The merchants of the Cedar Lee District offer their united sympathy upon learning the news that Jim Brennan of Brennan’s Colony Tavern & Restaurant was shot while at his business.
Jim was a great friend to many in the neighborhood. He will be missed for more than just his skills as a local and independent businessman. Jim created a “go to” place for great food and drink and, most especially, a place where you could socialize with Jim and his neighbors on a Friday or Saturday night.
This news strikes at our hearts and will bring tears to many eyes across the Heights. We submit our prayers to Jim’s family and friends tonight and for the days to come as they reconcile his memory and this tragic occurrence.
While we mourn, we must keep this tragedy in its proper context. In this particular case, we hope the police catch and our courts prosecute the criminal(s). We also hope Clevelanders understand that this is clearly a random act of violence and that the Cedar Lee shopping district remains safe. Simply, walk down the sidewalks of Lee Road on any given night and the street teems with neighbors and suburbanites enjoying our many restaurants, bars and, of course, our beloved Cedar Lee Theatre.
The best way to honor Jim Brennan’s memory is to reject the views of those who want to use this situation to reinforce negative and incorrect opinions about the Cedar Lee shopping district. Jim’s death should not and cannot be minimized, but a random act of violence does not define our neighborhood.
We also need to come together to make sure the other establishments on Lee Road do not suffer—and the best way to do that is to come out tonight and tomorrow night and each night after and fill the streets of Cedar Lee with people.
Some criminal took away a life. Please don’t let that person take away our neighborhood.
John Zagara, Zagara’s Marketplace,
and president of the Cedar Lee Special Improvement District