Michele does not regularly eat beef, but on rare occasions, she does crave a hamburger and when she craves a hamburger, we head for Heck’s Café in Ohio City. Heck’s has been around almost since Ohio City became the first Cleveland-based urban renaissance neighborhood. We have been going to Heck’s since we first met. Prior to that, Jeff used to go their after the weekend late performances presented in Playhouse Square. When the theatres first opened, tickets were an amazing $2 to $5 for fabulous performances ranging from Peggy Lee (with a twenty-piece orchestra) to the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. The late show was over around 2:00AM and Heck’s was opened until 4:00AM. Interestingly, there was almost always a wait, because the clubs were also letting out at the same time. Oh youth!
Little has changed at Heck’s since these post-Jacque Brel concerts. The coffee is still infused with chicory and cinnamon, the burgers still require jaw disconnection and people still clamor for the indoor-outdoor garden room at the rear. We actually have a soft spot for the middle room. Years ago, there was a small fireplace against the rear wall. That combined with the stained glass ceiling always added charm. Even though the fireplace is gone, we still request the table in the rear corner. Michele inevitably orders the Rocky River burger, (bacon, mushroom, Swiss cheese and sour cream). Jeff used to enjoy the Rouge Burger, but at some point in the past, the Bleu cheese switched to Roquefort Cheese Dressing. He now occasionally drifts toward the daily pasta special. The dinners are preceded by a very nice salad, featuring dried cranberries, walnuts and crumbled bleu cheese. A collection of cakes are always available for dessert, try any one. They are usually good.
We still like Heck’s. After this many years, most places would be only a memory. Memory still plays a part in thoughts of Heck’s, but not in the same way.
List Status: Existing
http://www.heckscafe.com/ 2927 Bridge Avenue Cleveland, OH 44113 216-861-5464