After 10 years as an indoor event, the Taste of Lakewood food festival moves to its new location in Madison Park on June 1, operating from 1 to 7 p.m.
Sponsored by the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, Taste of Lakewood has grown and sold out each year, prompting the chamber to look for a larger venue. Patty Ryan, chamber president, said this year’s festival will have a new format as a five-hour outdoor event in response to requests from local restaurateurs. Previously, the event took place at The Clifton Club until it outgrew that space. Last year, the Screw Factory hosted Taste of Lakewood. Also new this year, rather than getting free samples with a paid admission, attendees will get into the event for free and will purchase tastings of food from participating eateries.
Taste of Lakewood’s move to the Madison Avenue neighborhood comes just as the city is set to begin a $6 million investment in a 24-month series of projects to transform Madison Avenue. “We are thrilled to bring the Taste of Lakewood outdoors to Madison Park,” Ryan said. “Our goal is to promote our restaurants while creating a signature event for the neighborhood.”
This year’s list of restaurants includes Aladdin’s Eatery, Angelo’s Pizza, Around the Corner, Barrio, Buckeye Beer Engine, Chimney Cafe, Cleveland Pickle, Deagan’s Kitchen and Bar, Dewey’s Pizza, Eddie Cerino’s, Gatherings Kitchen, Gray Dog Diner, India Garden and Jammy Buggars.
Other food vendors are Campbell’s Sweets Factory, KB Confections, Mahall’s 20 Lanes, Mama Lola’s Pizzeria, Lakewood Farmers Market, Mars Bar, Melt Bar & Grilled, Nature’s Bin, Pacer’s, Pepper’s, Players on Madison, The Root Cafe, The Sweet Spot and TJ’s Butcher Block & Deli.
Live musical entertainment will be provided by the Thor Platter Band, Lakewood High School Jazz Band and FireSide.
Blackbird Baking Co. is sponsoring and judging the Chocolate Chip Cookie Throwdown. The chocolate chip cookies baked by Adria Clark of Blackbird were listed as being some of the best in the country, according to Food & Wine magazine. Participants can win bakeware and a Blackbird Baking Co. gift package worth $100. El Carnicero Mexican restaurant is sponsoring the Gourmet Guacamole Challenge with prizes. A raffle will be held for a quilt made from local restaurant T-shirts.
Admission is free, but tickets to the VIP preparty from 1 to 2 p.m., with live music and an outdoor beer garden, cost $50 per person. Phone 216-226-2900 for more details.
Get a little exercise before spending the afternoon at the Taste of Lakewood. “Bike for Beck” invites bicyclists with an opportunity to ride a 12-, 25-, 60- or 80-mile trail through the Cleveland Metroparks. All proceeds from “Bike for Beck” benefit programming at the Beck Center for the Arts. The cost is $40 per rider and includes a T-shirt. Registration is from 7 to 9 a.m. in the Beck Center main lobby. That afternoon, Beck Fest offers art demonstrations and live music by The Madison Crawl and the Chris Burge Trio on the Red Stage. Refreshments will be provided by Hodge Podge food truck, Elise’s Crepes and The Sweet Spot.
Beck Center for the Arts is at 17801 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. Phone 216-521-2540.