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Lakewood, Greater Cleveland: Lauren Wiant

Rocky River Reservation

Pier W


78th Street Studio

Lauren Wiant grew up on the east side of Cleveland and attended Miami University, where she was an English major with a business and Spanish minor. After school she got into real estate services and property management through a family connection, and is now in charge of marketing, programming and events at Cumberland Development, which oversees projects like the 5th Street Arcades, two historic arcades in the center of downtown Cleveland that were previously underutilized and underprogrammed. 
Lauren is very involved in different young professional organizations, and there is certainly no shortage of them in the Cleveland area – there are over 80 organizations and programs that focus on young professionals. She recommends the Downtown Cleveland Alliance's "City Advocates" program, and two-year program in which young professionals are placed into groups to work on different impact projects in the city. There is also the Cleveland Young Professional Senate, an advocacy group, and mentee opportunities for young professionals through College Now Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Leadership Center.
Dining & Drinking
Pier W is a more upscale restaurant in an old boat located right on the cliff overlooking the lake. Lauren says it a gorgeous spot with amazing food. Eddie 'N Eddie is more of a casual upscale spot with really good burgers, and for straight casual there is the Diner on Clifton, a classic diner. Players on Madison is also a good place for pizza and pasta, while Brothers Lounge is an area institution known for their chicken wings in a variety of flavors and their live music. For late-night nibbles, check out My Friends and grab a piece of pie before you call it quits.
Lauren also enjoys a good dive bar and recommends the Mars Bar, McGinty's Public House, and Manja, a "total hole in the wall." A new jazz nightclub called Vosh Club just opened and brings in top talent.
For coffee and working away from home and work, the Root Café is an organic bakery and bistro serving fair trade coffee. It's a cool local place to grab a coffee and some breakfast or lunch, hang out, and get some work done. It is also very popular, so be sure to get there early to secure a seat. For fresh, local food lovers, check out the Lakewood Farmers Market held every Saturday.
Arts, Culture and Entertainment
The Screw Factory Artists' Studio is an artists' studio that also hosts open studios and artists' markets. Every Third Friday of the month you can also head to 78th Street Studios, when they bring in live music and food trucks and open up their studio for visitors to check out.
There are several festivals held every year in Lakewood, including the Lakewood Arts Festival, Mahall's LKWD Music Fest, the Clifton Arts and Music Fest, and a holiday arts and crafts show.
The Great Outdoors
Lauren loves jogging and gets up before dawn every morning to jog by the lake. There is a little road called Cliff Overlook that overlooks the beach, the lake, and the downtown skyline. "One of my favorite things to do is to watch the sun rise there," she says.
One of the things Lauren really loves about Lakewood is its proximity to all of the other popular neighborhoods in and around Cleveland. Lakewood may be a Cleveland suburb, but it has defined itself in its own right. "All of these little niche neighborhoods and cities have picked up their own programming," she says. "All of them have had this influx of young people and are trying to differentiate themselves." 
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