Pub Frato (7548 Fredle Dr., 440-867-2441) has been a staple of the Concord Township dining scene. The popular gastropub was launched by Chris and Lynda Frate, a husband-and-wife team taking their first stab at restaurant ownership. Through hard work and trial and error, the pair devised a formula for success that has served them, and the community, well for eight years.
“We were going to franchise,” explains Chris Frate. “We had everything in line, but when Covid hit we took a step back. I started thinking that I didn’t want to lose what made Pub Frato special, that it’s a hands-on, family-run operation. We pride ourselves in great-quality food, treating the customers like they need to be treated – right or wrong, they’re always right – and that family touch.”
Since last autumn, the Frates have been working on the former Grove Hill (and Raintree) property in Chagrin Falls (25 Pleasant Dr.), which has been unoccupied since Grove Hill closed in 2018. Judging by Frate’s description of the work, the completed restaurant will bear little resemblance to those that came before it.
“We’re treating this like a new-build, is what we’re doing,” says Frate. “We’re gutting the whole place down to the walls.”
One of the most dramatic improvements will come as a result of relocating the restrooms from the north side of the building. That will allow for the installation of garage doors that will open up the restaurant considerably. On the other side of those doors is the site of a likely future patio, an asset the former restaurants never had.
Additionally, the ceilings have been raised, the bar is being extended and a see-through fireplace is going in. When all is said and done, there will be seating for about 150 guests at high-tops, low-tops and the bar.
An onsite chef will work in conjunction with company chef Maggie Demko to prepare the gastropub-style menu. Fans of the Concord site can look forward to the same approachable, agreeable pub fare. Likely menu items include egg-topped poutine, brisket-stuffed peppers with beer cheese, short rib tacos, patty melts, fish and chips, and salmon fettuccine.
The Frates are shooting for a late-spring opening.
“Chagrin Falls has been on my bucket list since I was young,” Frate says. “The buzz has been fantastic. Chagrin Falls has given us an open-arm welcome. It’s been really, really nice. I can’t wait to be a part of that community.”