Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bearden's (2011)

"What pretty people you work with." - The Wife

Last May I was depressed to report that iconic Cleveland area burger joint Bearden's had fallen on hard times, and closed due to a poor economy and the apparently endless reconstruction of Lake Road running past its door. Rumors of some kind of arrangement to keep the doors open did not prevent it from closing last December, apparently for good ... because really, what business ever truly rises from the dead?

Bearden's does! It reopened last week -- and it's FABULOUS! I was looking forward to bringing my young protégées from the Great Lakes Theater residency program there during a break in classes at Kensington Intermediate, wanting to share a little Cleveland history. I was unaware of the extremely attractive redesign the place has received!

New owner Jim Griffiths could have kept the former decor and old fans would have returned, but he raised the game by changing the model of service, and completely replacing all fixtures and tables. It has a very retro 40s/50s look, the place is brightly lit, a fantasy in formica and aquamarine cush. Instead of the oft-complained about waitresses (sorry, ladies) you order at the counter, and they bring your meal to you at table.

Is there a train? Yes, there's a train - a NEW train! Presumbly one that won't break down every hour or so.

And the food? It's the same! Which means ... it's okay! It's a burger and a pile of onion rings and a milkshake, what did you expect? It's Bearden's!

Bearden's (1954)


  1. beardens is great!!! The train is the main attraction! I enjoyed it as a kid! and still do!

  2. Yeah! My kids got to experience it before the renovation, and I am excited about getting them back there.