CLEVELAND, Ohio — After Ohio lifted its pandemic restrictions this month, diners were welcomed with plenty of new eateries to check out in Greater Cleveland.
Restaurants, cafes and bars have been popping up in Northeast Ohio in the first half of 2021, filling vacant spots and newly constructed restaurant spaces alike. The new businesses follow what’s been a brutal year. In 2020, many local restaurants closed their doors due to financial strains related to COVID-19.
But Cleveland’s dining scene is still thriving and updating with fresh ideas and concepts nearly every week. Here are some of the new restaurants that have opened in 2021:
CLEVELAND: Keep the Change Kitchen Collective
Ben Bebenroth closed his acclaimed Spice Kitchen + Bar in Cleveland’s Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood at the beginning of the pandemic and then worked diligently on planning and opening Keep the Change Kitchen Collective, which offers multiple culinary concepts under one roof, including Winner Winner Spatchcockery, Winner Winner Wing Shop, Leif Burly Salads and Bowls and Woo Noods and Rice.
5601 Tillman Ave. Cleveland, ktckitchen.com
Read more about Keep the Change Kitchen Collective
CLEVELAND: StoneFruit Coffee
Youngstown-based StoneFruit Coffee Company opened its first Cleveland location this spring, taking over the former Pour Coffee space downtown. When Pour closed in February, StoneFruit owner Josh Langenheim jumped at the opportunity to bring his brand into downtown Cleveland. The space has been updated with new bar tops, tables and seats, and a Cleveland city skyline mural on one wall.
530 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, stonefruitcoffee.com
Read more about StoneFruit
CLEVELAND: Goodnight John Boy
The former Magnolia club space in Cleveland’s Flats neighborhood has transformed into Goodnight John Boy, a ’70s-themed disco bar and eatery. The space is distinctly different from Magnolia’s late-night club atmosphere. Co-owner Bobby Rutter instead aimed to update the bar into a “‘70s basement kind of vibe.”
And what would a disco bar be without some disco music? Rutter said that Goodnight John Boy will feature local DJs spinning tunes from the ’70s and ’80s, and also modern artists influenced by the era, like Bruno Mars and Dua Lipa.
The space will focus on its bar but will have two items on its food menu: pizza and chicken fingers. Ingredients have been imported from New York’s Kesté Pizzeria.
1167 Front Ave., Cleveland, goodnightcle.com
Read more about Goodnight John Boy
CLEVELAND: Bronco’s Western BBQ
Gary Carrino’s award-winning barbecue is the focus of Bronco’s Western BBQ, a new restaurant that opened on March 1 in Cleveland. Carrino co-owns the space with longtime friend and collaborator Frank Lord. The two noticed the space — formerly a Gyro George restaurant — was vacant last year and decided to make a move to open their own spot.
3765 Ridge Road, Cleveland, broncoswesternbbq.com
Read more about Bronco’s Western BBQ
CLEVELAND: Acqua di Luca (opening soon)
OK, we cheated just a bit on this one; its official opening is Monday, June 14. But Luca and Lola Sema, who brought us Luca Italian Cuisine in Cleveland’s Flats and the suburban outpost, Luca West, are in the downtown Cleveland space formerly occupied by XO Prime Steakhouse. Think seafood, pizza and a dash of decadence, with a bar that faces St. Clair Avenue and the cityscape laid out before you.
500 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland
Read more about Acqua di Luca
CLEVELAND: Goma (opening soon)
Another newcomer — but one worth keeping an eye on — is Dante Boccuzzi’s Goma. The chef’s latest concept will take over the former Chinato space on East 4th Street, focusing on sushi rolls, noodles, tempura plates and hot pot dishes, including shabu-shabu. After a year’s delay due to the pandemic, Boccuzzi finally plans to open the space by the end of June.
2079 E. 4th St., Cleveland
Read more about Goma
BAY VILLAGE: Chatty’s Pizzeria
Longtime Michael Symon restaurant manager and chef Matt Harlan struck out on his own to open Chatty’s Pizzeria on March 2. Harlan landed the restaurant in Bay Village, where he lives, near BayArts, where his wife Melanie works.
