This City has many more expensive and exotically presented places to get a good steak than John Q's. In reality, the steaks served elsewhere are really no better, the service is no more attentive and most alternatives lack the old school Cleveland undercurrent of "we've been here, we'll be here" that I enjoy at John Q's.
John Q's is definitely a Cleveland thing. I'm passionate about all things Cleveland because I'm not from Cleveland, and it kills me to see how painfully little credit the city gives itself. John Q's to me, is a bit like Cleveland as a steakhouse.
Sure, Its a little bit rough around the edges when you compare it to, say, a Mortons - a chain that's now quietly backing off some of the elements that made it the standard by which others were judged. But even John Q's staunchest fan will probably acknowledge that the brass could use a polish here and there, maybe they should ditch the paper table cloth covers and it could be time to seriously consider installing an elevator / rope ladder / salaried sherpa down to the bathroom.
to be brutally honest, there's more than a hint of faded glory going on here - and its not just the Kosar jersey in the lobby.
All that being said, the bottom line will (and should) always be the food - and its really solid.
Good execution on the steaks, though compared to "most" steakhouses, they overcook in my opinion (its not rocket science to overcome, just order a shade lighter than you would elsewhere....)
I enjoy the inclusion of a vegetable and salad within the price of the entree and I particularly liked James our waiter who struck precisely the right balance between service and conversation. Potatoes were appropriately football sized and decently done while desserts were an unexpected treat - the apple walnut concoction is a bit of a gem, truth be told.
So, price-wise it beats its competition closer to tower city. It's located in a rapidly improving public square with no more than a brisk 5 minute walk to the Casino and there's plenty of reasonably priced parking.
If you enjoy the city of Cleveland and you're a little jaded by some of the sillier pricing around the "high end" steakhouses, I would recommend John Q's as a quirky, satisfying choice.