CLEVELAND — There are so many unique restaurants coming to Cleveland in 2023. It's almost hard to keep up nowadays. No need to research yourself though, our Doug Trattner has your 2023 restaurant rundown.
Here at 9 restaurants you can look forward to in the new year:
Banter - Gordon Square
Starting with a west side favorite, Matthew Stipe's Banter will soon be making its grand return. In a few weeks, the popular sausage and poutine bar will open in Gordon Square, a few blocks from its original home. Now in the former Minh Ahn space, Banter will be larger, and feature indoor and outdoor seating.
The new Banter
"There will be additional seating, we'll probably have about 30% more seating. We'll have a much bigger more expanded patio, we're redoing the storefront," Stipe explains. "So just the design of it, is going to be, just really spectacular. Another big change too, is we're going to tone down the retail a little bit."
Banter was originally located in Gordon Square from 2015 to 2020. In that time, it opened a stand at the Van Aken District Market Hall as well, but closed its main storefront. Stipe always marked the closure as temporary, so this is a full-circle moment.
Visit their website to take a look at their specialties.
Dukes and Boots - Downtown Willoughby
Sometime this spring, Chef Dante Boccuzzi will open Dukes and Boots on Erie Street in Downtown Willoughby. The country-themed restaurant will feature multiple bars, a fried-chicken focused menu, and plenty of outdoor seating.
Dukes and Boots renderings
The location will be new territory for Chef Boccuzzi. He has several locations in Cleveland and Akron, but this location in Lake County will be his first on the east side.
Learn more about Chef Dante Boccuzzi and all his restaurants, here.
Fahrenheit - New location in Downtown Cleveland
Also aiming for a spring opening is Chef Rocco Whalen, who's remaking the former John Q's steakhouse space on Public Square into the new home for Fahrenheit. The Tremont mainstay will be re-imagined as a two-story restaurant with a rooftop bar.
Fahrenheit opened in Tremont 21 years ago. The new Sherwin Williams building being completed downtown is what convinced him to move his restaurant. He thanks the outskirts of downtown for helping him grow, but hopes his success so far will help propel downtown further.
You can look at the menu, here.
Poppy - Larchmere
Jill Vedaa and Jessica Parkison of Salt fame will open Poppy in what was, for 14 years, Felice Urban Café in the Larchmere neighborhood. Parkison says it all started with an email.
"So I received an email back in August, late August, early September, just saying that they were looking to sell Felice. I mentioned it to Jill and she said absolutely not," Parkison laughs.
But it was love at first sight. The owners will retain Felice's century home charm, but plan to convert the second floor bar into a dining room, will capitalize on the beautiful garden, and hope to winterize the outdoor bar for year-round enjoyment. Poppy is named after Parkison's grandmother, and is aiming for a spring opening.
Evelyn - Gordon Square
The same owners are also taking over the former Spice Kitchen and Bar space on Detroit Avenue, where they will open the Spanish-themed "Evelyn."
"So Evelyn is my mom. It was, I wanted to do, everything thinks we do tapas anyway so I kind of wanted to lean into it a little bit," Vedaa jokes. "We had done this paella party for friends of ours, and it was fun and I thought why don't we lean in and do paella and tapas."
She and Parkison plan to really revamp the inside of Spice. They say because it was so iconic for so long, they hope people walk in and feel like they're in a totally different space.
Wolf Pack Chorus - Little Italy
Little Italy will soon have a new modern brasserie called Wolf Pack Chorus. It should open any day in the former Club Isabella space. The owners say they hope to give a "neighborhood trattoria" feel while still feeling like an upscale restaurant.
Check out their menu, here.
The Judith - Ohio City
The team behind Room Service will open a French-inspired café in Ohio City called The Judith. Doors open on February 10th for this daytime shop that hopes to serve pastries in the morning and sandwiches during the day. Evening hours should follow once a liquor license is obtained.
Browse their website, here.
Old 86 - Detroit Shoreway
Then there's Buildings and Food, the name of Will Hollingsworth's growing hospitality group. The owner of Spotted Owl, Prosperity Social Club, and Good Company will convert the Akron Spotted Owl into a second Good Company, and open the Old 86 bar in Detroit Shoreway. Hollingsworth says the spot will be a dive bar in a building with already good bones.
Coming soon: Overhaul of Lolita Bistro building - Tremont
Hollingsworth met his current business partners while working at Michael Symon's Lolita Bistro. Together, they have purchased the iconic Tremont property, and will open a new restaurant there in the near future.
The inside of Lolita Bistro
"The opportunity, for that building that's so important to us, where we grinded it out, as restaurant people as Michael Symon Restaurants, which for the record to this day, is the best job I've ever had, and I think Sully and Sin-Jin would say the same. For that building to come into our company, it was too much to pass up," Hollingsworth reflects.
The space will need extensive work to get it ready to serve people again, so expect a 2024 opening there.