Turn On the Lights: Bricco to debut on Playhouse Square

It will be good to see the house lights back on in the former Gene Hickerson’s restaurant in the Hanna Building this November, when restaurateur David Glenny launches an outpost of his Akron showpiece, Bricco, on Playhouse Square. At 7,500-square-feet, the newly renovated space will include a 200-seat dining room, a spacious bar and lounge area, and what Glenny hopes will be a casually upscale vibe, complete with bright colors and a plenty of energy. Lunch, dinner, and late-night service are in the plans, although the exact hours of operation haven’t yet been cast. Look for Chris McCarthy, who currently shares top-toque duties at the Akron Bricco, to assume the role of executive chef; the part of GM will go to David Kaminski, a long-time cast member of Hospitality Restaurants, owners of Delmonico’s Steakhouse and Blue Point Grille, among other spots. As with the Akron original, the new Playhouse Square Bricco will star a moderately priced menu of “phunky,” loaded pizzas (like the blackened chicken version, decked out in Chihuahua cheese, chipotle-chorizo bean dip, roasted tomatoes, red peppers, scallions, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses and a topping of tortilla strips, $13) and gussied up pastas (like penne with banana peppers, Italian sausage, and sundried toms in pesto cream sauce, $14). You can preview the entire menu here. Just across the street from the theaters, at 1438 Euclid Avenue, the high-visibility space has been home to numerous restaurants and performance companies over its 90-year history, including pro-football Hall of Famer Gene Hickerson’s upscale eatery, which shuttered in 2002, and Boukairs, a 1960s staple for pre- and post-theater grub. Anyone else who still dreams about the Chic of Araby or the Harem Share’m, drop me a line. – Elaine T. Cicora