Military veteran to transform former funeral home into suit shop, speakeasy

CLEVELAND — Fashion is the future in Ohio City, says Zach Cooper, a U.S. Marine Veteran and small business owner who is working to transform a vacant funeral home into a suit shop and speakeasy.

He’s looking to breathe new life into the space, all while giving back to his fellow service members.

He fell in love with men’s fashion and suits while studying abroad in Northern Ireland and England after serving in the military.

He’s hoping to bring the refined, stylish energy to Northeast Ohio and fill a large gap in the Cleveland market.

“It was too good to pass up,” Cooper said.

The Avon Lake native has had his eyes set on 3929 Lorain Avenue in Ohio City for as long as he can remember.

He saw promise there.

From the outside brick to the walls inside, he found himself captivated by the possibilities.

“I wanted to do justice to how cool of a neighborhood this is, but at the same time, I do wanna honor what existed here,” Cooper said.

Etched in letters on a faded sign out front — the space was the old Bodnar Family Funeral home.


Mike Holden

It sat vacant for years.

“Former funeral home! Former funeral home — key words. Nothing spooky here. We’ll get the sage out!” Cooper laughed.

He is pouring his savings and energy into transforming the 8,000 square-foot space into a men’s suit shop, speakeasy and hangout.

Once completed —it will take on the name “Sartorial,” an ode to a custom garment.

“Sartorial” is an expression used to say “you look sharp.”

“I wanted to go buy these types of products, but there weren’t a lot of places in this area. You can come here, get fitted and look sharp,” Cooper said.

Between the bright stained glass windows,

Read the rest