Though Chatty’s Pizzeria offers a neighborhood pizza shop, Harlan said that the restaurant is meant to be an elevated but still friendly option for customers, whether they’re families or dates.
“All the pizzas we’re doing are hand-tossed, which is a little different from other pizza places. I’m just doing my own spin on them. They’re a little bit lightly sauced with light cheese. I’m not trying to do a ton of toppings on everything,” Harlan said. “It’s more than a pizza shop to me. It’s more of a restaurant that fits into this campus and Bay Village. I don’t know that this concept would work in a ton of places.”
28611 Lake Road, Bay Village, chattyspizzeria.com
Read more about Chatty’s Pizzeria
BEACHWOOD: Bar Italia
Veteran restaurant owner Rick Doody saw Italian cuisine as underserved in Beachwood and felt a need for a change in Lakewood. So he converted a pair of Lindey’s Lake House locations to this concept. Local pasta and local breads are used. It’s billed as friendly and upscale.
2101 Richmond Road, Beachwood
15625 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
Read more about Bar Italia
CHAGRIN FALLS: Pizza DiLauro
Chagrin Falls pizza shop Pizzeria DiLauro utilizes 1,500 square feet of space for its counter service style restaurant and small dining areas. The restaurant found success with its hand-tossed 18-inch pizzas, inspired by East-coast pizza styles. Pizza DiLauro also has non-pizza items on the menu, like sandwiches, meatballs, chicken wings and more. The restaurant has an emphasis on locally sourced produce and meats, and it makes all of its dressings from scratch.
17800 Chillicothe Road, Chagrin Falls, pizzeriadilauro.com
Read more about Pizza DiLauro
CUYAHOGA FALLS: Kneaded
At Kneaded, baker Kimberly Nader sells unique takes on breaks, along with pies, cakes, jellies and a variety of sweets. Big customer favorites include “Elvis Bread” (peanut-butter banana bread with bacon and chocolate chips), pie pops (small pies served on a stick) and a variety of homemade jellies made with locally grown, in-season ingredients with flavors like peach-bourbon, Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper. Nader said her biggest seller, by far, has been her cinnamon rolls.
1300 Sackett Ave., Cuyahoga Falls, kneaded-breads-and-confections.ueniweb.com
Read more about Kneaded
EUCLID: 222 Cold Brew Specialty Drinks and Cereal Bar
Cereal and milk is a classic breakfast staple, and it’s the focus of 222 Cold Brew Specialty Drinks & Cereal Bar, a new eatery that opened in Euclid at the end of May. 222 Cold Brew is owned by Robyn and Charles Fossen. It specializes in cereal treats and cereal-infused milkshakes. Customers can customize their own milkshakes with toppings and cereals, or they can order specials designed by the owners.
768 E. 222nd St., Euclid, 222coldbrewcerealbar.com
Read more about 222 Cold Brew
ORANGE VILLAGE: The Last Page
One of the newest restaurants to go into the Pinecrest development, The Last Page is located next to the Central Park area near Silverspot Cinema. TLP features handcrafted cocktails, a curated wine list to pair with the dishes and a specialized beer program. Dishes have an American base but take on a “global influence.” It’s a culinary melting-pot type of place. “We believe people are looking for places to go,” owner Todd Leebow says. “While the world is changing people need to be with people and enjoy great food and beverage and company. Our best days are ahead of us.”
100 Park Ave., Orange Village, thelastpagerestaurant.com
Read more about The Last Page as it was getting ready to open and when it set its opening date
ROCKY RIVER: Sakana Sushi Bar and Lounge
Sakana Sushi Bar and Lounge opened the weekend of May 20 at the former Pearl of the Orient location at Beachcliff Market Square. The new eatery features vegan, Asian fusion, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Thai, wok and sushi menu offerings. There are dine-in and carryout options, as well as patio seating.
