CLEVELAND — An Emmy award-winning meteorologist from northeast Ohio is taking a new look at life.

What You Need 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 window

  • Beth said finding something new for herself is a decision that saved her life

  • Her third bar is opening just in time for the holidays

If you’re from northeast Ohio, you may know Beth McLeod from TV. She’s been giving the people of northeast Ohio the forecast for more than 10 years. 

“I love forecasting the weather,” McLeod said.

But in 2019, her life as she knew it collapsed. Her husband, Fred Mcleod, the longtime broadcaster and play-by-play announcer of the Cleveland Cavaliers, died of a sudden heart attack, leaving her widowed and her life not feeling like her life.

(Courtesy of Beth McLeod)

“It was very public. And I had this nice little meteorology job that was somewhat public. So that's a lot of love coming at you from all different directions,” McLeod said. “And I was very vocal online about my mom having Alzheimer's and she passed right after my husband. So my life was really going down really fast.”

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

“When we opened the doors and people started coming in and they were having so much fun,” McLeod said. “It was great therapy. And that's where I realized this is what I should be doing now.”  

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

Someone who was once delivering weather updates is now helping deliver disco, dancing and DJs to the Flats East Bank area of Cleveland. With unbeatable views, outstanding decorations, thoughtful drinks and cheerful spirits, Forward Hospitality is helping to create some of Ohio’s most unique nightlife destinations.

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

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

She said she’ll always be a meteorologist at heart, but is enjoying her new title of bar owner a little bit more. It’s giving her a renewed sense of purpose in life and a feeling of paying it forward to the community that supported her during her most tragic time.

“I feel like I've given back a little bit to the community that kind of wrapped their arms around me and kind of gave me a hug when I really needed it,” Mcleod said. “I have no children, natural children of my own. I have three step kids, but I have about 50 employees that I think are all my children now. So it's great.”

She said the pain of losing her husband will never fully go away, but through giving the gift of fun to others she’s now giving the gift of life and love to herself. 

“Merry Christmas and happy holidays,” McLeod said. 

The XMAS Bar officially opened Nov. 10. Drink options include cocktails, shots and beers. Burgers and pizza will also be available. McLeod said it will stay open through the Super Bowl in February and then be turned into Hi 5, a two-story sports bar/restaurant in the spring. For more information about the bar visit here