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Patron Saint Café + Bar now open in Hingetown: Doug Trattner reports

From the setting to the food and drink, this charming café does things a little differently.

CLEVELAND — This week, the Hingetown neighborhood of Ohio City welcomed its newest restaurant. But Patron Saint, which is owned by Marie Artale, isn’t like most restaurants

From the setting to the food and drink, this charming café does things a little differently.

Billed as an Italian-themed café and aperitivo bar, Patron Saint isn't designed to be a late-night hang or a place built to bring in big dinner business. Instead, Artale says that she wants to focus on the "in-betweens" of the day.

"This neighborhood is very much a walking neighborhood, a close community," she explained, "and I love that on your way to work you can stop in for a coffee, but on the way home, you can meet some neighbors for a happy hour drink."

As an all-day café, Patron Saint transitions from early morning coffee service through early evening aperitivo hour. The 50-seat café boasts a window counter with lake views, comfortable banquettes, a standing rail, and bar seating.

To eat, there is a roster of smart small and medium plates crafted by chef David Kocab.

"It will have an all-day cafe menu that'll focus on some lighter dishes that are definitely Italian regional rather than Italian American, and just some lighter fare," Artale added.

And come "aperitivo hour," the chef will roll out a few nightly specials to enjoy with a glass of wine or cocktail.

Speaking of cocktails, in addition to beer and wine, Artale is offering a compelling selection of non-alcoholic coffee cocktails and amaro-based spritzes that go well beyond the ubiquitous Aperol and Campari-based favorites. It's part of a trend we're seeing that focuses on lower alcohol drinks.

"With the low-ABV cocktails, it's great because you're able to have more than one without it impeding with your plans for the rest of the day or the evening," Artale told us, "and it's really about spending that time and elongating that time with others, which I think is really important."

For her first restaurant, Artale chose the historic Vitrolite Building, once used as a showroom for Vitrolite tile. The sunny 1,600-square-foot space features beamed 15-foot ceilings, 100-year-old tile flooring, elegant arches, and walls covered in various shades of Vitrolite glass.

"So that's why I have tile all over my walls," she added. "It's not just because I couldn't decide a tile pattern. I walked into this space — with all these arches, with all of this character — and you can't build that; you can just build upon it."

Artale went to school to specialize in hospitality, and she has spent years honing her skills in New York City and and the rest of the Empire State. What she has been working towards, she explains, is a place like Patron Saint.

"I wanted to create a space that was warm and welcoming and that I wanted to spend time in all day, and I just wanted to make other people happy," she said. "I think this space, just walking in makes you happy, and I can't wait for people to be able to really experience it and interact with food, drinks, and our team."


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