Coventry SID betters neighborhood but shopping experience still attracts students


Sheehan Hannan / Observer

These wrought iron sculptures line the sidewalks of Coventry Road, home to many busineses and students.

Katy Witkowski, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Coventry has long been an attractive destination that’s just a step away from campus: although a trek from North Residential Village, it is a frequent for south side residents and the greater Cleveland community. Either a 40-minute walk from NRV, a 30-minute Greenie ride or 20-minute walk from SRV, this Special Improvement District (SID) is right in Case Western Reserve University’s backyard.

The street’s storefronts range in both age and specialty and offer passersby most necessities. For example, Heights Hardware has called Coventry Road home for 102-years, whereas Pho & Rice restaurant recently opened shop just a short distance away.

The diverse shopping experience, however, is not the only thing that attracts Clevelanders to choose local businesses over larger convenience stores. The recently completed SID project placed new ornamental benches and iron-wrought planters along the street, new sidewalks and curbs and better streetlights to create a more inviting and safe neighborhood.

AJ Grubbs, CWRU alumnus who has lived in Cleveland for six years and now lives behind one of the storefronts, noticed the improvements. He said that the new additions to the traditionally eclectic street add more character and more functionality for visitors.

“Some of the iron-wrought sculptures often serve as bicycle racks,” according to Curtis Obert, also recent CWRU alumnus. Artist Brinsley Tyrrell designed them, making them serve both a purpose in creating a secure and eye-catching neighborhood.

“Because of the SID designation in 1996, we’re able to promote [our neighborhood] in ways other neighborhoods can’t,” said Steve Presser, owner of Big Fun Toy Store. He and his store have seen the street change since the toy store arrived in 1990.

New and old Clevelanders are welcome to visit the neighborhood for delicious food and drinks at reasonable prices, great live music almost any night of the week and famous happy hours. The Winking Lizard located at 1852 Coventry Road offers the World Tour, which strives to offer the “best and most varied beer selection in the nation,” according to the restaurant’s website ( After tasting 50 of the most sought-after beers, patrons receive a Winking Lizard wall clock. After 100 diverse beers, you will be sized for a special World Tour jacket (fitted for both men and women). Need I say more?