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What Should Go in Soon-to-Close Big Dog Space?

The theater will close at the end of this month. What kind of business do you think should replace it?

Cleveland Heights Patch readers had a variety of reactions upon learning last week that Big Dog Theater owner Don Mitri plans to close after less than two years of operation.

Some readers considered it another disappointing loss for the Coventry business district, while others said they had no clue that Big Dog had even opened at the former Centrum Theater in February 2011.

"With a name like Big Dog, I assumed it was still a sports bar," reader Jim Raden wrote on our Facebook page. "Who knew that it had become a theater again?

"Had they chosen another name, they would have heightened awareness that it was actually a theater. With that, I'm sad to see them go."

Mayor Ed Kelley said the city would work with property owner Coventry Holdings LLC to find a new tenant, but that is far happening at this point. Additionally, Big Dog will host two more shows before closing at the end of the year.

Still, we want to know what you hope for the future of this large space. What kind of business could work there? Should another playhouse set up shop there, or would another kind of retailer be a better option?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Patti Carlyle December 11, 2012 at 03:28 PM
ikea might be better suited for the soon-to-vacant space left by walmart [and borders, and...] at severance, once it relocates to oakwood. ikea needs a huge footprint, and tons-o-parking, which coventry just doesn't have. but. they also like highway signage and access, so...will heights ever see one? too bad. it would be a fantastic regional addition. as far as the theater. i'm at a loss. there is so much prime space vacant in the heights right now. myxx, university square...and the eventually-will-need-to-be-filled space to open at lee and meadowbrook. we have a glut of great real estate! i can usually find the silver lining on local business news, but this closing is a bummer. there are big chunks in each business district that need attention...i wish i had better ideas.
Patti Carlyle December 11, 2012 at 03:31 PM
or maybe your comment was ironic, garry...? as in, all questions posed about vacant real estate in the heights end in IKEA!!! ?
Hannah Kelly December 11, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Angelos in Lakewood ( http://www.angelosonline.com/ ) is looking to add another location. What Lee Rd or Coventry needs is a family friendly Italian Restaurant. Dewey's is just OK and Little Italy is just a over priced hassle.
Garry Kanter December 11, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Bingo.
Garry Kanter December 11, 2012 at 07:49 PM
I agree with just about every word you wrote. The city needs one of more comprehensive, well thought out programs to deal with the commercial/retail vacancies. Instead, the mayor and council give those Meadowbrook-Lee guys $5 MILLION in discounted and unappraised land and tax abatements to exacerbate the problems you describe. Things gotta change in November, 2013, or things will *never* change in our community.

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