High-Profile Chef Divulges Plans for Waterloo Resto


There's been talk about a high-profile chef making a move with regard to the ambitious Waterloo redevelopment project. And now we know just who that person is.

Steve Schimoler, chef-owner of Ohio City's Crop Bistro, says he just inked a deal on the former Key Bank building located two doors down from the Beachland Ballroom.

"Another bank, can you believe it?" Schimoler says, referring to the former bank building that houses Crop. "I guess I'll just keep pulling bank jobs."

Tentatively called Crop Rocks and the Vinyl Vault, the bar and restaurant will feature both food and tunes, the latter of which will come courtesy of one of the nation's most exceptional record collections.

"Terry Stewart will populate the vault with the most definitive vinyl collection in the country," Schimoler says of the former Rock Hall president. "He's got the goods."

Stewart himself will spin records on regularly scheduled nights, adds Schimoler.

The 3200-square-feet space will feature an open kitchen-and-bar concept that turns out fun, casual food.

"This is not going to be an East Side Crop," says the chef. "This will be totally laid back, more like my version of a little Haight-Ashbury-style place with a 1967-coffeehouse vibe."

Expect fun bar food, communal tables, and a "totally chill" vibe.

"Do I really need to be doing another restaurant?" asks the chef, who also co-owns a Crop in Vermont. "No, not really. But I really do want to be a part of helping to bring new life to Collinwood. I'm pumped. I think the whole Collinwood scene is just perfect for us."

Given that a lengthy and ambitious streetscape project for Waterloo Road is slated to begin this summer, Schimoler doesn't anticipate opening day occurring until this coming fall. But when that day does arrive, Schimoler says that he and other new entrepreneurs in the area need to bring their A-game.

"We can't rely on Cindy's traffic [from the Beachland Ballroom]," he says. "We need a new formula for success. We need to create a whole new formula for Collinwood."

Light switch, prepare to be turned on.