Local West (7400 Detroit Ave., 216-417-7001), which has been under construction since last summer, quietly opened its doors to the public today. It will celebrate its official opening this Thursday.
Owner Jon Mavrakis has been hard at work to transform the former Niko's Greek Grille on Detroit Avenue into a fast-casual craft sandwich and beer bistro.
“We’ve been working on this concept since June and have been going gung ho since then,” he says. “On the outside we changed the façade and signage and did a lot of painting and cleaning up. The inside we completely gutted. We built an exposed kitchen and dining room. Installed all new wall coverings, flooring, electrical, equipment. So it was pretty extensive.”
To craft its gourmet sandwiches, Local West uses all Ohio meat and poultry. In season, it is shooting for 75 percent local produce. The breads are sourced from local bakers as well.
The menu features nearly a dozen burgers, which are priced from $8 to $12 and are cooked to the diner’s desired temp. A half dozen chicken sandwiches join another half dozen sammies filled with salmon, ham and grilled cheese. There’s a tribute, of sorts, to the building’s former tenant in the form of a gyro. Local West will attempt to plug the Italian beef gap with its version, which is piled into a baguette and appropriately dipped into au jus. Grilled octopus sandwich? Local West has one.
Salads, pita pizzas, and sides fill out the menu.
All items are made to order, with management shooting for 5- to 10-minute wait times.
In addition to the sandwiches, Local West offers a nice selection of craft beer (in bottles and cans) and wine, with a nice representation of local producers that includes Great Lakes, Fat Heads, Columbus Brewing, Thirsty Dog, and Jackie O’s.
There is dine-in seating for 40 inside and an additional 20 outside on the patio. In addition to dine-in and take-away, Local West offers delivery of all its food and drink, including beer and wine.
Local West is located in Detroit Shoreway, an address that Mavrakis says is ideal.
“We really love the neighborhood, its diversity and proximity to downtown, Ohio City and Tremont. We feel like we're right in that wheelhouse.”