Heck’s Cafe

in Restaurants and Cafes

Heck’s Cafe, an LGBT+-friendly restaurant, opened at 2927 Bridge Avenue in 1974. Heck’s Cafe was first opened by Ohio City restauranteur John Saile. Notably, Heck’s was “among the first Cleveland-area restaurants to specialize in huge gourmet burgers in the 1970s.” Located in a converted red brick townhouse, Heck’s featured three interior dining areas with “dozens of plants, stained glass, and high-backed rattan chairs” and a fenced-in outdoor patio. Heck’s was a popular meeting place for LGBT+ Ohio City residents, many of whom contributed to the preservation of historic homes and buildings throughout the Ohio City area. In January 1998, a devastating late-night kitchen fire caused significant and extensive damage to the 120-year-old historic red brick building Heck’s occupied. In order to repair the resulting damages, Steve Slifko (Heck’s second owner) was forced to temporarily close the restaurant following the fire. Heck’s Cafe reopened in October 1998 following nearly nine months of extensive fire-related repairs and renovations. Two years after the fire, Slifko closed Heck’s on July 5th, 2000. In an article announcing the restaurant’s closure, Slifko attributed Heck’s untimely demise to an “insufficient work force” that had supposedly left the restaurant inoperable. Following the front-page publication of his article in the Plain Dealer, however, Slifko was immediately inundated with a multitude of calls from distraught customers and other individuals passionately seeking employment at the former restaurant. Following this outpouring of support, Slifko hesitantly reopened Heck’s in late July with a full staff. A year later, Slifko sold Heck’s to restauranteurs Jeff Eisenberg and Mike Weigand. After obtaining ownership of Heck’s, Eisenberg and Weigand redecorated the restaurant’s interior in a more modern style. Heck’s again changed ownership after it was purchased by restaurant owner Fadi Doud in 2005. After obtaining ownership, Doud revamped the restaurant’s menu with a greater emphasis on fresh “made-from-scratch” offerings. (Heck’s famous burgers, however, remained largely unchanged after this menu rehaul.) Doud opened an offshoot of the original Heck’s Cafe location – Heck’s of Avon (35514 Detroit Road) – in 2015, followed by a third location – Heck’s of Beachwood (3355 Richmond Road) – in 2022.

Additional information coming soon.


  • “Buck Harris Interview, 20 April 2006.” Cleveland Voices.
  • Cicora, Elaine T. “Heck’s Rises From the Flames.” Scene. January 28, 1999.
  • Crea, Joe. “Heck’s Cafe’s Major Expansion Will Double Space for Ohio City Landmark – and an Avon Location is Underway.” Cleveland.com. November 17, 2016.
  • Damron, Bob. “…And Doing Cleveland…” High Gear. October 1978. Page 7.
  • DeMarco, Laura. “Heck’s Cafe in Ohio City: Great Burgers and Much, Much More.” Cleveland.com. September 27, 2019.
  • DeMarco, Laura. “Heck’s Cafe Offers Something For Everyone.” Plain Dealer. October 2, 2019.
  • “Fire Damages Heck’s.” Plain Dealer. January 14, 1998.
  • Fred. “Eating Out.” High Gear. February 1978. Page 17.
  • Glassman, Anthony. “June Sees Changes for Three Ohio Gathering Spots.” Gay People’s Chronicle. June 29, 2001. Page 2.
  • Hecks Cafe. Facebook.
  • Long, John S. “Heck’s Cafe Reopens With New Staff Today.” Plain Dealer. July 19, 2000.
  • Long, John S. “Heck’s Closes, Updates, Reopens.” Plain Dealer. June 20, 2001.
  • Long, John S. “What’s Cooking? Nothing At Heck’s.” Plain Dealer. July 6, 2000.
  • McGreevy, Ralph. “A Few Comforting Reminders Remain At Heck’s Cafe.” Plain Dealer. September 21, 2001.
  • Murray, Teresa Dixon. “Coming Back From A Disaster.” Plain Dealer. October 23, 1998.
  • Petkovic, John. “Heck’s Cafe in Ohio City A Classic Cleveland Bar-Restaurant (Photos).” Cleveland.com. November 15, 2016.
  • Sangiacomo, Michael. “Heck’s, an Ohio City Favorite, Opening Restaurant in Avon On Wednesday.” Cleveland.com. May 12, 2015.
  • Segal, Beth. “A Cleveland Classic, Heck’s Still Makes A Great Burger.” Plain Dealer. Plain Dealer. April 22, 2011.
  • Stewart, Dillon. “Classic Cleveland Restaurants: Hecks of Ohio City.” Cleveland Magazine. January 22, 2020.
  • Wolfe, Paris. “Heck’s Cafe to Open New Location in Beachwood.” Cleveland.com. October 3, 2022.
2927 Bridge Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113

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