Visitors to City Pop Sushi will be immersed in Japanese pop culture with vibrant, 80s-style pop music murals, a Vigilante arcade game and eight TVs streaming pop music videos, anime and 80s-era Japanese wrestling. Located in Downtown Cleveland on E. 12th Street, City Pop will feature both grab-n-go and made-to-order sushi rolls with cooked items like bacon, steak and shrimp and a variety of dipping sauces including wasabi mayo and yum-yum.

Goma (Spring 2021)
Award-winning chef Dante Boccuzzi will open Japanese-fusion restaurant Goma on the prominent corner of East 4th Street and Prospect Avenue. Building on the chef’s career with multiple restaurants in the Cleveland area and experience serving as executive chef at Nobu/Milan, Goma will offer an extensive selection of sushi rolls and shareable plates along with a full sake menu and sake-infused cocktails. A Japanese craft cocktail club, Giappone, will open below the restaurant.

Juneberry (Spring 2021)
Pioneering chef Karen Small will open breakfast-focused Juneberry a few blocks away from her popular farm-to-table restaurant The Flying Fig, which celebrated 20 years in 2020. The Ohio City eatery will serve all-day breakfast along with brunch cocktails in a casual setting.

Immigrant Son (Spring 2021)
Immigrant Son, the latest addition to Cleveland’s brewery scene, pays homage to both the melting pot of ethnic influences shaping Cleveland’s craft beer scene and the owner’s Hungarian heritage. First-generation American Andrew Revy founded the brewery and enlisted Cara Baker, an award-winning brewer, to manage the 10-barrel system. The taproom will feature 20 house beers on tap along with brew-friendly food, wine and cocktails.

Grafé Café (Spring 2021)
Graffiti art and Latin flavors await guests of Grafé Café, opening in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood. The full-service café will offer breakfast, lunch and bar snacks, including pressed sandwiches, flatbreads, empanadas, burgers and Cubanos. Weekly entertainment will include Latin jazz musicians, open-mic nights and stand-up comedians.

Filter (May 2021)
Ultra-modern décor and a DJ-guided soundtrack will provide the backdrop for Instagram-able moments at restauranter Kyler Smith’s new dining and nightlife destination, Filter. Chef Jarrett Mine will guide the fine dining menu, and the venue will feature art, décor and an atmosphere that promises to leave a lasting impression.

Bark & Brew (Summer 2021)
Visitors with four-legged friends will soon have a new place to roam when Bark & Brew indoor dog park and daycare opens downtown in summer 2021. The all-seasons indoor space will include a dog pool crafted from a shipping container, quiet lounge areas and a dog wash, while human companions can enjoy a self-pour bar featuring 15 beer taps, wine and cocktails.

Sandrine & Cute for Coffee (Summer 2021)
Steps away from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, visitors to North Coast Harbor will soon have two new options for waterfront dining and refreshments. Cute for Coffee will serve grab-and-go drinks and snacks including coffee, frozen yogurt and hand-packed ice cream. Next door at Sandrine, guests can wind down after exploring Cleveland’s lakefront. An upscale lounge setting or a 45-seat outdoor patio will offer seating to enjoy a craft beer, cocktails or wine and bar bites and small plates.


The latest updates to infrastructure and Cleveland’s public spaces enhance the visitor experience as well as the city’s landscape. Recent and upcoming projects include:

GlenVillage Retail Incubator
The GlenVillage retail incubator opened in early 2020 in the Glenville neighborhood and features seven minority-owned businesses. The incubator is part of the City of Cleveland’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, which provides healthy, sustainable and equitable opportunities to build wealth and stabilize historically fringed neighborhoods. The businesses in GlenVillage include Black Box Fix, a gourmet sandwich shop by local chef Eric Rogers; fresh seafood specialties at Pipe ‘N Hot Grill; healthy juices at Vitiman Kandie; streetwear brand Living Rich and locally made small-batch cold brew at Cleveland Cold Brew.

