story by John Petkovic, The Plain Dealer

Esquire called it one of the Top 100 bars in America. Its jukebox is the toast of the town. Bands local and national alike rave about playing there. And yet Cindy Barber and Mark Leddy had something else in mind when they opened their music club on Waterloo Road in Collinwood.

Yes, they imagined a premier club. But they also wanted to create an incubator for activity on a street long written off for dead. In the 10 years since the Beachland opened, the street has come alive as a strip of shops selling everything from records to arts, crafts and coffee. On Saturday, all that liveliness spills into the street, thanks to Waterloo Arts Fest. The seventh annual block party boasts bands, performers, DJs, food and arts vendors — not to mention a neighborhood pride that has transformed Waterloo Road.

During Waterloo Arts Fest, the strip sees a mass of visitors. Last year, it attracted 7,000 people looking for, well, retro things and thrills.

The vibe of it all is also retro: This neighborhood hasn’t had this much action since way back when.

Go to waterlooartsfest.com for info on events.

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Story Compliments Of The Plain Dealer

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