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Issue Date: January 2014 Issue

Light My Fire

Leave all your winter woes behind and cozy up to one of these restaurant fireplaces.
Kara Kissell

Bar Association

The four leather chairs and low table in front of the stone fireplace at Michaelangelo's in Little Italy can be reserved, just like a table in the dining room. Enjoy drinks or order off the restaurant menu. "The fireplace is the focal point of our bar," says general manger Jon Fronck. "[It's] a really cozy winter bar." 2198 Murray Hill Road, Cleveland, 216-721-0300,

Smoke Signal

Guests have been warming up by the wood-burning fireplace in Sokolowski's University Inn dining room since construction of the Innerbelt Bridge decades ago. "The fireplace was built by my father in the late '50s," says owner Bernard Sokolowski. "Men would come in from working on the bridge and have a drink, and the next thing you know, my mother started cooking." 1201 University Road, Cleveland, 216-771-9236,

Artistic Spirit

The painting of a young woman above L'Albatros Brasserie & Bar's fireplace catches your eye the moment you walk in. "Her eyes have this warmth," says owner Zack Bruell. The artwork, along with the glazed ceramic hearth, makes the tables here the most requested in the restaurant. 11401 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, 216-971-7880,

Split Personality

The double-sided fireplace that splits two large dining rooms at Brandt Evans' Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern brings everyone together campfire-style with a fire-lit glow. "It goes hand-in-hand with the log cabin ambiance," says Evans. "We get bitterly cold here, and in winter everyone wants to sit by the fireplace." 8960 Wilcox Drive, Twinsburg, 330-486-2583,

Burning Love

Cuddle up with your significant other in front of the fireplace — a beauty made using dark cherry wood from a torn-down Pittsburgh mansion — at Don's Pomeroy House. "It allows [guests'] minds to free up a little," says general manger Dan Stroemple. "You find people staring at fires. Your mind is just sort of at ease." 13664 Pearl Road, Strongsville, 440-572-1111,

Too cold? Warm up with more options at

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