We were recently invited to try the updated menu out at Rowley Inn in Tremont and we knew we couldn’t miss this opportunity. To be honest, Broad had never heard of the place but Beard had been there for work to deliver product. We knew it had kind of a divey feel, but were excited to try the food nonetheless. After all, divey is just our style.
Rowley Inn was built in 1906 as a Third Shift bar, meaning they opened early (5:30 a.m.) for those who worked in the factories and mills during the night and needed a place to relax after work. They truly recognized the work and efforts of the “blue-collar” worker who worked long and exhausting hours to make Cleveland the city that it is today.
Super fun fact about this place is that it’s located right across the street from the famous Christmas Story house. During filming, the upstairs of the Rowley building was used as the location for wardrobe and make-up and of course the bar served as the spot for post-filming gatherings. Many of the extras in the film were bar patrons and some still live in the neighborhood.
source: rowley inn
The Rowley Inn was typically not a place people would go to for a meal since it’s a little bit out of the way from the main strip in Tremont. The restaurant’s new owners Jon Oberman and Raphael Rivilla took over about a year ago and have worked hard to turn the place into a premiere gastro-pub, while still keeping the charm of the old Tremont establishment.
When we arrived at the tasting we were greeted with one of their special house made cocktails, “A Pink Nightmare,” their take on the classic Paloma. It was so refreshing and the perfect drink after a long day at work. The ten (yes, 10!) food items we tried were served family style at our tables. These are the items we tried:
- Rowley Shrimp Cocktail: breaded jumbo shrimp with remoulade sauce.
- Fried Pickles: Don Hermann pickle spears, house made beer batter, side of remoulade.
- Southwest Chicken Salad: lettuce, arugula, cajun rubbed grilled chicken, cheddar, pico, tortilla strips, corn, black beans, avocado, creamy cilantro dressing.
- Grilled Cheese: smoked gouda, mozzarella/provolone blend, a touch of mayo.
- Chicken Club: grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, spicy mayo, walnut pesto.
- Cleveland Burger: pierogi, kielbasa, kraut, beer cheese, stadium mustard.
- Mac N’ Cheese: smoked gouda, cheddar, panko bread crumbs
- Loco Moski: their twist on a Hawaiian classic. Sautéed pierogis topped with a ½ pound hamburger patty, gravy, sautéed onions, & fried eggs. Sounds weird, but it’s delicious.
- Chicken and Waffles: crispy chicken tenders and fluffy waffles slathered in homemade gravy (with side of hot sauce)
- Candied Apple Pierogies: you read that right! Delicious apple filled pierogies topped with citrus zest and a sugar glass drizzle.
We received a Red Ryder cocktail before dessert which is Bulleit bourbon, fresh lemon juice, maple, cranberry. It was the perfect cold weather drink. We honestly loved everything on the menu. Broad’s favorite dish was the Loco Moski and Beard’s favorite was the Shrimp Cocktail, but we could easily recommend everything we tried. The food was nearly 5 star restaurant quality, without being pretentious. We browsed both the regular menu and the brunch menu, and they both look SO GOOD (you know how we feel about brunch).
So our advice to you is, get your butt to the Rowley Inn, ASAP! You could really make a fun date night out of it. Head to the Christmas Story house first for a little tour then wander over to the Rowley Inn for cocktails and a delicious meal!
Disclosure: We were invited to attend a special menu tasting and all food was complimentary and we received a $25 gift card. All opinions stated are 100% our own.