Visitors to Huntington Beach will be able to enjoy a cocktail or craft beer along with their ice cream and Lake Erie summer sunsets.
Cleveland Metroparks unveiled its latest addition to the popular lakefront park: The Noshery, an updated cafe that serves Honey Hut ice cream and other concessions, including drinks for adults.
The Noshery is one of several new amenities added as part of a $1.6 million improvement project that included a Sunset Picnic Plaza; new restrooms; beach access improvements; and bike racks. Work also included restoring the exterior siding of the historic water tower.
“While it's not the official start of summer, it kind of is the official start over here at Huntington reservation,” Brian Zimmerman, Cleveland Metroparks CEO, told a crowd of nearly 50 people who attended the ribbon cutting. “We couldn't be more excited about the enhancements that have happened here over the last number of years.”
Visitors can sit down at
picnic tables in the new 4,200 square foot Sunset Picnic Plaza, which is adjacent to the Noshery.
Tony Nasrallah, Ground Works president, said the firm became involved about two years ago in discussing how to enhance the park. His Westlake-based company built the Sunset Picnic Plaza, which overlooks Lake Erie.
The Emerald Necklace Foundation was a major contributor to the project, Zimmerman said. The organization is an internal part of the metroparks and has raised over $5 million.
“People have a choice as to where they want to spend their dollars, especially now, where they want to make memories and it's important that we continue to elevate the experience for our guests with updated amenities and gathering spaces such as these,” said Debbie Berry, Vice president of planning and real estate development for the Cleveland Metroparks.
She said Huntington had more than 925,000 recreational visits last year, an increase of nearly 100,000 from the previous year.
“So you can see this park is getting a ton of use and I'm sure these amenities will bring even more,” she said.
The improvements were funded by donors, both individuals and families, as well as the Emerald Necklace Endowment Fund.
“Huntington is a great asset for Bay Village and the entire Greater Cleveland area as a place to swim and enjoy nature,” said Mayor Paul Koomar, who attended the event. “We've always been very supportive of (Cleveland Metroparks) and have a great working relationship with them, many residents use facilities here, and it was great to see that new investment in restrooms and service operation.”
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