365 Merchandise
About Me
Press for 365 Bars
Banner Art
Contact Me

« Traveling Day | Main | HELLO CLEVELAND! »

Saturday, April 17th, Bar 97

Day 97—Friday, April 16th, 2010

Close Quarters

Today was the second time Michael Heaton and I had drank together in a bar. The first time we didn’t know each other. Let me explain.

 In 2002 I wrote a book called, “99 Beers Off The Wall.” I gave a copy to a friend of mine who’s a stand-up comic here in New York, Randy Epley. Randy told me I should send a copy to his friend Michael Heaton who writes for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He told me that in the ‘80’s Michael wrote for People magazine. This was a weird coincidence, because I interviewed there (I didn’t get the job, they seemed to think I was a little weird for Time, Inc.) and had gotten to be friends with the founding editor of People, Dick Stolley (I think he thinks I’m a little weird, but he’s a guy who embraces weirdos and that’s one of the reasons we’re friends.) Anyway, I emailed Michael, he emailed me back and before you know it, he had written a column on my book for The Cleveland Plain Dealer. I thanked him and later on in the year, he was collecting booze stories for a St. Patrick’s Day column he was writing and wanted to know if I had any stories to contribute. I was writing a weekly humor column  for a website called Toast back in those days (Hi Hap!) and sent Michael a column I had written called “My Good Friend Mr. Booze.” It was a column I had written about being in New York City on September 11th. It was basically a tale about all the different bars I went to that day and how weird it was in the city. In the story, my last stop was at one of my favorite bars, The Stoned Crow. I sent it to Michael and he emailed me back and told me on Setptember 11th he came to New York to cover the story for the Plain Dealer and he ended the night drinking at the Stoned Crow. We were in there together, yet we didn’t know each other yet. It would take another year to meet via email. Crazy, huh?

When I started this website, Michael invited me to come to Cleveland and take the 365 crawl on the road. Well, I did and below are the pictures and documentation are below. And this is an epic post, over 50 photos! Enjoy!

6:39 in the morning, what a rude awakening! I'm usually going to bed at this time. Oh well, up and at 'em!

And here's my car, note the Satanic phone number!

And we're off! So this is what morning looks like, no wonder I hate it!

And through the magic of the internet, we're already here at La Guardia airport.

Snow globes are a terrorist threat, who knew?

Here's the gate.

Am I the picture of health?

I don't know, you tell me (be kind, I haven't had much sleep!)

Okay, this door bugged the shit out of me and I'm still obsessing over it. If a door is never to be opened, shouldn't they just turn that shit into a wall? This will haunt me for a long time.

Okay we've boarded and he's giving instructions on what to do in case of an emergency. Of course no one is listening to him.

The woman in front of me has huge hair. I just thought I'd point that out.

Alright, here comes the drink cart!

The male stewardess gave me attitude after I asked for beer at 10 in the morning. He said, "I'm sorry, there's no beer on this cart at this time of morning." I told him I knew there was beer on the plane and he reluctantly went up front and brought me this can of Heineken. I asked him if I could take his photo and he told me no. Too bad I took one already, I win again!

Hello Cleveland!

And here's our host, Michael Heaton, the Minister of Culture!

Michael took me back to the Cleveland Plain Dealer newsroom where Lonnie shot a video of Michael interviewing me. The video will be up next Friday and I'll post a link to it.

Here's Michael at his desk.

John marks my arrival by hoisting up a Schlitz sign. I think I 'm going to like it here.

Here I am with Mark Bona who writes a beer column called, Crack One Open.

Speaking of cracking one open, here we are at our first stop, Hoople's bar. There's a great river view here.

Fred's a boat owner and a regular at the bar. Cheers to Fred!

Next stop, the Harbor Inn.

Wally's the owner here...

And he's quick on the draw with a shot on the house.

Cheers (this stuff was like rocket fuel, my notes are little garbled from here on in.)

Next stop, Carney's bar.

There's an alcohol rehab place across the street, I probably should've written the address down.

Bartender Ross shows some "before" photos of the bar.

Here's Michael with the original owner, Mike Carney. I call this photo, Mike and Mike.

Michael's wife Nancy is the Executive Director of Bay Arts and we decided to stop by and say hello.

They were getting ready for show spotlighting artist Denise Stewart.

Here's the artist's information.

And here's Michael and his lovely wife Nancy.

And here we are at the bar I'm spotlighting today on the Bar Crawl, Close Quarters.

Here's bartender and owner, Harry, a friendly and hospitable barkeeper.

Here's Trish and Bob. It turns out Trish went to high school with Michael's sister Patricia, it's a small world. And it's also close quarters!

The place is slathered in equal parts kooky and kitschy.

