CLEVELAND — Northeast Ohio diners enjoyed a surprisingly robust array of new restaurants in 2021, but 2022 already is shaping up to be even more impressive. In particular, we’re following a slate of new projects heading to the Flats, Ohio City and Cleveland Heights.
Jade: 1048 Old River Road
Down in the Flats, right on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, Jade is nearing opening day. The Asian-fusion restaurant is owned by Zdenko Zovkic, the man who ran XO Prime Steaks in the Warehouse District for 17 years. As great as that location was, Zovkic says that it always was a dream of his to have a waterfront restaurant.
“Downtown, the Warehouse District was quite attractive, I always wanted to be there,” he says. “But I also had in mind, if ever there was a chance to be on the water, I would like to do so.”
This ambitious new concept features three different experiences on three different levels. Moving up from the ground floor, diners will progress from street food and sushi to upscale dining and finally a stylish rooftop club.
“So the first floor, it’s kind of hip, a little more high energy, with a walk-out patio, garage doors, DJ music on the weekends, so on,” he explains. “But nice, you can make it what you want, from a little more casual but also you can have a serious, authentic sushi experience.”
Moving upstairs, either by elevator or grand staircase, diners will find a more elegant environment.
“Second floor, like I said, is a little bit more special occasion, upscale, fine dining,” adds Zovkic.
The third floor boasts a rooftop deck with amazing views of the surrounding landscape.
“It’s probably the best patio Cleveland ever built,” says the owner.
You can keep checking for updates on Jade's opening on their Facebook page.
Cordelia: East 4th Street
Jade isn’t the only new spot to shake up downtown. In the coming months, Cordelia will open in the former Lola Bistro space on E. 4th Street. The new restaurant will be operated by Andrew Watts of Forward Hospitality.
Fahrenheit: 55 Public Square
Also expected to debut downtown in 2022 is Fahrenheit, which will be reimagined in a new location. Chef and owner Rocco Whalen is relocating his Tremont mainstay to the old John Q’s Steakhouse spot on Public Square. Expect the same great food but in an exciting new package, this one with more space and a rooftop deck.
You can view the restaurant's current menu, here.
Intro: 2138 W 25th St
Crossing the bridge into Ohio City, it’s impossible to miss Intro, the new timber-frame development across the street from the West Side Market. At that sprawling new mixed-use site, three separate concepts will be opening in the coming months. Leaps and Bounds will be an airy all-day café, Pioneer will be a contemporary sports bar with a twist (all the cooking will be done over live fire) and Jaja, located on the second floor, will serve small plates and steaks in a space with a retractable roof.
Keep an eye on things from their website.
Bartelby: 2537 Lorain Ave
And just down the block from Intro, in the attractive space long home to Crop Bistro, Morgan Yagi is preparing to open Bartelby, a “modern supper club.” Designed by Cleveland architecture firm Walker & Weeks, the breathtaking interior features 35-foot ceilings, arched windows and more than 8,000 square feet of space. To soften the room, Yagi is relying on soft seating areas with richly upholstered furniture, plush built-in booths and banquettes, and soaring bookshelves that make bring the room down to human scale.
“If you go into a hotel lobby with soft seating, and its empty, you might not notice as much,” says Yagi.
Consulting chef-partner Dante Boccuzzi is developing a modern American menu where diners can enjoy a burger, pizza and bowl of pasta but also a great grilled steak.
For Yagi, who also operates Hibachi Japan Steak House restaurants in Cuyahoga Falls and Solon, Bartleby presents an opportunity to join the dynamic Ohio City food scene.
“I do think it’s one of my favorite neighborhoods in Cleveland,” he says. “I do think it is the center of gravity, and will be for some time, hopefully.”
Learn more about this spot, here.
Nighttown: 12383 Cedar Rd
And finally, out in Cleveland Heights, the Red Restaurant Group is hard at work preparing the vaunted Nighttown space for its big return, which should happen later this year.
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