Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Vina What? 

Isabella's back after sounding an off-Noté.

For decades it was Club Isabella. Last year it became Vina Noté. And today, it's Major's Club Isabella. That's a lot of baggage for this little hideaway near University Circle to haul, but chef-owner James Major (who bought out his former Vina Noté bosses in May) says the change has made life easier. "I was getting tired of people looking puzzled when I told them I worked at Vina Noté," he confides. "But when I'd tell them Club Isabella, they'd go, 'Oh sure, I know where that is.'" Beyond playing the name game, Major has been tinkering with his eclectic lunch and dinner menus, lowering prices, and adding a bountiful 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday brunch buffet that includes his mom's batter-dipped French toast. As for the club's popular live entertainment, jazz continues on Fridays and Saturdays, from 7 to 11 p.m.; Motown and blues nights will be added in the fall. Major's Club Isabella is at 2025 University Hospitals Drive; call 216-229-1177 for reservations.

Goodbye and hello . . . One of the fine-dining pioneers of the Warehouse District, Greek Isles, is closing this week. But the prime location on the corner of West Sixth and St. Clair won't be empty for long. Restaurateur Zdenko Zovkic is pressing ahead with plans to remodel and rename the space, and while he tap-dances away from providing details, we managed to squeeze words like "highly polished" and "Miami" out of him. A German native, Zovkic has managed hotels and restaurants in Europe and the States. His most recent Cleveland adventure was Seasons, a fine-dining venue he brought to the gated apartment complex at One Bratenahl Place; the restaurant folded in January, after it became obvious that Clevelanders weren't about to risk having to pay a membership fee to dine there. Meanwhile, Greek Isles owner George Servetas is looking forward to getting away, after more than 20 years in the biz -- 11 of them at the Isles. But don't be surprised if he launches a new venture in Avon Lake after the new year.

Wine-tasting . . . Lobster nachos, porcini-crusted lamb chops, vanilla foam with fingerling potato chips, and watermelon-gazpacho shooters are among the to-die-for dishes One Walnut chef-owner Marlin Kaplan will be serving at the downtown restaurant's latest wine-tasting event, Thursday August 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests at the $55 soirée will also sample an assortment of 36 American wines and take home a Riedel tasting glass. (Valet parking's free too.) Reservation deadline is August 3; call 216-575-1111.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Vegan Monday @ The Winchester

    • Mondays

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation