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In a Pickle 

A new sammie stop targets downtown lunchers

Add Cleveland Pickle to the ever-growing list of new eateries dotting Euclid Avenue. Joining Cowell & Hubbard, Hodge's, Nexus Café, and Colossal Cupcakes, the Pickle is a pint-sized sandwich café opened by chef Josh Kabat, former owner of Reddstone, and partner Kiaran Daley.

"I love sandwiches, and you can't really get a good one downtown," says Kabat. "So I figured I'd make my own."

The menu features "Nu-Skool" sandwiches like the Classic Pickle ($10), with capicola, sopressata, prosciutto, provolone, and an "angry [spicy] pickle." The Payne Avenue Panini ($9) has Asian pork meatballs, cilantro, carrot threads, and adobo spread. The Lake Effect ($7) is fresh-made tuna salad. There are 11 sandwiches in all.

Soups and salads round out the concise menu.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Find them at 850 Euclid Avenue or ring 'em up at 216-575-1111.

FROM STAGE TO PLATE: For close to 20 years, the Savannah Bar & Grille was the place to go in Westlake to enjoy big-time live music. Robert Lockwood Jr., Mr. Stress, and Ernie Krivda's Fat Tuesday Band all made regular stops at the club, which is tucked away in a Detroit Road strip mall.

As of St. Patrick's Day, the Savannah is no more. The club was purchased last year by Doug Lufkin, who shuttered it to make a slew of much-needed improvements. It reopened March 29 as RockWest Music and Grub Pub.

"The Savannah lasted many years longer than it probably should have," says Lufkin. "The business model of the place no longer works. We all love live bands, but they are so expensive."

Lufkin, a chef with 27 years in the biz, says the goal was to shift from being a music club that happens to have food, to being a restaurant and bar that happens to have music. Live music will still be a frequent feature of the bar, promises Lufkin, but he wants to shift attention from the stage to the plate. RockWest will serve non-traditional bar food that Lufkin calls American comfort grub. "It's big, it's bold, it's hearty food," he says.

Consider the Rockin' Cajun dog: a half-pound all-beef hot dog wrapped in bacon, served in a bun with baked beans, melted cheddar, onion straws, and BBQ sauce. The Ace in the Hole is a pretzel-crusted chicken sandwich with tomato-cucumber aioli served in a pretzel bun. There's also sautéed swordfish stacked with creamed spinach and pancetta cream sauce.

In just 10 days, Lufkin and his crew closed up, gutted, and rebuilt the bar from scratch. The space reopened with a new look, a new kitchen, and a new traffic flow. "It was like our own version of Restaurant: Impossible," he jokes.

RockWest is open for lunch and dinner daily at 30676 Detroit Rd. Call 440-892-2266 or check them out on Facebook.

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