This article first appeared on www.clevelandmagazine.com. Courtesy of clevelandmagazine.com and Abigail Kussow
In the midst of grand opening midday mania, owner Marie Artale spills on her Italian-inspired eatery and aperitivo.
“I still remember it vividly. I was out with one of my friends, and we were at Flight having wine, and it was great, but she needed a coffee. It was late and we just couldn't find it anywhere in the city — literally nowhere. By this point, we're dying for some great coffee,” says Patron Saint owner Marie Artale.
She’s sitting across from me at one of the end tables furthest from the bar, and projecting her voice so that I — and perhaps more importantly, my phone’s recording app — can hear.
It’s the kind of lively atmosphere that any owner would want for opening day, and Artale handles it with ease. With a degree in hospitality from Cornell University, and a resume full of industry experience while working in New York City, she knew that she wanted to take a bit of that life and bring it back to her home state of Ohio.
“I worked in hospitality, so my days off were on a Monday or Tuesday, you know, not a Saturday and Sunday. I wanted to start drinking at 10 or 11, like you would occasionally do on a weekend. Really, the only option around [here] for that was more of a dark dive bar. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but at noon on a Monday, I want a place where I feel like I'm still out in the sunlight.”
As a Cleveland newcomer myself, I understand exactly what she means, and from the aesthetic the cafe and aperitivo have ushered in, I think she nailed it. Housed within The Vitrolite, the 1,600-square-foot space, seating about 45, is designed to exude a sense of openness. Whether that feeling comes to you through its wide entrance of stone columns and arches, its raised ceiling, its expansive seating options, or its front wall of complete glass facing Detroit Avenue, one thing is clear: it's uniquely refreshing.
Artale wants Patron Saint to be the destination for your in-betweens. Have a free lunch hour? Stop in for their Farro Salad with garlic cucumbers, mint, ricotta salata, and greens. A morning off? Relax with your loved ones over a signature coffee and continental breakfast. How about that pesky time frame between supper and going out on the town? Patron Saint’s Chickpea Piadina might just be the light Italian-inspired fare for you. Pair it with a cocktail, and your evening is already off to a great start.
“Lively is a great word for it,” shares Artale when discussing the diverse clientele. “I've had people camped out on the bar all day with their laptops. They’re working, eating, and drinking coffee. I had people come in to have their lunch meetings here in the morning. Right now we have some lunch,” she says, canvassing the room, “some are starting their spritzes. We’ve got that higher energy vibe that you're not going to have at the Lo-Fi coffee shop because there's plenty of great options already out there [for that].”
Hours of operation for the eatery are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Coffee and cocktails will be available all day with a rotating selection of daily bar snacks and pastries.
Looking towards the future, Artale is far from slowing down plans to give the soon-to-be staple a vibrant character all its own. “It's actually something I haven't shared outside of my closest circles,” she laughs. “I want to bring in Oyster Mondays. I have a gentleman who's going to be bringing and shucking oysters regularly. It’ll probably be every other Monday at first, but I really want that fun aspect, that ‘we survived Monday’ vibe.”