Hotel Indigo Cleveland Downtown
Centrally located in Downtown’s Gateway District, the newly renovated Hotel Indigo Cleveland Downtown puts visitors steps away from the E. 4th Street entertainment hub and sporting and concert events at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and Progressive Field. An updated design at the 142-room hotel reflects the history and popular attractions of the neighborhood. Also available to guests are an onsite restaurant, a modern health and fitness center and 3,500 square feet of event space.

Hulett Hotel
Set to open in 2022, the owner of the Cleveland Hostel & Guesthouse is developing the Hulett Hotel in the Ohio City neighborhood. The independent boutique hotel will blend new construction and renovation of a vintage brick building to offer 25 guest rooms and a rooftop patio and event space. The hotel is named after the Ohio inventor of the Hulett Automatic Ore Unloader, which played a pivotal part in the development of the region’s iron ore industry and the growth of Lake Erie’s port cities.

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
Extensive renovations are planned for the historic Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, located on Public Square in the heart of Downtown Cleveland. The first phase of the project will update the 1918 building’s ornate lobby, ballroom and meeting rooms. A second phase of the project will include renovations to the hotel’s 491 guestrooms.

Flats East Bank Phase III
The next phase of the Flats East Bank redevelopment is underway and poised to give visitors more riverfront access and a variety of new entertainment options. Four restaurant, bar and nightclub concepts will be added, with all dining concepts housed in two new buildings at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River with a pedestrian alleyway that is envisioned as a beer garden separating the buildings. Visitors can look forward to a speakeasy-style bar, a nightclub and an Asian fusion restaurant. Rooftop patios are sure to give visitors spectacular views of one of Cleveland’s greatest assets, the waterfront.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Expansion
The home of rock ‘n’ roll legends will grow starting in 2022 when ground is broken for a $100 million building expansion between the lakefront museum and the Great Lakes Science Center. The project includes a 50,000 square foot addition with space for events, learning labs, onsite archives for visitors to access, large-scale traveling exhibits and a new band shell overlooking Lake Erie.

Construction began in April 2020 on INTRO Cleveland, which will be the country’s tallest timber-framed building. The 115-foot tall structure is rising across the street from the historic West Side Market in the Ohio City neighborhood. When completed in 2022, the development will include dining, retail, public greenspace, 288 residential units and a 12,000 square foot event venue.

Irishtown Bend
Once the site of a 19th-century Irish shanty-town, the Cuyahoga River hillside known as Irishtown Bend is being transformed into a 23-acre park with a riverfront trail and boardwalk. Located in the Ohio City neighborhood, the area offers unparalleled views of the river valley and downtown skyline. When construction completes in 2024, the new park will also complete the connection of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to Lake Erie through the 101-mile Towpath Trail, creating an uninterrupted trail that links Cleveland, Akron, Massillon and beyond.


Over the next few years, Cleveland will welcome visitors for several notable events. Here’s a look at what’s ahead.

2022 NBA All-Star Game
NBA All-Star 2022 will include a series of city-wide activities and events culminating in the 71st annual NBA All-Star Game on February 20 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The event will include a celebration of the NBA’s 75th anniversary season and is sure to be a star-studded weekend as the top names in sports, music and entertainment flock to The Land to be a part of the milestone event.

FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art
The second edition of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art will be held July 16-October 2, 2022. Comprised of artist commissions, performances, films and public programs that take place across the region, FRONT 2022 will embrace art as an agent of transformation and healing. The title of the exhibition, Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows, is inspired by a 1957 poem by Langston Hughes, who moved to Cleveland in his childhood and maintained an artistic connection to the region.

2024 NCAA Women’s Final Four
After hosting this Championship in 2007, Cleveland will again welcome the NCAA DI Women’s Basketball Tournament Final Four in 2024 at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The top teams in collegiate women’s basketball will face off for the championship trophy.

2024 Solar Eclipse
It will be a blackout in Cleveland on April 8, 2024, as the city is in the direct path of the Total Solar Eclipse. Ohio will be one of just 13 states left in the dark as the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun. The darkness will be longest in Northeast Ohio, for an estimated 3 minutes and 52 seconds.

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