Terry keeps an ever-changing group of photos on the wall. Stop by and see if he put my picture up yet.

Eventually the photos end up in this basket.

Close Quarters is fun and festive.

Cheryl and Jim were enjoying drinks and brought by something to hang on the wall.

And here it is. I wonder where Harry's going to find room to hang it?

The Aftermath Pub was the original name of the bar.

I love the flying mermaid!

And look what happens to be at the bar, The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Here's Michael showing his Minister of Culture column.

After the bars, Michael took me over to Sean and Mary's where they were having a dinner party and kindly invited me along. Here's Sean and Mary, two great hosts.

Mary hold a bottle of Great Lakes Beer. Her Grandfather is on the label. Check out Great Lakes Brewing here: Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Mary Jo was one of the many guests at the party.

Here's Michael cooking his share of the dinner.

Here's Monica and Jim, two more guests.

Steak and Lobster, it was delicious!

And dinner is served. Thanks to Sean and Mary and everyone there for making me feel so welcome. Cleveland rocks!

And now time for the cab ride home. This gentleman has an enterprising service and I wrote down his number and proceeded to lose it. That'll happen after 16 or so beers, if you're reading this, feel free to give yourself and your business a plug in the comments section.


All the bars were great that Michael took me to, but the bar I’m reviewing and spotlighting today is Close Quarters Pub. Close Quarters Pub was the last stop on Michael’s mini tavern tour of Cleveland and it’s a great neighborhood joint, where you instantly feel like a regular from the moment you walk in and are greeted by the friendly bartender and owner, Harry. Harry’s owned Close Quarters for over 22 years and his wife helps out as well, giving the place a real family and friendly atmosphere. The joint lives up to its name as it’s a tiny and cozy little bar filled with enough kitschy signs and bric-brac to make your head spin a little.

Despite the close quarters, there’s a full bar here featuring a nice selection beer, wine and drinks at a price that’s most welcome in these economically-challenged times. They also serve lunch and dinner with your standrad pub grub featured and their specialty is their chicken wings. And nothing on the menu is over nine bucks! I love this place! Cheers to Harry, Michael and everyone I’ve met in Cleveland so far, it’s been a blast and stay tuned for part II tomorrow!

Close Quarters Pub

31953 Lake Road, Avon Lake, OH

(440) 933-5217

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (11)

great crawl.
What a defining quote:
"I told him I knew there was beer on the plane and he reluctantly went up front and brought me this can of Heineken."

April 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterspotcolors

wow! what a trip, this is the best one yet! and i love the title, minister of culture! two great writers on one wonderful adventure!

April 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

wish we were with you

April 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

Wow, this was a great one! Well worth the wait!

April 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Awesome Marty! Loved the plane pics:) awesome you thought to include that!

April 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Great Lakes is such a great brew - glad you got to try it! Kudos to Michael for taking you to some super duper taverns and keeping you away from the chainish Winking Lizards and such (not that there's anything wrong with that). Mostly, thanks for featuring Cleveland on the great Marty Crawl. It's not the prettiest city and certainly not the most affluent, but it's as American as apple pie and well-built cars - and hopefully that'll be a re-emerging industry sometime soon. Hope you had as great a second night as the first. GO MARTY! GO MICHAEL! GO CLEVELAND! AND GO BROWNS!!

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

What was in that bottle that the rockrt fuel 'shot on the house' came from? Steak and lobster...one of my all time favorites that I can't afford anymore! Looks like you had a truly wonderful time in Clraveland Marty. The Cleaveland Plain Dealer must be the last place on the planet where you can hoist a beer and not get fired for it immediately. It's been decades since I saw anybody do that!

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Hay you made it to Cleveland !! & will I make it back home to NYC on Monday ?
Nice Crawl !! Surf , Turf & Beer , Yum !!

Marty my Monday Bar suggestion is to find a Icelandic Bar or a Volcano Bar , since the volcano in Iceland erupted & looks like I might be stuck in France for a few more days ( I hope only a few days , since I saw in news that it can take months to clear the air . ) . So drink to the Volcano Gods to bring me back home safe !!

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang in France

Excuse me, but I just noticed that Close Quarters has a Terrible Towel hanging from the ceiling! And it's not even defaced!! All I'm saying is that, unless that Terrible Towel is holding Big Ben's balls, it should probably be tossed. Or at least moved closer to a trash can.

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

What a wonderful time it looks like you had in Cleveland. The people seem so sweet and very welcoming and kind. Very nice trip. Thank you for sharing the pictures with us. It definitely looks like a great time!

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

Just a little side note...Hoopples is also owned by Norm...who you know from the Parkview. Both great places!

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>