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Cleveland Heights' iconic Nighttown restaurant and jazz club sold

Brendan Ring not only sold Nighttown, but all of his Cedar Hill property, which is now being redeveloped. He says the new Nighttown will open sometime this summer.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — A big change is coming to one of the east side's most iconic locations.

On Monday evening, 3News learned that owner Brendan Ring has sold Nighttown, a popular bar, restaurant and jazz club in Cleveland Heights. The buyer, whose name nas not been disclosed, is in late-stage negotiations with an also-unnamed, well-known Cleveland chef to take over the restuarant.

Ring not only sold the restaurant, but all of his Cedar Hill property, which is now being redeveloped. He says the new Nighttown will open sometime this summer.

"Nighttown has been a treasured place for generations to gather largely thanks to Brendan Ring. His presence and commitment to the City will be greatly missed. We wish Brendan nothing but the best as he enters a new chapter," Cleveland Heights City Manager Susanna Niermann O'Neil told 3News.

Like all Ohio restaurants, Nighttown shut down in March of 2020 when Governor Mike DeWine ordered the closing of all restaurants, except for take out and delivery service, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Although restaurants were permitted to reopen in mid-May, Nighttown took what it believed was a more strategic approach to its reopening while monitoring coronavirus trends, not reopening its doors until July 1. 

When COVID-19 cases spiked in Cuyahoga County in November, the restaurant closed again and announced a hiatus.

"Out of an abundance of caution and for the safety and health of our customers and staff, Nighttown closed on November 22. We plan to reopen as soon as we feel it’s safe to do so, hopefully sometime in the spring. To all of our friends, thank you so very much for your patronage, your love and support.  And please – stay safe."

On Monday night, Brendan Ring spoke with 3News' Russ Mitchell about his decision to sell Nighttown and how much did COVID-19 play a role in the process. "My wife and I both had a couple of health issues this year," Ring said. "Where the COVID part comes in I would say, is when you get a little illness, you say to yourself it's time to stop and smell the roses. We've been working like crazy for 29 years."

You can watch the entire interview with 3News' Russ Mitchell and Brendan Ring in the player below:

Statement from The Press Club of Cleveland about the sale of Nighttown:

"As many of you know, The Press Club of Cleveland’s Hall of Fame is currently housed at Nighttown. We have enjoyed and appreciated our longstanding relationship with Nighttown as the host of our Hall of Fame display. As ownership is changing hands, our board’s executive committee will soon discuss the future of this valuable and historic display with the new owners to learn of their interest in retaining our presence there and what our options are. We will issue another update as soon as we learn more."