Brews News

Tommy's Restaurant

image courtesy of google images
Matt MacDonald
Any trip to the Coventry Village area in Cleveland Heights wouldn't be complete without catching a meal at Tommy's Restaurant.

Located at 1824 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Tommy's has the unfortunate designation as being a vegetarian restaurant; unfortunate because they quite literally have something for everybody.

Originally opened as a soda shop in 1972, Tommy's quickly gained notoriety when Rolling Stone magazine declared Tommy's as "the" best place to get a milkshake east of the Mississippi. Always a staple of the Coventry Road area, Tommy's migrated through three different locations before settling into its current location in 1993.

A unique characteristic of the Tommy's menu is the names of most of the items served there. When Tommy Fello first opened in 1972, Tommy's only had 7 seats. After a short amount of time, Tommy's began to gain regulars and, as a result, these "regulars" would request their own meal "to order". That is, Tommy made them whatever they wanted. This became such a regular occurrence, that it was just easier to write down the name of the person instead of all the different things that they wanted on their sandwich. As such, Tommy's unique menu was born.

To be perfectly honest, I don't remember my first time at Tommy's Restaurant. What I do remember is that prior to my moving to Cleveland Heights, I couldn't end a trip to Coventry without having a meal there. I remember sharing a "Brownie Monster" with one of my oldest friends there. I remember the first time that I took my wife there, when we were first dating. And I remember every date that we have had there after that. I also remember the time when I saw Harvey Pekar there before he died.

Today, there are those nights when the wife and I have the urge to take the kids out to eat. The first place that always pops up in my head is Tommy's Restaurant. I can't honestly say I have any idea what Tommy Fello set out to do in 1972. What resulted was a part of not only Coventry Road's history but Cleveland's, as well.

Tommy's Restaurant
1824 Coventry Road Cleveland Heights, OH 44118.
Open Sunday thru Thursday 9am-9pm, Friday 9am-10pm, and Saturday 7:30am-10pm.
Prices: $1.75 - $12.00
*Gluten-Free and Vegan options available