After three decades at the Galleria at Erieview, Café Sausalito
(1301 E. 9th St., 216-696-2233) is pulling up stakes, relocating and rebranding. The restaurant will close its doors on January 31 and reopen in the IMG Building as Sausalito on Ninth sometime in late February. Café Sausalito, opened by iconic Cleveland restaurateur Gary Lucarelli in 1987, was an original tenant of the then-shimmering new downtown mall. He sold the business to Saravanan "Babu" Chandrababu a handful of years back.
Obviously, being located in the Galleria has presented the restaurant with challenges, not the least of which is feeble occupancy rates. But Café Sausalito has managed to survive by maintaining a robust lunch clientele that is supplemented by splashy private events like weddings and a thriving catering business.
“The move has been in the works for more than a year,” says GM Adam Adgate. “It’s just time for a change.”
The Sausalito crew will be swapping a covert mall existence for a conspicuous street-level setting on the ground floor of a prominent downtown office building at the busy intersection of E. Ninth and St. Clair. Build-out is presently taking place on the new two-level restaurant. Approximately 140 guests will find seating in the first-floor bar and lounge, and on a second-level mezzanine with kitchen and dining room that overlooks the main floor.
Kenneth Boone, who has been running the kitchen for 20 years, will revamp the menu from an all-day bill of fare that catered mainly to a lunch crowd to one that utilizes separate lunch and dinner menus. To capitalize on its newfound neighbors, the restaurant will apply a renewed focus on handcrafted cocktails and happy hours, all of which will be enjoyed on the new street-side patio.
“Right now we do well for sporting events, but having a street-level patio will be a whole new ballgame,” notes Adgate.
Look for Sausalito on Ninth to debut around the end of February.