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How Slyman's has endured the COVID-19 pandemic in Cleveland with its iconic corned beef

For a restaurant that has largely done everything the same way for over 50 years, they were forced to change overnight.

CLEVELAND — It’s 2:30 a.m. in Cleveland. Moe Slyman and his daughter, Nadia, are already hard at work cooking and prepping their famous corned beef

“Every day I’m up at 1:15 a.m. and here by 2:15,” Moe said. “It’s hard work.” 

Hard work, but a routine that Moe has done every day since 1988 to ensure the quality of their product remains the same. It’s a routine that he now shares with his daughter. 

“It’s nice because we have a lot of fun together," he said. "We really get along together. She helps out tremendously and it’s good company in the morning. I cherish these times with her like I did with my own dad.”

Cherished times because Moe realizes how quickly time can go. 

“Great times. I learned a lot from him,” Moe said of his father. "It feels like it was yesterday, that’s how time flew by ya know? I truly miss him.”

Joe Slyman, who started Slyman’s in downtown Cleveland in 1964, passed away in December.

“Such a great father. God really blessed us with an awesome earthly dad."

Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published on Dec. 23, 2020.

Dad taught Moe and his brother, Freddie, the value of hard work; lessons that were key this past year to maintain the business and ensure his father's legacy would continue through the COVID-19 pandemic. For a restaurant that has largely done everything the same way for more than 50 years, they were forced to change overnight.

“First of all, we’re running it with like four or five people here. We’ve more than downsized. Each one of us is doing triple the work load."

Manager Sam Slyman said it's sad to see the dining room closed.

"Sad to have people ask, 'Oh, can we come inside and eat?' We’re open still. Trying to keep the family tradition going."

A family rooted in quality, hard work and now a new perspective to stay open and continue the family legacy. 

“He’d be proud of us.”

Slyman's is open Monday through Friday for take out 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

MORE FOOD:

Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published on March 19, 2021.

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