New Christmas pop-up bar is coming to northeast Ohio


CLEVELAND — An Emmy-winning meteorologist from northeast Ohio takes a fresh look at life.

What do you want to know

  • Beth McLeod was a TV meteorologist until she changed careers to become a nightclub owner
  • Her husband, Cavaliers broadcaster Fred McLeod, and her mother both died within a short period of time.
  • Beth said finding something new for herself was a life-saving decision
  • His third bar opens just in time for the holidays

If you’re from northeast Ohio, you might know Beth McLeod from TV. She has been giving forecasts to people in northeast Ohio for over 10 years.

“I love forecasting the weather,” McLeod said.

But in 2019, her life as she knew it fell apart. Her husband, Fred Mcleod, the longtime broadcaster and play-by-play announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers, died of a sudden heart attack, leaving her a widow and her life not resembling her life.

(Courtesy of Beth McLeod)

“It was very public. And I had this nice little weather work that was kind of public. So that’s a lot of love coming in from all directions,” McLeod said. “And I talked a lot online about the fact that my mother had Alzheimer’s disease and died shortly after my husband. So my life was going really fast.

She decided it was time for a change. In 2020, she did something many thought was crazy and bought the Good Night John Boy nightclub at the height of the pandemic, joining Forward Hospitality Group, a company that owns, operates and creates new nightlife and dining concepts. . It’s a move that she says not only changed her life, but saved it.

“When we opened the doors, people started coming in and they were having so much fun,” McLeod said. “It was great therapy. And that’s when I realized that was what I had to do now.

What started as a club has multiplied. Welcome to the Farm, a country bar, opened earlier this year and its latest venture is directly upstairs from Welcome to the Farm, a brand new Christmas pop-up bar called XMAS Bar.

Someone who once provided weather updates now helps provide disco, dancing, and DJs in Cleveland’s Flats East Bank area. With unbeatable views, exceptional decorations, thoughtful drinks and cheerful spirits, Forward Hospitality helps create some of Ohio’s most unique nightlife destinations.

Beth McLeod with her partner, Bobby Sotka outside their new bar, XMAS Bar in Cleveland. (Spectrum News 1/Taylor Bruck)

“It creates memories, it creates friendship and love, happy times and happy memories. And it’s generational. It’s not just the young people. It’s the old and everything the world in between,” McLeod said. “And as long as people are laughing in my establishments and giggling and loving each other, what else is there really?

She said she’ll always be a meteorologist at heart, but she’s enjoying her new title as a bar owner a little more. It gives her a new sense of purpose in life and a sense of giving back to the community that supported her through her most tragic time.

“I feel like I gave back a bit to the community that kind of hugged me and kind of hugged me when I really needed it,” Mcleod said. . “I have no children, natural children of mine. I have three stepchildren, but I have about 50 employees who I think are all my children now. So that’s great.

She said the pain of losing her husband will never go away completely, but by giving the pleasure of having fun to others, she is now giving herself the gift of life and love.

“Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,” McLeod said.

The XMAS bar officially opened on November 10. Drink options include cocktails, shots, and beers. Burgers and pizzas will also be available. McLeod said it would stay open through the Super Bowl in February, then be transformed into Hi 5, a two-story sports bar/restaurant in the spring. For more information on the bar, go here.

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