A Walk Through Slavic Village in Cleveland

  • 01 of 09

    Warszawa: Cleveland's Slavic Village

    ••• Warzsawa. (© 2006 S. Mitchell; licensed to About, Inc.)

    Polish spoken here! announce the storefronts along Fleet Avenue in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood. Homemade pierogi, freshly-ground kielbasa, and just-out-of-the-oven potato bread beckon. But, you don’t have to be Polish to enjoy the wonderful tastes and sights of the growing number of sausage shops, restaurants, and delis here.

    Slavic Village, just south of downtown Cleveland off of I-77 and Fleet Avenue, was originally settled by Czech and Polish immigrants who arrived to work in the steel factories and woolen mills here. The customs, culture, and recipes they brought with them still thrive and are served daily throughout Slavic Village. Join me for a walk through the neighborhood.

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  • 02 of 09

    The Red Chimney

    ••• The Red Chimney Restaurant. (© 2006 S. Mitchell; licensed to About, Inc.)

    Start your walking tour of Slavic Village at the Red Chimney Restaurant, home of the cheap, yet delicious breakfast. The restaurant, on the corner of E 65th Street and Fleet Avenue, is the hub of the neighborhood. On any given day, you'll find the parish priest or the councilman or the local bartender, all discussing the events of the day.

    In addition to the breakfast special, which includes eggs, potatoes, bacon or sausage, and toast, the Red Chimney serves up a huge menu of traditional and Polish favorites. Particularly good are the biscuits and sausage gravy and the Weiner schnitzel.

    Make sure to pick up a free copy of the Neighborhood News, the local newspaper, while you're there to learn more about what's happening in the area.

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  • 03 of 09

    East 65th Street

    ••• East 65th St. in Slavic Village. (© 2006 S. Mitchell; licensed to About, Inc.)

    Leaving the Red Chimney, turn right along E65th St. This street is the center of Slavic Village and one of the first streets settled when the area was developed in the late 19th century.

    The buildings along here were once butchers, bakeries, and cobbler's shops. They now house an interesting mix of antique stores and art galleries. Stop in -- or just window shop.

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  • 04 of 09

    The Orlikowski Manor

    ••• (© 2006 S. Mitchell; licensed to About, Inc.)

    About two blocks from the Red Chimney, at the corner of E65th St. and Chambers St., is the Orlikowski Manor, an impressive, red brick home, built in 1895 by local businessman, Frank Orlikowski.

    Today, the house is owned by the Pulaski Franciscan CDC, the development arm of the local Catholic parish, St. Stanislaus -- the next stop on your walking tour. The church has restored the home to its original glory and is seeking a restaurant to occupy the space. It's currently used for special church functions and fundraisers.

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  • 05 of 09

    St. Stanislaus Church

    St. Stanislaus Church
    ••• St. Stanislaus Church. (courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art)

    The heart of any Polish neighborhood is the local Catholic parish. In Slavic Village, it's St. Stanislaus Church, the mother church for all Poles in the Cleveland area.

    Built in 1888, the red-brick Gothic church is a Polish Shrine Church and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The interior is shaped in the form of a cross, in true Gothic fashion, with a vaulted ceiling, exquisite stained glass windows, and liberal use of gold leaf. The sanctuary seats more than 2000 people and welcomes visitors each morning and throughout Saturday and Sunday for services. Access for tours and private prayer is available by calling at the Rectory.

    St. Stanislaus hosts a number of free concerts, dinners, and other cultural events throughout the year. Watch this site's calendar of events for upcoming programs.

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  • 06 of 09

    Krusinski's Finest Meat Products

    ••• (© 2006 S. Mitchell; licensed to About, Inc.)

    Leaving the church, continue down E 65th St. for about half a block. Turn left at Heisley Rd. After walking about one block, you'll see Krusinski's Market on the lefthand side of the street.

    Krusinski's makes spicy kielbasa, smoked polish sausage, bratwurst, and knockwurst fresh daily as well as a variety of homemade pierogi, those delicious Polish dumplings, filled with cheese, potato, meat, sauerkraut, or a combination.

    Polish food lovers travel from all sides of Cleveland and beyond for this corner grocery store’s offerings. In fact, if you enjoy pierogi at other restaurants in Cleveland, there’s a good chance they were made right here at Krusinski's.

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  • 07 of 09

    The Cloisters

    ••• Phase I at the Cloisters. (© 2006 S. Mitchell; licensed to About, Inc.)

    Return to E 65th St. and stroll down the west side of the street back towards Fleet Avenue. Soon you will come to a new housing development -- the Cloisters, a three-phase project that, when completed, will include 22 carriage homes and townhouses, surrounded by a European-style landscaped courtyard and a large central fountain.

    The stylish project is funded, in part, by St Stanislaus' development arm, the Pulaski-Franciscan CDC, and is just one example of growth in the neighborhood.

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  • 08 of 09

    Slavic Village Market

    ••• (© 2006 S. Mitchell; licensed to About, Inc.)

    Strolling back to Fleet Avenue, across E 65th St. from the Red Chimney Restaurant, you'll find the Slavic Village Market, a family-run grocery with ​surprisingly low prices and sensational, periodic meat sales.

    The deli case here boasts Polish favorites, such as pickled eggs and beets, and the fresh kielbasa here, made in-house every Monday, is the best in the neighborhood.

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  • 09 of 09

    The Seven Roses Deli

    ••• (© 2006 S. Mitchell; licensed to About, Inc.)

    Just a few doors door on Fleet Avenue is the last--and best--stop on the tour. Located on the north side of the street, in a red brick, restored building is the Seven Roses Deli, a gem of a store with hardwood floors, a gorgeous tin ceiling, and floor-to-ceiling shelves with a rolling library ladder.

    The Seven Roses offers a full array of meats and cheeses, Polish canned goods and sodas, and prepared Polish dishes as well as home-baked breads and pastries. If you get there early enough, you'll see the wide variety of breads spilling across the counter. Some of the merchandise is labeled only in Polish, but the staff couldn’t be friendlier in helping you translate.

    Finish your tour by having a pastry or sandwich at one of the cafe tables, located at the rear of the store.