Sunday, March 8, 2009

OB Featured Business: Zeleznik's Tavern

Zeleznik's Tavern, located at 4002 Jennings Road (about a mile south of Steelyard Commons), has a storied past and old-time charm.

The family-owned and -operated pub will celebrate its ninetieth anniversary in July 2009. Third-generation proprietors Peggy and Bruce "Buzz" Zeleznik actually live above the bar and proudly declare themselves two of the Industrial Valley's few residents.

During Cleveland's industrial heyday, it served as a haven for steelworkers and other blue-collar laborers. At a time, Zeleznik's was so popular that the bar was as many as four "deep," and the establishment would be consistently busy from 5:30am until 2:30am on a daily basis.

But Zeleznik's customer base has dwindled in recent years due to a dramatic decline in Cleveland's industrial and manufacturing jobs. Eager to continue their family's tradition, the Zelezniks explored new concepts that would attract patrons. So in December 2008, Zeleznik's re-emerged as Lady Z's, an alternative bar and dance club for women. Since its opening, Lady Z's has enjoyed steady business, hosting numerous parties, dinners, and other events. (Peggy insists everyone should feel welcome to stop in for a drink or dinner.)

No piece about Zeleznik's is complete without a description of its alluring interior. Inside is a woodburning stove that creates a feeling of ambiance and is comfy to warm up to in Cleveland's chilly months. Photos of Cleveland's history adorn the walls of a nook with a billiards table, and if that isn't convincing enough that the Zelezniks love Old Brooklyn and the city, strike up a conversation with them and it will not disappoint. The beautiful thirty-five-foot wooden bar, which has aged gracefully, bears slight impressions from the elbows of thousands of workers and others that have patronized Zeleznik's throughout its nearly nine-decade history.

Zeleznik's also has a kitchen, with offerings ranging from burgers and sandwiches to wings and tacos. For the Lenten season, perch, cod, shrimp, potato pancakes, pierogi are available in addition to the regular menu. Most recently, Zeleznik's has made Wi-Fi available free to patrons.

Zeleznik's Tavern is open 11am to around midnight Monday through Thursday and Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm to 2:30am. For more information, please call (216) 741-0100 or visit Lady Z's website here.

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