It's been almost four years since a fire shuttered Lolita in Tremont. Initial estimates of a temporary closure quickly became confirmations of a lengthy shuttering after the extent of damage was realized. By spring of 2016 Michael Symon announced that he'd open a new concept, Sherla's Chicken and Oysters, in the space. It would be about a year before it opened, he told us.
And then he got busy with a bunch of other restaurants around the country, and the sign for Sherla's hung in the windows on Literary Ave. like a failed promise in the wind as the calendar turned from 2017 to 2018 to 2019.
Eventually it was time for Symon to move on, and he wanted the new owner to be someone committed to the neighborhood. That man was Dave Ferrante, owner of Visible Voice books just down the street, who recently bought the building.
A sign posted in one of the windows now proclaims, cheekily, that a White Castle is coming to the space. That's not true, though Ferrante does appreciate "a bit of old Tremont subversiveness" from whoever taped it up.
"I'm not sure yet," Ferrante said when asked about his plans for the space. "I have a lot of ideas in the air and things should focus in more over the next few months. The building has incredible potential."
Whatever it is, expect Tremont to breathe a sigh of relief when the spot is finally occupied after four years of dormancy.
Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.