Cleveland summer drinking requires ivy.
Cleveland’s deep roots make it not just a city of neighborhoods, but a city of neighborhoods that have grown up both organically and uniquely over a very long period of time. The Lincoln Park area, just south of downtown, is one such area, a mix of dive bars, residential blocks and a few pockets of commercial development like the one that houses Edison’s. Cleveland dive bar royalty looms nearby as well, with Hotz Café just on the other side of this more developed area.
Edison’s two-block stretch of Professor Avenue is densely packed with maybe not pretentious, but certainly trendy bars and restaurants on either side of Edison’s. And it’s that set of neighbors that makes Edison’s feel a little bit more like a dive bar than it is, a contrast to some of the higher price tag bars nearby with a solid neighborhood pub. This isn’t the graffiti bathroom, stickers everywhere, sawdust on the floor kind of dive and not every dive bar needs that. Edison’s is simply a classic neighborhood bar in a vintage part of Cleveland that has served as home to places exactly like it for decades.
Inside, the beer signs are a little too fresh and the surfaces a little too polished to truly claim dive bar status, but that doesn’t detract from the experience. The space is nicely rich in wood, giving the bar a cozy feeling accentuated by some of the unfriendly weather than can run through Cleveland. The color palette of the bar is another positive, with strips of colored light bulbs adding a little character to the bar area, flanked by upside-down bar taps for a burst of visual stimulation. The space isn’t expansive, but does feature a nice L-shaped bar with a pair of bar seats on the short end of the L that make for a snug drinking experience.
Out back, a porch extends the space and is really the star of Edison’s, including a handful of hexagon, old-school wooden picnic tables like you see outside of a Midwestern Dairy Queen. Over the year, ivy has crept over every vertical surface out back, creating the cozy summer version of the cozy winter layout inside. Importantly for Cleveland summer months, wooden supports, covered in ivy, provide shade that rings that patio area, even including a handful of bar rails making even greater use of the outdoor space.
And if all that wasn’t enough to entice a summer visit to Edison’s, a brick-laden fountain only adds to the very chilled out vibe outside. The experience is, as the Edison’s web site calls it, very much like hanging out at a friend’s Midwestern house, cranking through a handful of beers on the back porch. For an area that can certainly offer higher-class options, Edison’s offers an ambiance that feels unique and truly organic to the city that surrounds it.
While not strictly a dive bar, Edison’s is the right kind of neighborhood pub for Cleveland’s Lincoln Park area, with a back patio that feels organic to Edison’s largely residential surroundings just a block off of Professor Avenue.