Rib Cage Brings Real BBQ to the Heights


Cleveland Heights is just two days away from landing a bona fide barbecue joint. This Friday evening, The Rib Cage (2214 Lee Rd., 216-321-RIBS) will open in the Cedar-Lee District, in a space that has housed a long line of short-lived eateries. Most recently, the address belonged to Club Sober.

Robert Hill, owner of the popular and long-running The Seafood Place (13439 Cedar Rd., 216-320-1085), says that originally he had plans to relocate his homespun fish house to the space, but his family talked him out of it.

"I was going to move the Seafood Place into the space, but my sons talked me into opening another business," Hill explains. "We have been selling ribs like crazy at the other restaurant so we decided to do this."

The Rib Cage will sell much more than just pork ribs, adds Hill, including beef ribs and something called turkey ribs.

"One of my chefs turned me onto turkey ribs, and they are awesome!" he says.

The meaty, bone-in treats are a specialty of the house. The custom-built 8-foot by 10-foot brick smoker also turns out beef brisket, pork shoulder, whole chickens, whole turkeys and, every Saturday, smoked prime rib.

The meats are slow smoked for up to 12 hours on cherry and hickory woods.

All meats are non-GMO, Ohio-raised and other local products are sourced as much as possible. Meats are served with a choice of 7 different sauces.

"Everything we are doing here is from scratch, from the sides down to the dressings and sauces," notes Hill.

This club is no longer sober thanks to a healthy selection of small-batch bourbons.

A patio gives diners a view of the beefy brick smoker.