September 2023

We often hear that Willoughby is a city that excels as a place to live, work, and play. Our varied housing options, lakefront, riverfront, and historic downtown, offer endless opportunities and experiences. A common thread that weaves through all of these experiences is our local businesses. We know the quality services and products our restaurants, merchants, and bars provide, but it is always wonderful to hear others acknowledge their work. This recently happened when Cleveland Magazine announced its Best of the East winners. This annual award recognizes a host of services in varying categories, from Solon to Grand River. This year, Willoughby has a surprising number of winners displaying the quality of our local businesses.

Cleveland Magazine honored Hook and Hoof, a fine dining experience downtown, with two awards—one for Best Restaurant and another to Hunter Toth as Best Chef; Sol and Dave Bartulovic were selected for Best Brunch; and Teanna Tekavec Vitantonio’s Sage Karma Kitchen won Best Organic Food. These great restaurants are a part of our continued quest to bring great dining experiences to Willoughby. The multiple Pulp locations received the Best Smoothie Award, and Willoughby’s Pulp is on Robinhood Drive.

Willoughby Fine Arts Association received Best Dance/Theatre Instruction, acknowledging the quality and quantity of their program offerings. Fine Arts also received Best Music Instruction. Harmony Studio, on Third Street, providing physical and mental wellness, received the Best Yoga Studio Award. 

Steven DiFranco Jewelers, located in Pine Ridge Plaza, garnered the Best Jeweler Award, and Best Home Décor was awarded to Etc. on Erie, located in downtown Willoughby. Both of these businesses are considered “best in class” with the quality of their merchandise.

Best Pet Boutique was awarded to Barktown on Erie Street for its unique pet products and spa. Best Photography was awarded to Pulsart Media, an award-winning and nationally published photography studio on Erie Street. 

Finally, Ohio Living Breckenridge Village received the Best Senior Living Award. Their extraordinary campus provides a continuum of care for our seniors, from independent living to skilled nursing.

Willoughby received thirteen Best of the East Awards from Cleveland Magazine, showcasing our great dining, shopping, and personal services experiences. We congratulate all of our winners and thank them for being essential contributors to our local economy and quality of life.

I’m ending my report early this month so I can leave and enjoy some of our local shopping and dining, take a music or dance lesson, buy jewelry for my wife or something for our home, and get a treat for our dog. I’ll wait for a while for living accommodations at Breckenridge Village!