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Cleveland Heights' iconic Nighttown to reopen in 2022 under new ownership

Red Restaurant Group, the owners behind Red, the Steakhouse, will take over the beloved restaurant, bar, and jazz club.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — One of the east side's most beloved restaurants is making a comeback. 

Nighttown, the iconic bar, restaurant, and jazz club has been sold to Red Restaurant Group, the owners behind Red, the Steakhouse. 

Managing partner Gregg Levy told 3News' Russ Mitchell that redesign and planning is underway for Nighttown to reopen sometime in 2022. 

"You can expect Nighttown food, Nighttown feel, Nighttown music, Nighttown atmosphere. It will be presented with the Red quality in terms of food and service. But make no mistake, this was a deal that only stands on the fact that it has to be Nighttown," Levy told Mitchell.

Levy says the plan is underway for a large-scale project of renovations and improvements to Nighttown, including replacing all kitchen equipment and cooler systems. Physical construction will begin in the coming months. 

In January of this year, longtime Nighttown owner Brendan Ring announced that he was not only selling the restaurant, but all of his Cedar Hill property, which is now being redeveloped. 

“As a fan of Red, the Steakhouse for many years, I was very excited to hear from Stephanie (Director of Operations for Red) and Gregg and am pleased and flattered that they want to preserve the business I had the pleasure of bringing to people for nearly 30 years. I look forward to continue to consult with them as they bring my baby back to life,” said Ring in a statement announcing the new ownership.

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, 2020. 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, 2020. 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."

In January, 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."

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