19300 Detroit Road, Rocky River, facebook.com/SakanaCLE
Read more about Sakana
SHAKER HEIGHTS: Upper Crust Pizza
Upper Crust opened its newest location to the public on Feb. 10, landing a spot in Shaker Heights. Shop owner Issam Halawi said that business has been going strong for his shops, and that he’s centered on delivery and carryout options during the coronavirus pandemic. The space has been updated, with new appliances and modern décor, Halawi said. The menu is the same as Upper Crust’s other locations, offering pizza, chicken and salads. Pizzas include vegan options and gluten-free crusts.
16600 Chagrin Blvd., Shaker Heights, uppercrustoh.com
Read more about Upper Crust
SHAKER HEIGHTS: Kindred Spirit
Kindred Spirit aims to be a neighborhood destination in Shaker Heights’ bustling Van Aken District. The concept is owned by Forward Hospitality Group, the same organization which runs FWD Day + Nightclub, Magnolia and Garden City, a sister concept to Kindred Spirit. Both Garden City and Kindred Spirit are located in the former Sawyer’s restaurant space.
The new restaurant steps away from its former upscale predecessor, instead, drawing in customers for an approachable, laid-back dining experience, designed to complement Garden City, a cocktail concept on the rooftop patio that opened in June 2020.
3386 Tuttle Road, Shaker Heights, kindredspiritcle.com
Read more about Kindred Spirit
STRONGSVILLE: Hot Chicken Takeover
HCT opened in the Royalton Collection development near Condado Tacos and City Barbeque, just west of Interstate 71. The Columbus restaurant company, which started in 2014, bills itself as a community-minded social enterprise and partners with nonprofits and employment agencies to provide jobs. The menu is focused, offering pick-your-meat options – wings, drumsticks, dark, white and boneless – and several sauces. Meals are akin to a combo deal and come with “Ma’s Mac” or “Ma’s Slaw.”
17830 Royalton Road, Strongsville, hotchickentakeover.com
Read more about Hot Chicken Takeover as well as its mission
STRONGSVILLE: Pho & Beyond
Some soups you crave in the summertime, others you want in winter. Pho, though, seems appropriate in any season. The Vietnamese soup has one type of meat, like chicken or beef, plus broth, noodles and herbs. Owners Tuan Le and his wife, Quynh, saw a need for the cuisine in the area for the recently opened Pho & Beyond. The eatery can seat 78 inside and 32 on patio seats. “We cook with passion, and our purpose is to make people happy with authentic food,” Le says.
13500 Pearl Road, Strongsville, phobeyond.com
Read more about Pho & Beyond
WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS: Juicy Seafood
Juicy Seafood, a restaurant chain based in Indianapolis, opened a new location in Warrensville Heights this winter. It serves seafood boils, a Cajun culinary tradition that mixes spicy sauces with platters of seafood, sausage, corn and potatoes. Juicy Seafood’s menu also features fried fish, chicken tenders, salads and more.
26100 Harvard Road, juicyseafoodcleveland.com
Read more about Juicy Seafood
WESTLAKE: Another Broken Egg Café
The company behind this restaurant is based in Louisiana, so it’s no surprise we’re going to get Southern-inspired brunch and breakfast. Think jumbo-lump crab cakes with fried green tomatoes, sweet lemon blueberry goat-cheese pancakes and other scrumptious, not-your-basic-breakfast dishes. It’s located in Crocker Park.
2004 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, anotherbrokenegg.com
Read more about Another Broken Egg Café
WESTLAKE: Wild Mango
Jia Wei has an East Side presence for Wild Mango in Lyndhurst, and now he has the West Side covered. The Crocker Park space has capacity for 180 diners inside and 100 outside. Wild Mango meshes Wei’s love of Asian street food and fuses Asian, European and South American flavors.
139 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, wildmangorestaurant.com
Read more about Wild Mango
WOODMERE: Macaron Tea Room
The tea room, located in the Atrium Shops in Eton Chagrin Boulevard, offers an interactive tea-setting experience. Highlights include a special “carriage” seating area. Dress-up options give kids a chance to put on their glamorous best as they enjoy a cup of tea and a pastry or macaron. Owner Alla Yakimiv meshes the setting of a traditional British Tea Room with her love of baking. For a special girls’ outing, it will fit you to a … tea.
28601 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere, themacarontearoom.com
Read more about Macaron Tea Room
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