History and Inspiration:

Our Name…

Charles Dickens, a wonderfully inventive comic artist, won his first literary fame with The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. Published in serial form, the monthly installments described the humorous adventures and misadventures involving a gallery of eccentric characters. In it’s day, The Pickwick episodes were described as having made the commonplace uncommon. Today, in much the same way, the Seinfeld episodes are described as “Much Ado About Nothing.” A little known fact is Dickens journeyed to America in the 1800s and on one of those occasions visited Cleveland. We like to think that when Dickens is in town, he visits Pickwick & Frolic.

Pickwick & Frolic stands on the site of what was once The Euclid Avenue Opera House, built in the 1800s. For Cleveland, the landmark was the grand marvel of its day, frequented by thousands from across the region and beyond. Demolished in 1922, the S.S. Kresge Building was constructed on the site. Pickwick & Frolic, now located in this historic building, still boasts the original sandstone foundation of the Euclid Avenue Opera House that remains preserved along the left side of the stage in Hilarities 4th Street Theatre inside Pickwick & Frolic. We consider this sacred ground, providing live entertainment again on a site that once boasted some of the world's finest opera singers.

Ironically, Pickwick & Frolic Restaurant and Theatre opened on September 6, 2002, exactly 127 years "to the day" the historic Euclid Avenue Opera House opened in 1875.

Short Vincent, a street one block in length (like E. 4th today) between E. 9th and E. 6th streets, was once a colorful center of downtown Cleveland nightlife. The street was filled with restaurants and taverns. By the late 1920s, the local saloons, restaurants and other businesses became a gathering place for gamblers, sports figures, racketeers, lawyers and newspapermen. Short Vincent offered good food, underworld gossip and the odds on anything. It was home to such historical Cleveland landmarks as the Theatrical, the Taystee Barbeque, Frank Ciccia’s Barbershop, The Frolic Show Bar and Pickwick Restaurant.

With all this history in mind, owner Nick Kostis liked the rhyming nature of the name Pickwick and Frolic. Remembering the history of Short Vincent, East 4th Street was the last location in Cleveland that could recreate the colorful live entertainment district from Cleveland’s past. Adopting the historic names of former Short Vincent restaurants and clubs and the fact that Dickens visited Cleveland, Nick decided that Pickwick would become known as our Restaurant and Frolic is what you do inside.

OpenTable Diner's Choice

The OpenTable Diners’ Choice program recognizes outstanding restaurants based on feedback from thousands of local diners. OpenTable diners globally have provided over 30 million ratings and reviews, all confirmed to have dined at a restaurant.

Diners' Choice Awards cover numerous categories. These lists are based solely on OpenTable’s verified feedback gathered only from seated OpenTable diners, protecting restaurants from unverified ratings and reviews. Diners provide star ratings and can select from a list of characteristics to describe their restaurant experience.

Diners’ Choice restaurants are featured in additional sections of opentable.com, increasing exposure and credibility. Awards help provide diners with confidence in their booking decision. We are proud to have received the Diner's Choice Award every year since 2013.

Ohio Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance

At Pickwick & Frolic, we are proud to be a long-standing member of the Ohio Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance since 1999. Our Owner Nick's long term service to the board has earned him a well deserved Emeritas status in the ORHA! In June 2010 Nick was presented The Claude F. Morton Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award by The ORHA. For more than a century, the Alliance has proudly served Ohio's restaurant, foodservice & hospitality industry. Focused on uniting Ohio’s hospitality community and founded on thought leadership, the Alliance provides sound business solutions for members through advocacy, education, events and select products & services. The Alliance serves its members by advancing and protecting Ohio’s restaurant, foodservice & hospitality industry. They lead Ohio's restaurant, foodservice & hospitality community into a new era of prosperity, prominence and participation, enhancing the quality of life for everyone. LEARN MORE!

Certified Angus Beef

At Pickwick & Frolic, we are on a mission to provide only the highest quality beef for our guests. That’s why we proudly offer cuts from the Certified Angus Beef ® brand—it's the only beef certified for flavor and guarantees every juicy bite. Like us, Certified Angus Beef believes the best beef comes from family farmers, who prioritize caring for the land, cattle, and the community.

Since 2011, Certified Angus Beef has proudly joined forces with Pickwick & Frolic to deliver an unparalleled standard of beef excellence to our esteemed guests. As a distinguished member of the Certified Angus Beef® brand’s Steakhouse Operators Group, our restaurant stands among a select group of premier establishments nationwide, dedicated to the pursuit of culinary perfection.

Consistent 100% Fresh Airflow

The HVAC system at P&F continuously replaces indoor air with fresh outside air. Internal air is exhausted back to the outdoors rather than recirculated throughout the facility. The exchange of exhausted air, replaced by fresh outdoor air, helps alleviate the spread of airborne viruses and contaminants associated with cooking and general public uses. We call it Consistent Fresh Airflow.