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Community Roots

Sam McNulty, BA urban studies ’97, owns and operates very successful bar/restaurants in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland – ranging from a nano brewery where experimental beers are concocted to Market Garden Brewery, a full brewpub with close to 500 seats. His properties also include McNulty’s Bier Market, Bar Cento and Speakeasy.

He began his hospitality career as a junior at CSU. Attending a class in proposal writing, he responded to a request to fill a restaurant space on campus. His proposal was accepted and at age 21, he opened Cafe 101 in the former University Center. He operated the restaurant-bar for eight years while employing many students. 

Until then, he had never worked in a restaurant. In fact, dining out was a luxury for the seven McNulty siblings whose parents were social workers.

“How hard could it be to run a restaurant?” he remembers asking himself. The rest is history.

A 2014 recipient of CSU’s Distinguished Alumni Award, McNulty’s entrepreneurial success has been a huge catalyst for creating the Market District in Ohio City. 

His ability to imagine beyond what is — and see what could be — has led to new ventures as a real estate developer and investor. His latest project is Duck Island 7, an upscale, urban townhouse development that began as “an abandoned parcel of land that was nothing but gravel and mud,” but is now “the connective tissue joining the hot neighborhoods of Ohio City, Tremont and the Flats West Bank.”

McNulty, his wife and dog live in one of the seven townhouses – a considerable step up from the 600-square-foot West 25th Street apartment that he had rented for 15 years.

He says Duck Island is a natural off-shoot from his restaurants and breweries. “It’s this cool, eclectic neighborhood hiding in plain sight,” he adds. 

Also in this Issue...

Alumni Adventures

From behind-the-scenes visits to well-known (and little-known) Cleveland sites to world tours, the CSU Alumni Association’s calendar of events has something for everyone.  Read more >>

Homecoming Memories

A people-powered parade, golden apples, a harvest picnic, reunions, dedications, awards . . . Homecoming 2019 was packed with activities that brought alumni and their families back to campus. Read more >>

Alumna Finds Success as Chef, Restaurateur

After a three-day journey from Ukraine, Natasha Pogrebinsky, along with her parents and younger brother, arrived in the United States on January 2, 1991. They had three suitcases and just $200. Two weeks later, they left New York City for a permanent home in Parma, Ohio. Read more >>

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