Felice on Larchmere to Close After 14 Years. Jill Vedaa and Jessica Parkison to Open New Restaurant This Spring

“We just walked in and fell in love with it,” says Jill Vedaa.

click to enlarge Felice is closing at the end of the year. It will reopen under new ownership in spring. - Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner
Felice is closing at the end of the year. It will reopen under new ownership in spring.

For the past 14 years, Felice (12502 Larchmere Blvd., 216-791-0918) has earned a place as one of the east side’s most endearing restaurants. Originally opened by Margaret Mueller in 2008, the distinctive eatery resides in a beautifully restored Craftsman-style home on Larchmere. Over the years, the property – inside and out – has managed to grow better with age thanks to additions like the carriage-house bar, the artfully landscaped patio and the outdoor kitchen. While Mueller passed away a few years ago, the restaurant has remained in the family, most recently in the hands of Margaret’s grandson Wells and his wife Jill. In the kitchen, chef Jose Coronado has been a steady and beloved fixture.

That chapter of the story ends on December 23rd when Felice will close. The owners have announced a transfer of the property to Jill Vedaa and Jessica Parkison, who will open a new restaurant in spring.

Here is the statement from the current owners:

“We are profoundly grateful for all who have shared a table with us at Felice over the past 14 years. From regular Thursday evenings to celebrating important milestones, it has been a privilege to be a part of your lives. We are proud to have been on the corner of this ever-changing, funky neighborhood and are excited about the great future that awaits.”

Vedaa says that she and Parkison were approached by the owners, who are relocating out of state and wanted to make sure that the restaurant landed in good hands.

Vedaa and Parkison are still forging ahead with Evelyn, their new Spanish eatery in Gordon Square, but the opportunity demanded consideration. Vedaa, who has been to the restaurant, had to persuade Parkison, who had not, to at least check it out.

“We just walked in and fell in love with it,” Vedaa says.

The new owners take over on January 1, at which point they will begin work on the space. While turnkey, the property will undergo some interior changes when Vedaa and Parkison "put our stamp on it." When it opens this spring (mid-March is the goal), it will do so with a new name, menu and staff.

Among the big changes that the team is considering is relocating the second-floor bar back down to main room, adding lunch service, winterizing the outdoor bar for year-round use, and launching a dedicated patio menu that utilizes the wood-burning pizza oven and grill.

Vedaa, who worked as chef at Rockefeller's in Cleveland Heights a decade ago, says that diners in the area still miss her cooking.

“People have been asking me to come back to the east side for a long time," she adds.

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Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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