When the Cleveland ChopHouse & Brewery closed on the first of the year, it was a shock not only to Cleveland diners, but to the employees of the long-running Warehouse District eatery. CraftWorks, the corporate parent of the ChopHouse, opted to shut down the operation, leaving many wondering what would happen to their jobs and the high-profile space.
When news of the closure came to light, Alan Kneidel, former general manager of the Chophouse, and Frank Day, co-founder of Rock Bottom Brewery, immediately contacted one another to discuss possible future plans. Within a few short minutes the pair forged a partnership and the Cleveland Chop was born.
"We both have a strong belief in the renaissance of downtown Cleveland," explains Day, a seasoned restaurateur and innovator with concepts across the country.
Cleveland Chop "is much more than a steakhouse," adds Day, referring to an extensive menu that will combine the high-end feel of a steak house with great happy hours and affordably priced small plates. Former Chop House chef Dave Gutfranski will be back on board as chef.
The space currently is undergoing a renovation that will expand the bar, add a private dining room, and strip the brewery equipment. There will be no brewing at this chop house.
"We are excited to be part of this neighborhood and designed the bar menu and its prices to create a true neighborhood place," says Kneidel. "We are going to have a great happy hour."
Kneidel is also thrilled to be reunited with many of his former employees, who will be returning to work at the new restaurant.
Look for a late April opening.
With reporting by Jason Beudert