Players on Madison has been a restaurant since the late 70?s when it made its debut as Players Pizza & Pasta. An inspiration of Mark and Julie Sherry, the restaurant gained a reputation as a mecca for pizza lovers with an almost limitless combination of sauces and toppings for pizza, calzones and pasta. Most everything was and still is house-made, with careful attention to freshness, color, textures and most of all – taste! But Players was not always a restaurant. Built in the 1920?s, the site at Madison & Belle has been a grocery, hardware, shoe and floor covering store.
We think that the more than three-quarters of a million diners who have dined at 14523 Madison Avenue will agree that the buildings’ best use is that of a great restaurant! Players has been the birthplace of many famous chefs, including Michael Symon, Cleveland’s Iron Chef to today’s own Anthony Romano. In addition to a talented chef, Players’ ‘front of the house’ management has developed a tradition of inspired and hospitable service that so many have enjoyed over the last almost three decades. Players derived its name in a unique manner. Originally, the eatery had no real moniker, but loyal guests inspired the name. With its close proximity to Lakewood High School, the ‘players’ were athletes who frequented the diner after high school football games. Their photos would be proudly displayed on the wall surrounded by a frame of ’45 RPM’ records. (Remember them?) Soon, Players was the name of the hospitable one-room cafe where Lakewood Players hung out after every game. Today, under chef Tony Romano, Players has built on its tradition of quality and embraced a contemporary cuisine with its Mediterranean roots and inspirations from modern American food themes. Yes, pizza and pasta are still the culinary grand-daddy however, chef’s creations and daily specials highlight the offerings. Players’ wine list is an amazing collection of user friendly, fairly priced and unique selections. Today, Players is one of Cleveland’s top purveyors of fine wines and spirits.
We invite you to discover or revisit what so many have come to love, Players on Madison – everyone’s favorite little restaurant!