CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio — If breakfast and brunch are your thing, this is the place for you.
The Sleepy Rooster, located in Russell Township in Geauga County, is a place with a hometown feel and a locally-sourced menu.
"We wanted a hometown restaurant, something near home around people we love," said The Sleepy Rooster co-owner Craig Fitzgerald.
Craig and his wife Sarah co-own and run the restaurant, and they don't necessarily enjoy being early birds.
"I always wanted the rooster to be the name of the restaurant. But with us not being morning people and her kind of joking, like 'sleepy rooster,' you know, you're not doing anything in the morning and that kind of stuck," said Craig.
That's also reflected in the restaurant's hours, which, as of October 5, 2021, are Tuesday - Sunday, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Both Craig and Sarah grew up in northeast Ohio and wanted to serve the community they love. But Sarah took a bit of convincing to take that first leap.
"So after years of trying to convince her that you'll like it, it won't be too bad, you know, restaurants are very difficult to get into. So she was all for it finally and supporting a hundred percent and I couldn't have done it," said Craig.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
"We started planning in October, November of 2019. We signed the lease about two weeks before the pandemic hit," said Sarah.
They credit their landlord for working with them as they pushed back opening the restaurant for several months.
"He literally worked with us," said Sarah. "We thought we'd open June of 2020, but somewhere in time by January, I feel like people were kind of done with being at home and it worked out in our benefit. We've been busy every day."
And that is due, in part, to the food, most of which is locally-sourced: Eggs from Harvest Bell Farm in Newbury Township, cheese from Mackenzie Creamery in Hiram and pastry and bread from On the Rise bakery in Cleveland.
"We want it to be relatable, you know, food that people are used to, just done on a higher scale," said Craig. "I was French-trained culinary for fine dining."
The ambiance is friendly with a strong sense of family, keeping customers coming back for more.
"Everybody gets along, and I think that's why it seems like we're all related, because we do seem like a family and it's really nice," said Sarah.
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