Archives for October 2013

PEACE Playground Turns 20!

peace playground

Happy 20th anniversary to the Coventry PEACE Playground this year!!! Tommy’s has been proud to provide refreshments to the selfless volunteers who help rejuvenate the playground twice a year. These volunteers give their time in order to provide a safe, clean environment for our neighborhood families.

400 volunteers built this playground 20 years ago. Were you one of them? Tell us about your experience!!

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In the News:

Tommy’s on Coventry gets nature award and may expand to West Side

by Debbi Snook, Plain Dealer
October 18, 2013

Things are hopping at Tommy’s on Coventry in Cleveland Heights — and not just for the crowd wanting hummus and pita.

The 41-year-old restaurant, established in the back-to-the-earth era, has won Nature Conservancy’s sustainable restaurant contest in the Cleveland area.

In an unrelated move, the owner is considering an additional store on the West Side.

Tommy Fello, who learned to cook on his own and built the business, said he was flabbergasted that his restaurant won the popular vote over three other contenders: Spice Kitchen & Bar, The Greenhouse Tavern and Lucky’s Cafe.

“It’s cool. The old grunt sandwich-maker ended up on top,” Fello said by phone.

He wasn’t too flabbergasted, though. Once the nominations came out, Fello’s daughter Stephanie marched out a Twitter and Facebook campaign to the restaurant’s loyalists.

The award, called Nature’s Plate, is partly based on popular vote, but also on statements restaurants make to the conservancy about the ways they operate in harmony with nature.

The conservancy is working with farmers and commercial fertilizer retailers in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan on projects to reduce the amount of nutrients that flow into the tributaries of Lake Erie and inland lakes. Too much of these nutrients, including phosphorus, is contributing to algae blooms that poison fish and can harm people and their pets.”

Tommy’s has long-served vegan and vegetarian food alongside diner-style items, such as hot dogs, and Mediterranean foods.

Fello said the eggs he uses are true free-range products from his South Russell neighbor and the oil he uses for frying is recycled for biodiesel engine fuel. He keeps a container in the back of his Coventry Road site and makes it available to all takers.

“We use high-grade frying oil, without hydrogenated oils [trans fats],” he said. “We pay top dollar for it, and we’ve been doing it since the 1990s.

“The neighborhood people come by; they know when we dump it. And there must be some kind of blog for people on the road, that tells them where to find recycled oil, because we get them, too. If you’re there, you’re welcome to it.”

Fello said his buyer, Marc Siegal, makes a special effort to find local produce.

The possibility of a West Side Tommy’s is real, said Fello, but not imminent. He said he was approached this summer by officials at Ohio City Inc., who are looking for a family restaurant that doesn’t serve alcohol – a profile that fits him. They toured several properties along West 25th Street, and he is also considering Lakewood.

“I’ve been in business 41 years with a great bunch of people who are really loyal to me,” he said. “I thought, if the situation is right, I could do it to help them out, give them more responsibility. Also, I have five daughters and seven grandchildren. My family could expand into doing more.

“I’ve talked to the kids and they’re excited, but it’s a big step and we have to make sure everybody is on board. We’ve got feelers out there and if the right thing comes up, we may jump on it.”

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Tommy’s Wins Nature Award!

natures-choice-awardTommy’s Restaurant is happy to announce that we won the People’s Choice 2013 Nature’s Plate Award from The Nature Conservancy!  Thanks to to all of you for your votes and support, we are honored to have been chosen as your favorite green restaurant in Cleveland!

What is a Green Restaurant?


Sponsor: Heights Holistic Fair

heights-holistic-fairTommy’s Restaurant is happy to be sponsoring the Heights Holistic Fair on October 12-13!  Come join us to learn about options for healthy, sustainable living, helpful products, services and information.  And don’t forget to enjoy the yummy food donated by Tommy’s!  This event will be fun for the whole family!

The next Heights Holistic Fair will be held on October 12 and 13 at the Open Office Community Space, located in the former Coventry School building at 2843 Washington Boulevard in Cleveland Heights. Hours are 10 a.m.–6 p.m. both days.

The fair will feature renowned speaker and author Dr. Warren Grossman who will give a talk entitled “Healing Is Natural”, discussing tools for healthier, happier living. He will also lead an interactive workshop, “Strong, Pain-Free Feet”, sharing methods for relieving foot pain and building a strong foundation to support the body. A gentle yoga class will follow the workshop, helping yogis at all levels of ability achieve proper alignment in their poses. The fair will also feature additional speakers both days, presenting several related topics of interest.

The holistic fair, co-organized by Cleveland Heights native Judith Eugene and Pat Uhr of Lakewood, will present products, services and information on healthy living options for people of all ages. Vendors will offer products for sale and will provide sample healing treatments. Psychic mediums will be on hand to give personal readings. Performances by various musicians will also be featured. Activities for the kids will include all-ages drum circles, yoga classes, and a tambourine-making project.

Each fair also includes an all-ages play area, complete with toys from Coventry mainstay Big Fun. Says Eugene, “We want to reach out to the community to provide information on healthy living for all ages – kids, parents and grandparents; and have a lot of fun in the process.”

The fair is being sponsored by FutureHeights, a local organization that promotes a vibrant and sustainable future for Cleveland Heights and University Heights. Tommy’s Restaurant donates the food for each fair, and in turn, Eugene and Uhr donate all proceeds from the food sales to the Heights Libraries.

Admission is $5 per day and includes admission to all of the activities and speakers (psychic readings are a small additional fee). Children under 12 get in free.

The Heights Holistic Fair is presented jointly by Eugene’s Loving Hands Yoga and Reiki and Uhr’s Harmonic Journeys. For a schedule of activities and speakers please visit or call Judith Eugene at 216-408-5578. For information about FutureHeights please visit or call 216-320-1423.

“Best Place to take the Family”

tommys-future-heightsTommy’s was voted “Best Place to Take The Family” by Future Heights!

Thank you to all of our loyal customers. You are the reason we have loved having Tommy’s in the heights for the past 41 years!

Congratulations to all of the other winners and finalists. We would like to give a special shout out to our neighbors at Big Fun for being voted “Best Storefront Signage!”