Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cleveland: The Flat Iron

The Flat Iron first served the
"Irish Ghetto" located along
the west bank.
The Flat Iron Café sits in the heart of the renovated Cleveland Flats area. It is northeast Ohio’s oldest Irish pub.

This cafe first opened in 1910. Its cliental were the Irish community that lived and worked along the Cuyahoga River.

Initially, the first floor in this building was a blacksmith’s shop, and most likely this is where the café got its name--Flat Iron. The second floor was used as lodging for sailors and longshoremen that worked on the various lakes.

Bending a flat iron.

This building opened its doors in the late 1800s. It originally had four stories, but a fire took the top two floors.

One legend states, “a lady of the evening” was smoking a cigarette on the 4th floor when she fell asleep. Her cigarette started the fire, and she burned to death.

The Flat Iron Café still serves locals and tourists traditional Irish fare. They also present lively music on Fridays.

But many visit the pub for another reason--it is haunted.

A Blood-Curdling Scream

Irene is the name of the prostitute that caused the fire. Her spirit is believed to linger in the building.

Irene is heard occasionally. She lets out a chillin' scream. The manager at the pub listened to this blood-curdling sound recently as she worked upstairs.

When she went downstairs to investigate all she discovered was a barmaid sweeping.

A group that toured the building encountered Irene. One member of this group announced as they walked up the stairs, that she was “not feeling well.” The guide asked someone to take her hand.

She then announced someone was holding her hand, but no one was next to her. Another tourist snapped a photograph.

In this picture is a skeletal hand covering her hand--in a comforting gesture.


Several Irish families over the years have owned this pub. When the latest owners took over, they were warned about the ghostly activity.

One staff member, who is often in the pub alone at night cleaning up has had several strange encounters.

He states when he is in the bar area, he often hears loud bangs coming from the kitchen. When he enters this room, he finds items strewn across the floor.

Another strange story about this pub involves dimes.

Piles of dimes are found around the pub. They are found on the counter, lying on the jukebox and on the restroom floors.

What is unusual is when they are found no other change--nickels, quarters and pennies are found with them.

At the end of every month, the staff has a pile of at least 40 dimes.

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