By Nicole Hennessy
Celebrating its tneth anniversary, the Taste of Lakewood event will be returning to the Lake Erie Building, better known as the Screw Factory, this year.
On June 2 from 4 to 7 p.m., attendees will have the chance to sample the menus of 25 local restaurants. Also, some of the more than 50 artists who operate studios in the Screw Factory will be hosting open houses, demonstrating processes and selling handmade goods.
Patty Ryan, CEO and president of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, said the switch last year to the Screw Factory came after the event outgrew its longtime location, The Clifton Club.
The new space has “a little bit more of an industrial vibe,” she said.
Attendee seating and booths representing individual restaurants will fill the building’s second-floor corridor.
Last year the third floor was also utilized, but Ryan realized many restaurant owners “felt a little lost on the third floor.”
So, while attendees will not have two floors to choose from this year, they will have the option to buy a VIP ticket for $75, which allows them to attend a food and beer pairing event being hosted by Buckeye Beer Engine on the third floor from 3 to 4 p.m.
“Beer is as versatile as it is diverse, providing both complementary and contrasting experiences when paired with food,” the chamber’s website explained.
Samples of six craft beers from Buckeye Beer Engine, one of which was brewed specifically for the event, will be paired with food from India Garden, Pier W, Sweet Designs Chocolatier, The Sweet Spot, Italian Creations, Breadsmith of Lakewood and Buckeye Beer Engine.
While VIPs will also have access to the second floor, general-admission-only tickets can be purchased for $30.
Last year, Ryan estimates, the event drew about 600 people throughout the day and evening, and she expects this year’s crowd to be similar in size.
Close to selling out last year, only 20 tickets remained at the door. For this reason it is suggested that those interested in attending buy tickets ahead of time, especially those interested in purchasing VIP tickets.
Two newer restaurants that will be involved in the event this year are Jibaro’s Pit Stop and Street Burger, both of which operated strictly as food trucks until recently opening their new Lakewood locations this year.
Another restaurant, an old favorite that’s never participated in Taste of Lakewood, India Garden will also offer menu items at this year’s event.
Other, more familiar, choices include Angelo’s Pizza, Aladdin’s Eatery and Melt Bar and Grilled.
Tickets can be purchased at Nature’s Bin, which is located at 18120 Sloane Ave. in Lakewood, through the city’s chamber of commerce website or by calling 216-226-2900.