Slavic Village is a Cleveland neighborhood, just south of downtown. Bounded by I-77 on the west, E 79th St. on the east, Broadway, and Harvard, the area was first settled in the mid-19th century by primarily Czech and Polish immigrants who came to the city to work in the woolen and steel mills nearby.
Today, the area is filled with fun restaurants and food stores, new housing developments, and classic century homes.
Slavic Village was first settled around 1799 as part of Newburgh township. It was higher than the "flats" areas nearer the Cuyahoga River and thus became popular. Over the next century, the neighborhood was peopled with hundreds of first Welsh and Irish, then Polish and Czech immigrants who arrived to work in the textile and steel mills nearby.
Slavic Village is home to approximately 45,000 residents, a large minority of whom are still of Polish or Czech ancestry. You'll still hear Polish spoken in the banks and markets in the neighborhood. The average per capita income is approximately $27,000.
About half of the homes in Slavic Village are owner-occupied. The others are rental property. However, unlike many other city neighborhoods, most of the landlords live just down the street.
New homes are cropping up all over Slavic Village. Notable among them is the Cloisters, a complex of two and three-bedroom townhomes on E 65th Street, arranged in the European fashion around a center courtyard.
Spacious Washington Park is located at the western end of Fleet Avenue, near I-77. Newly opened in 2006 is an eighteen hole Cleveland Metroparks public golf course. Bike trails in the park connect directly to the Ohio Canal Tow Path Trail.
Slavic Village boasts some delicious and affordable restaurants. Among them are:
- The Red Chimney - home of the $2.25 breakfast as well as hearty daily specials, soups, and pies.
- DeNobile's - More than just a pizza parlor, this affordable eatery serves delicious wings, pasta dinners and more with a full liquor license.
- Seven Roses Deli - Enjoy the fresh baked goods, deli meats, and wonderful prepared foods on one of the small bistro tables in the back of the store.
Shopping in Slavic Village centers around the many ethnic food stores. The most interesting include:
- Seven Roses - a delightful and friendly emporium with loads of freshly baked breads and pastry as well as deli meats and delicious prepared foods.
- Krusinski's - On Heisley St, this market is known for its excellent sausages and homemade pierogi.
- Gertrude's Bakery - Just off of Fleet Avenue on Gertrude St., this old-style bakery features display cases full of cookies, cakes, pies, and doughnuts.
Because of its eastern European roots, most of the churches in Slavic Village are Catholic. Among them are:
- St. Stanislaus-A pillar of the neighborhood from the mid-19th century to the present, this magnificent Gothic church is a Polish Shrine church and listed on the National Historic Register.
- St. John Nepomucene-This 100-year old church was the traditional Czech parish in the neighborhood.
- Our Lady of Lourdes-This smaller parish near E 55th is beautiful in its quiet simplicity.
Celebrating Slavic Village:
Slavic Village celebrates its eastern European heritage each fall with the annual Harvest Festival. Held the last weekend of August, this three-day celebration features live polka music, dancing, wonderful homemade food, such as pierogi, potato pancakes, and cabbage and noodles, and handcrafted items for sale. The party takes place on Fleet Avenue, which is closed to traffic for the weekend between E 55th and E 65th Streets.
(last updated 4-27-08)