Berea maintains a rural feel while being one of the more progressive towns in Cleveland. Home to less than 20,000 people, the area prides itself on being friendly and affordable. Its location roughly 16 miles southwest of Cleveland makes commuting to downtown speedy. Baldwin Wallace College adds students to the range of residents who love Berea. Neighbors can enjoy various activities such as watching Browns training or the Transportation and Industry Museum. Shopping and restaurants are plentiful with low prices. The parks and fairgrounds provide entertainment throughout the year.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Find local restaurants along Front Street and around shopping areas in Berea. Several places for an inexpensive burger, pizza or beer exist because of the college community. Berea also has bakeries and Mexican and Chinese restaurants. Tree Hugger's Cafe provides healthy menu options with organic ingredients along with wild-caught seafood and certified humane beef. Try the blue whale burgers or bakery options made nightly. The crab cakes or sweet potato fries remain favorites. Tree Hugger's also does catering for those interested in hosting a health-conscious event.
Those hankering for Mexican can head to El Maya Restaurante. Popular choices include the chicken and shrimp fajitas, the burritos or the Cancun cheese steak. The Campus Grille also serves favorites at low prices. When looking for a great beer with your meal, go to The Cornerstone Brewing Company. Sample the German style Sandstone beer or a Grindstone Gold with potato skin eggrolls. The pizzas stay popular or try the Cornerstone burger.
Nightlife in Berea includes a variety of restaurants, sports bars and cocktail bars located mainly on Front Street. Bar 107 enjoys being the premier club in the city. Come for the live music or DJs over cocktails. The kitchen stays open until midnight, so you have plenty of energy to dance the night away. Another great locations to spend an evening includes Scoundrel's Bar and Grill. For a bargain beer, visit Lake City Tavern for $2 drafts from 2-7 pm.
History & Culture
Berea was originally settled as an experimental utopian Christian socialist community in 1828. John Baldwin and his neighbors purchased land then renounced their personal belongings. Low membership caused the village to fail, but a business blossomed from their efforts. The Baldwin Quarry Company was the start of the local sandstone industry. Baldwin Wallace College began when John Baldwin donated land to the Methodist church. The college continues to bring students to Berea from all over the country. The addition of the Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad also grew the community and improved commerce. In 1991, the construction of a training center for The Cleveland Browns boosted the economy.
Although small, Berea has significant culture. The sandstone Mahler Museum and The Ohio Museum of Transportation & Industry explore the past and provide education. The annual Berea Arts Fest draws a crowd. Numerous events can also be found at the fairgrounds.
Personal vehicles remain the primary mode of transportation in Berea. Locals, especially students, also bike or walk to desired destinations. Access to I-71 makes it easy to travel the city. For the most part, businesses provide free parking lots. Streets don’t have bike lanes, but traffic stays limited. Bike lanes can be found in the Cleveland Metroparks. Other options exist for those who would rather be a passenger. Taxi cabs or Uber may be called for a ride in advance. RTA buses provide safe service at little cost to many attractions all over Cleveland.
The cost of living in Berea hovers higher than the Cleveland average yet is affordable. A one-bedroom apartment typically has a price around $560. For cheap transportation the RTA provides all-day bus passes for only $5. Driving won’t break the bank either because gas prices locally run 3 percent lower than the national average. A draft in the neighborhood can be enjoyed for $3. Those thirsty and thrifty should check out even cheaper happy hour prices.
Shopping options in Berea dot Front Street and several plazas. The Triangle as well as The Commons downtown hosts many retail stores. Check out the unique Suburban Clock and Repair for home décor or clock repair. The North End has shops not far from the airport for those who plan to travel or those just visiting. Other shopping areas include Berea Plaza, West Valley Plaza and River Park Center. Explore Buchards Jewelers for luxury gifts or personal indulgence. The Shoppe provides music selections and DVDs. Another local favorite continues to be Skin Care by Kayla Marie. Residents enjoy spa treatments or simply pick up some beauty products.
Grocery shopping options include local favorites, such as Sammy’s Deli, along with Shaft Grocery or larger stores such as Giant Eagle and Aldi. Farmers market events held at the fairgrounds draw in residents of all ages.
Berea holds many parks for free fun and fitness. Pets are welcome at most locations as long as they remain leashed. The Coe Lake and Gazebo area stands as one of the most scenic spots in the city. Take in the sights over a picnic or come for one of the concerts. Neighbors gather at Berea Falls to appreciate glacial history over sandstone. Baseball fans will love the three diamonds located at the Lou and Jackie Groza Sports Complex. Dora Lee Payne Park contains soccer fields, a baseball diamond, a basketball court and a sand playground. Residents with children can relax while the playground occupies the kids. Join in the fun at John Mucklo Playground located next to the municipal pool. R. B. Scott Playground also has a court and a half for basketball. If those options don’t satisfy, try the recreation center that sits at the north end of the city.
The Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea hosts enriching events throughout the year. Guests have flocked to the Cuyahoga County Fair for hundreds of years to see the animal shows, partake in carnival rides, make crafts, indulge in fair food and listen to some local bands at the music tents.